There is great concern and compassion for Amanda Bynes as we watch her life unfold. Unlike other celebrities who have a pattern of outrageous behavior for the purpose of getting attention, Amanda has always seemed to be one of the better behaved, more grounded child to 20 year old actors.
When my daughters were younger, in the 90s and early 2000s, Amanda was a big deal on Nickelodeon. And in my house we watched Nickelodeon all the time. She appeared in the popular pre-teen TV shows "All That" and "The Amanda Show," then on the WB’s "What I Like About You" as Jenny Garth's mischievous little sister. We watched her get named one of "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" in 2006 by "Teen People magazine" and be considered the fifth highest paid celebrity under 21 in 2007.
There’s was so much promise in this young actress that went on to make her film debut with "Big Fat Liar" in 2002. And you can see one of her movies on various children cable channels like "She’s the Man" (2006), “Hairspray” (2007), or the popular "Easy A" (2010). When you look at the body of her work she’s was meant to be a comedic powerhouse.
She has the acting ability and looks that her peers were once trying desperately to emulate. Now is supposed to be the time her fans would see her move into grittier movie roles that would push her as an actress. Like we’re seen done by Claire Danes, Dakota Fanning, Mila Kunis, Hayden Panettiere, Michelle Williams, and Christina Ricci.
I was looking forward to seeing if she would go to college and get an BFA in Acting, and taking some brief spots on Broadway to push herself to learn from the best. I wanted Oscar award-winning actors and directors to mentor her and help her take her spot in motion picture history but her career has stalled.
I’m not sure why Amanda has stopped acting and there’s too much media speculation online to decipher the truth. She stated herself in 2012 that she’s retired as an actor but it’s my hope is that she’ll sit down with someone she admires and tell her story. Not a newspaper reporter looking for fame but a person that has the integrity and the platform to do her story justice. She’s only 27 years old so she has her whole life in front of her. Didn’t we see Drew Barrymore and Kirsten Dunst turn their lives around after a few missteps?
If Bynes never makes another movie, her final film will be the 2010 Screen Gems comedy Easy A. The film received strong reviews and helped launch then-21-year-old Emma Stone's career. (It grossed $75 million worldwide.) I really want Amanda to know that there are many people that are waiting for her to rise like a phoenix, tell her story with integrity, and get back to her craft. I believe there are many great roles she’s meant to act in. Like any art, acting takes hard work and passion for the craft. The business can be grueling and almost always involves a lot of rejection but she is one actor that has become a household name.
I pray Amanda remembers any kind of life experience can benefit her acting talent as long as she can learn from it. Now, I know there's no substitute for work experience and training, but life experience adds the seasoning that makes better actors. So all performers need to pay attention to what’s happens in your life -- good and bad.
And if you're reading this Amanda, I hope you live your life fully, but not foolishly, with open eyes because it will make any role you play in the future richer and more real. I really hope you’ll return to acting, start learning from your craft again, and give back to the industry that supported you in the past. God Bless!
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