At the time I had just completed my brief tenure as some sort of vile cross between tabloid journalist and exasperated paparazzo, holding vigil with my transient contemporaries and gawking lookie-loos outside the apartment building where the former child star lived, hoping to finally catch a glimpse of The Amanda Show live.
Back in the spring of 2013, The Amanda Show was a ratings hit—at least when it came to stories about it on TheDailyBeast.com. Each dissection of her crazed tweets won me hundreds of thousands of clicks. (You might call Amanda Bynes “The Original Donald Trump” in that regard.)
Mocking her bizarre selfie videos—“I’m Sucking on a Sour Patch Kid Listening to Music Getting Ready for Tonight :D”—analyzing her Janice-from-The Muppets-inspired makeover, comparing her wigs to something discarded from one of my sister’s 25-year-old Barbies sitting in a box in my parents’ basement, and, chiefly, waxing poetic on the unanswerable question, “What happened to Amanda Bynes?”: It was hugely popular and, in hindsight, offensive content.
The truth was that this was a woman who was troubled. She was clearly on drugs, getting arrested, and melting down in the world’s most public cry for help, and we were plugging our ears while churning out stories about it.
Now, Amanda Bynes is back. And she seems to be just fine.
She’s 31-years-old. She enrolled in fashion school. She’s sober. And she’s given her first public interview since her mad descent to rock bottom—driving violations, DUIs, hit-and-runs, a psychiatric hold, public mania, those wigs.
You might cringe again watching it. In fact, there is a lot of crazy going on there. Borrowing from our previous Amanda Bynes coverage, we have to ask: What the hell is going on with Diana Madison?
She is frantic, barely getting out words or finishing sentences. Her misdirected energy is unsettling. The reason we know that Amanda Bynes is OK is because she spent nearly eight minutes with this deranged walking Adderall pill and was cogent, polite, and dignified about the entire psychotic proceedings.
But more on Ms. Bynes. The best part of the full interview is that it shows Bynes isn’t just centered and calm, but also still has the sense of humor that turned her into a superstar and, more, is self-aware about her past.
There are little sound bites that have been shared on Friday that, out of context, hint at some lingering unusualness, quotes that were weaponized to suggest that she’s still not making sense. Asked what she’s up to today, she says, “I hike, I go spinning, and I feed the homeless.”
Watching her in the context of the question, though, she’s clearly just explaining different things she’s involved in. She mentions going to fashion school at FIDM and wanting to start a fashion line, and this is just the throwaway coda: She also exercises and volunteers.
She announces that she is going to start acting again, something that causes Madison to just about spontaneously combust. She settles for a hug instead. Awkwardness for all.
The best part comes when Madison starts asking Bynes about specific moments in, as she keeps annoying referring it to as, Bynes’ “rough times.” And Amanda Bynes actually talks about her infamous 2013 tweet asking Drake to murder her vagina!
“I actually wasn’t being insincere,” Bynes says (!!!). She thought Drake was hot. She wanted him to do sex with her. It is hilariously plainspoken and, then with this next part, the perfect combination of unapologetic and self-aware. “I was like saying, ‘Murder my vagina!’ I was serious, but I was also on drugs. So that was my way of saying like, ‘Let’s do it, man,’ but I was on drugs and trying to be hilarious.”
Amanda Bynes, back to Make America Great Again.