Drake Bell told OK! about Amanda Bynes: ‘Amanda and I are close. We worked together for years. I talk to her every day. She’s a sweetheart. I had lunch with her yesterday, and she’s brilliant. She’s good, and she’s healthy.
I actually talked to her this morning, told her I was coming into Jersey. She’s living in New York, so I said ‘come hang out in New Jersey.’ Unfortunately she had a few commitments tonight. I wanted her to come and she was like ‘Oh my God, I so would,’ but she had some things to do tonight, and we’re on different coasts, so it’s hard. But Amanda is a beautiful, artistic, funny soul.
She’s in a place right now where she is searching. She’s ready to be her own person, and do her own thing. She’s experiencing life for real, without the spotlight, for the first time. She is a girl who is finding herself.
It hurts me and it upsets me, because I look at her and talk to her, and we’ll sit down for lunch or dinner, and I’m like ‘Amanda, what is going on?’ And she’s like ‘whatever.’ She’s the same beautiful, funny, artistic, thoughtful person that she’s always been, but she decided to change her hairstyle. She got a bad hairdo and shaved her head, so she had to get extensions. Now everyone’s like ‘oh, you’re crazy.”
‘I’m like ‘dude, you come off crazy.’ She’s like, ‘I know, but I don’t mean to. I just changed the way I look!’ If tomorrow I came out and I was tattooed all over, everyone would go ‘oh, he’s crazy. He’s nuts.’ And I go, ‘no, I just wanted tattoos.’ She got piercings in her cheeks, and I’m talking to Amanda who says ‘I just wanted piercings in my cheeks. Big deal.’ I’m like ‘honey, everyone thinks you’re a drug addict, loony and all that—and she’s not.’
No, no, no, no, no. Let me follow you for 24 hours with a camera. Let me see what you got. If I followed you for 24 hours, you’d probably be like ‘get the f*** away from me.’ But Amanda’s a beautiful soul. She’s funny. Anytime I’ve ever been with Amanda, she’s totally coherent, totally there, totally everything.’
There’s no reason for her family should step in and have her committed to rehab or a mental health facility? ‘She definitely has an issue with the family, but everybody does. Everyone has issues with their family, but that’s not what it is. She needs to get out of retirement, and make us laugh again, because that’s what she’s brilliant at. Amanda Bynes is brilliant at making us laugh, and that’s what she needs to do. She’s great at it.’
The closest to Carol Burnett in our generation is Amanda Bynes. She’s brilliant, she’s a genius, she’s funny as hell. It really hurts me seeing what is being written about her, but on the other hand, like Laurence Olivier says, any press is good press/ It would make me happier if I knew that she wanted that, but she doesn’t.’
+ Amanda shopping with her dog at Garden State Plaza!