Amanda Bynes Is Doing What a Girl Wants and Going After Her Own Aspirations

In the early aughts, no one was more iconic than Amanda Bynes. Now, she’s making new career moves. What is she up to?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Mar. 11 2024, Published 9:49 a.m. ET

Amanda Bynes at the '17 Again' Los Angeles premiere on April 14, 2009
Source: Getty Images

Now that the behind-the-scenes secrets of Nickelodeon are coming to the public eye thanks to Investigation Discovery’s Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, everyone wants to know what Amanda Bynes is up to. Amanda rose to fame on the network with her role on All That, which led to her own teen sketch comedy show, The Amanda Show.

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But after 2010, Amanda’s mental health took a hit as paparazzi reached a new high of invasiveness. She ended up in several treatment facilities for addiction and mental health, in addition to a conservatorship under her supportive mother, Lynn. By 2022, Amanda was released from her conservatorship, but other mental health challenges came up in 2023. What happened to Amanda's career?

Amanda Bynes talking on a phone on Jan. 9, 2024, in Beverly Hills
Source: Getty Images
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What happened to Amanda Bynes? She retired from acting after ‘Easy A.’

Being a child star is no easy feat, and doing it under the watchful eye of known predators Dan Schneider and Brian Peck was likely even more challenging. Amanda rose to the top of early aughts teen fame, starring in blockbuster hits like She’s the Man and Hairspray. But Amanda’s last acting role was in Easy A as Marianne Bryant, the buttoned-up Catholic girl who villainizes Olive (Emma Stone)’s “promiscuity.”

In 2018, Amanda told PAPER what led to her retirement from acting. After filming Easy A, she was supposed to be in Hall Pass, but her addiction to Adderall and other substances led her to pull out of the cast. She was later replaced by Alexandra Daddario.

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Amanda Bynes as Marianne Bryant in 'Easy A.'
Source: Sony Pictures

"When I was doing Hall Pass, I remember being in the trailer and I used to chew the Adderall tablets because I thought they made me [more] high [that way]," Amanda said. "I remember chewing on a bunch of them and literally being scatterbrained and not being able to focus on my lines or memorize them for that matter."

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Amanda added that she “remembers seeing my image on the screen and literally tripping out and thinking my arm looked so fat because it was in the foreground or whatever and I remember rushing off set and thinking, ‘Oh my god, I look so bad.’" The combination of being high and not liking her appearance led her to walk off the set, which she’s since apologized for.

Amanda Bynes arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere "Semi-Pro" at the Mann Village Theater on Feb. 19, 2008
Source: Getty Images
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At the Easy A screening, Amanda had a similar reaction to seeing herself on screen. "I literally couldn't stand my appearance in that movie and I didn't like my performance. I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it."

Amanda continued, "I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me. I don't know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things."

So, Amanda left acting behind. But what is she doing now?

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Now in 2024, Amanda Bynes is focusing on a steady career as a manicurist.

In 2014, Amanda enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing (FIDM), where she saw Lauren Conrad studying on The Hills. She graduated from FIDM in 2019 with her Associate of Arts degree in Merchandise Product Development. In 2020, Amanda shared on Instagram that she re-enrolled to get her Bachelor’s degree.

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However, when her engagement to Paul Michael fell apart in 2022, Amanda’s mental health seemed to decline shortly after. A worrying public nudity scandal in 2023 led Amanda back into treatment facilities, but by the end of 2023, Amanda had decided to pursue a life as a podcaster. After releasing just one episode of Amanda Bynes & Paul Sieminski: The Podcast, she decided to cancel it.

"The first episode of my podcast did really well. I was actually surprised and of course, was going to keep going after friends encouraged me to. After thinking about it, though, I would rather get my manicurist license and have a consistent job," Amanda wrote in an Instagram Story. "I'm going to follow that path instead."

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Amanda said on TikTok that one of the issues with the podcast was booking coveted high-profile guests, and while she understands that podcasts take time to build, she would just like something steady for now. While this may seem like an odd move for a former celebrity, we just want Amanda to be happy and healthy and live her life in whatever way she chooses!

If you or someone you know needs help, use SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find support for mental health and substance use disorders in your area or call 1-800-662-4357 for 24-hour assistance.

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