Just when folks were ready to write Amanda Bynes off as more than a little looney, a former co-star and a record label exec have come to her rescue.
In an interview with OK! magazine, Bynes' friend and "Amanda Show" cast mate Drake Bell responded to the criticism swirling around the 27-year-old actress he refers to as a "sister." Bells says he speaks with Bynes daily and whether it's her Twitter battles, police run-ins or budding rap career, all of the antics are a result of her "searching," and shouldn't be taken out of context.
"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,' " Bell told OK! "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.' "
Bell insists that he hasn't witnessed her recent reported erratic behavior, even going so far as to call her "the Carol Burnett" of his generation. "Anytime I've ever been with Amanda, she's totally coherent, totally there, totally everything," he said.
Whether Bynes returns to acting may depend on her budding rap career. In an interview with the Huffington Post, producer Daniel Herman of Chinga Chang Records in New York says he offered Bynes a recording deal and is confident she will sign with him.
Chinga Chang has had hip-hop legends like Rakim, Kool G Rap and DJ Premier on its roster and Herman says Bynes' inclusion is no joke.
"Right now you have a Nickelodeon pop star masquerading as a gangster rapper," he said. "So I see someone like Amanda Bynes and I know she has talent. I grew up with Nick and the orange couch. I know she has talent. I've heard her sing when she was younger. I wanna get her in the cutting room in NYC and see what she has. Why the hell not?"