When Amanda Bynes was cast as Daphne Reynolds in “What a Girl Wants,” she was arguably one of the most promising child comedians in the country. For three seasons, she led the sketch-comedy series “The Amanda Show” on Nickelodeon, playing a crucial role in defining the network’s turn-of-the-century identity as it skyrocketed in popularity. Her role in “What a Girl Wants” came shortly after she starred alongside Paul Giamatti and Frankie Muniz in “Big Fat Liar,” and during her time leading the WB sitcom “What I Like About You.”
Though “What a Girl Wants” has enjoyed enduring cultural status, it wasn’t necessarily her biggest project during the 2000s. In 2005, she voiced a character in the animated film “Robots,” and a year after that starred opposite Channing Tatum in “She’s the Man” — and then the year after that, she headlined “Hairspray,” alongside Zac Efron. In 2010, however, she suddenly decided to take a hiatus from acting. “Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem,” she tweeted at the time. “If I don’t love something anymore, I stop doing it. I don’t love acting anymore, so I’ve stopped doing it.” During her semi-retirement from acting, Bynes went through serious personal struggles that ultimately resulted in her parents being legally appointed her conservators. This ended in 2022.
As of this writing, Bynes continues to treat her mental health on her own terms, and has started a podcast with her close friend Paul Sieminski. She has previously teased a potential return to acting, though has made no concrete plans to do so as of yet.