By Christopher Luu
Nov 26, 2018 @ 9:15 pm

Amanda Bynes has been out of the spotlight for years now, but with a new spread in Paper Magazine, she's hoping to get back some of the magic that made her such a star in the early aughts. But what most readers will want to know is how she managed to fall so quickly from her spot on top of the world. Well, she does explain — and it's not what you think. Remember She's the Man? The movie that was basically Channing Tatum's star turn? It's what sent Bynes into her downward spiral.

"I went into a deep depression for 4-6 months because I didn't like how I looked when I was a boy," she said. "I've never told anyone that."

Bynes goes on to explain that seeing herself with sideburns and short hair just didn't sit well with her. She says that she fought to have Tatum as a co-star, seeing his star quality from his past work in a Mountain Dew commercial, but notes that the rest of the experience on set was a strange, out-of-body experience. It wasn't just that depression that marked her fall from grace, however. Bynes adds that abusing Adderall — she was told the pills would keep her thin — led to further drug abuse.

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She told Paper that she remembers "reading an article in a magazine that [called Adderall] 'the new skinny pill' and they were talking about how women were taking it to stay thin. I was like, 'Well, I have to get my hands on that.'"

The combination of drugs and crumbling self-esteem led Bynes to the erratic behavior that most people remember her for. From her not-so-official retirement announcement on Twitter to all of the unflattering headlines, she's probably remembered more for her infamy than any of her movies. She explains that while watching Easy A, she just didn't see what other people saw. She hated the way she looked. 

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"I saw it and I was convinced that I should never be on camera again and I officially retired on Twitter, which was, you know, also stupid," she said. "If I was going to retire [the right way], I should've done it in a press statement — but I did it on Twitter. Real classy! But, you know, I was high and I was like, 'You know what? I am so over this' so I just did it. But it was really foolish and I see that now. I was young and stupid."

For now, Bynes credits her sobriety to focusing on her studies at FIDM, which she learned about via watching Lauren Conrad on The Hills. But she's not ruling out a return to the screen, either. Like she charmed everyone during her early days at Nickelodeon, there's no telling what she'll surprise everyone with next. 

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