Actress Amanda Bynes was arrested today for a DUI after colliding with a police vehicle early this morning. This sounds like terrible news for the actress who just turned 26 but it may actually be the kicker her career needed to get going again.
Bynes was a succesful child actress. At only six years old she was regularly appearing on Nickelodeon’s Figure It Out and All That. In 1996 she got her own sketch show on the network, The Amanda Show. After making her film debut in 2002 in Big Fat Liar, she moved to the WB to join the cast of What I Like About You co-starring Jennie Garth. She had a promising film career as a teen actress with lead roles in What A Girl Wants, Robots and my personal favorite teen Shakespeare updated ridiculous remake, She’s the Man.
Though her What I Like About You ended in 2006, Amanda’s film career was still going strong and she had started her own fashion line with Steve & Barry’s called Dear (Steve & Barry’s went bankrupt soon after.)
She also had a sterling reputation for a teenage actress in Hollywood. Unlike some of her peers who were also making the difficult transition from child actress to young adult, like Lindsay Lohan. In a 2008 interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine, she said “I used to be known as the girl who was anti the club scene,” she said. “But I’m finding a balance. I can have a drink and dance if I want. You have to go out to meet people…and guys. I’m in that phase where I just want to have fun!”
Amanda continued working steadily through 2009 with roles in Hairspray, Sydney White and Easy A but in 2010 she announced she was retiring from the industry. She didn’t give much explanation and a month later she “unretired”. At the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, Bynes told People Magazine that she’s merely taking “time off.”
She may not wanting to be working as much as she was but she did unretire after all. But the problem is the roles may just be coming to her less. Jacob Bernstein of The Daily Beast wrote:
“Hollywood had mostly broken up with her—that after a highly successful run as a child actress on Nickelodeon, her career began to sputter. She was fired this spring from the Farrelly brothers’ film Hall Pass, according to a person familiar with the project. That seems to have coincided with a break within her that Bynes is now enacting in public. Her Twitter feed has become a place for what seems like compulsive oversharing, not just about retiring, but other random topics as well—for example, her interest in trying magic mushrooms and her sexual attraction to black men.”
But this doesn’t mean she can’t turn it around. This scandal is big enough that she can get back on everyone’s radar (though she may need to get some help first.) But what she needs to not do is go so far over into Lindsay Lohan-ville that she becomes a running punchline. Though she should embrace Lindsay’s attitude of being willing to make fun of yourself, considering that Lindsay’s recent hosting gig was considered the beginning of her big comeback.
I personally believe that Amanda is a talented comedic actress and should have had an adult career along the lines of Emma Stone. She may have gone off course but this could set her straight. After all, look at Robert Downey Jr.’s stunning career after he was in and out of jail and rehab several times. Hopefully this is the only scare she needs.
However, if she does go that direction she could also revive her career with the reality TV route. She could get a show about her road to recovery or comeback journey. It could even be called The Amanda Show.