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It all seemed so promising back in 2004 when sweet-faced Amanda Bynes, then 18 and coming off a starring role in What a Girl Wants, dropped by AFM headquarters in Santa Monica to promote her new rom-com, Love Wrecked. In it, she played a fangirl who finds herself stranded on an island with her rocker idol (Nashville’s Chris Carmack).
But hopes that the TV star could carry her Nickelodeon fan base to the big screen would prove misplaced. Love Wrecked got stranded, surfacing three years later on ABC Family.
Her next film, 2006’s She’s the Man — a spin on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in which Bynes poses as a boy in order to play on the high school soccer team — fared better (it made $57 million worldwide), but earned negative notices. “[The movie] fails to exploit the myriad comedic possibilities, settling instead for broad, unconvincing slapstick aimed at 12-year-olds and gags Shakespeare would have rejected as ancient,” THR wrote in its review.
But just as her career found its footing — Bynes had a supporting role in 2007’s Hairspray and co-starred opposite Emma Stone in the 2010 hit comedy Easy A — her personal life began to unravel. A 2012 DUI arrest accompanied by hit-and-run charges led to a string of increasingly erratic behavior, much of which played out on Bynes’ Twitter feed. (At one point, Bynes demanded via Twitter that President Barack Obama fire an NYPD cop for “slapping” her vagina during an arrest.)
After another DUI in 2014, Bynes, 29, now takes fashion-design classes in downtown Los Angeles.
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