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March 2005
Robots: An Interview with Amanda Bynes

Robots: An Interview with Amanda Bynes

By Wilson Morales

Known for the TV show, "What I like about you", Amanda Bynes first hit the big screen a few years ago with the film "Big Fat Liar" with Frankie Muniz. She then headlined the film, "What a Girl Wants" opposite Colin Firth and Kelly Preston. Now she's back, but this time, her voice is featured in the animated film, "Robots" with Robin Williams and Halle Berry. In speaking with blackfilm.com, Bynes talks about what she liked about the role and what's next in her future.

Director Chris Wedge said you have the perfect voice for an animated character?

Bynes: He did. I wonder why?

Because the way you speak like that.

Bynes: I do.

Was the part offered to you or did you have to fight for it or was it easy to get?

Bynes: No, I was very lucky they sent me the script and they wanted me to be Piper.

Did you laugh right away when you read it, what was it like?

Bynes: You know I loved the story, which is shine no matter what you made of. Like that story line, this is so sweet and special and it's so true. It's like it doesn't matter where you came from or what you look like; it's like if you have goals and, if you want to be something or whatever it is you want to do the only person who can stop you is yourself.

Do you get disappointed when you don't get and a chance to work with an amazing amount of people that are in this movie? You don't actually work with Robin Williams.

Bynes: Yeah, I mean it's definitely odd that I'm in a movie with all these talented people and yet I haven't met them until today. It it's definitely different but it's exciting. I mean I'm so lucky to be able to be a part of this movie.

How do you deal with the voice? What do you when you when you create a vocal character? Do you try to do a little bit different?

Bynes: Well it depends on what you're doing. For this they wanted it to sound like me so I was kind of lucky. I got to have it easy. I sort of did a younger version of my voice.

A younger version? How old are you now?

Bynes: I'm eighteen. A higher, higher version?

Bynes: Yeah just sort of a little squeakier and also it is a robot so, you know, it has to be a little different.

Did they send to you pictures of what she was going to look like beforehand?

Bynes: Yes.

Did you get the feeling of the animation also?

Bynes: Yes, they sent me pictures before I signed on to do it of what it was going to look like; rough ideas and so I definitely thought it looked very cool.

What were some of the animation classics you loved?

Bynes: Well I loved Beauty and the Beast. That was always one of my favourites and like The Little Mermaid.

What else do you want to do in your life?

Bynes: There's not like one specific thing I want to just do. I just want to work for a long time.

Beyond acting? Bynes: Ah yeah. I might either want to direct one day; I might do a play on Broadway I hope. Bynes: I would love to do My Fair Lady one day. You never know.

Well, as much as you want to do how do you find time to juggle it between this, or doing films and a TV show.

Bynes: Well, I am lucky because on the show there's hiatus, and there is always a good period of time where I could squeeze in a movie like this summer I did a movie called "Love Wrecked" which I think will be coming out in spring, so I'm, I kind of always have little pieces of time Š

What's "Love Wreck"? Bynes: It' basically about this girl, myself, I play a girl, Jenny Taylor, whose obsessed with this pop star like a Justin Timberlake in this movie and she and he get stuck on this island together. She's followed him on this like yacht and he gets sick and he falls over and she jumps after him and it's a storm and so throughout this they get stuck on this island and their stranded. He has broken his leg and so she has to look for food for them and so one day she goes to the trees and she hears like a little kid screaming and so she follows the noise and she sees somebody being hit with a beach ball it turns out they're actually on the other side of a resort. She goes back to tell him and she's running and he goes "Jenny" and he hugs her and she say's "wait I have something to tell you" and he goes "I just want you to know that if I could have been stuck here with anybody I'm so glad I'm stuck here with you." And so she doesn't let him know. He says "what do you have to tell me?" and she's like "nothing", you know, it's one of those, I mean wouldn't you when you get to be stuck with the person of your dreams? So she decides she wants to get to know him a little bit better so the lie gets a little sicker and sicker. She comes back wearing like lipstick and full hair and make-up because she keeps going back to the little resort market. He's like "are you wearing make-up" and she's has to come up with berries. It was a really fun movie to make; and it was definitely a movie that I would want to see myself, so it was really fun.

Did you shoot it in Hawaii?

Bynes: The Dominican Republic actually. What are the challenges of being an eighteen year old? Being a young attractive actress in Hollywood when there's so many and when there's a kind of a group of you competing for the best roles around. Is it tough that you compete with each other or do you ignore it?

Bynes: No, I think some people do compete. I've never been the type, the cut throat type of. I've always had my mind set that this business and if big there are so many movies to make, there's room for all of us. I mean if there was only me I'd be exhausted, you know, so it's sort of Š Do you ever think of yourself as like "okay now I'm eighteen, can I grow out of this, and can I get away from the Nickelodeon image?"

Bynes: No, I mean I'm not angry at that at all. I am so lucky that kids like what I've done.

So you are looking for grown up role I guess Š

Bynes: I don't think anybody's trying to stop me from growing up. No, I'm looking for roles that are right for me at the time I am doing them and everything I've done has been true to myself and I've never done anything that I haven't loved and I'm always true to myself.

What do you enjoy watching?

Bynes: I love movies that have a good story. I love movies that make you feel good about yourself but I also love movies that make you walk away thinking about them. I like things that have you know something to them.

Was very easy for you to do all the acting voices?

Bynes: I love to make jokes and be silly but I love to be goofy, I love to have fun so being able to have a microphone and be able to go at it and have fun is definitely a treat.

Would you adlib anything? Would you come up with your own things to add maybe?

Bynes: Yeah, we did do a lot of stuff at this appointment. We worked on it for so long I don't even remember half the stuff Š

And how did you find that when it was all put together? Were you blown away by what they were able to do with?

Bynes: Yeah, I mean, it's so extreme because you never really you, I mean, because I'm not working with the other actors you don't know what the other people are doing so it's so exciting to be able to see what everybody else has done it's special. What about college and, and other aspirations do you have any desire to?

Bynes: Yeah, I would love to go to college and I definitely will at some point in my life but right now I'm doing a show, I'm doing press for me to be in school. I just couldn't be fully there and I want to really be there.

What would you like to study?

Bynes: Well, I love and am fascinated by psychology so that would be something that I would like to learn more about so anything that would help me in my life and I am so lucky to be doing what I love for a living so I would love to learn something that would just sort of help me be my best.

Will you study outside of California or would you like to go to an east coast school?

Bynes: Yeah,I might. I love New York and I have always loved the energy there so I might go there but I'm not ready yet so we'll see. You seem to have a pretty grounded sense of yourself which is one of the things that I have noticed the couple of times I have met you, where did that come from do you think?

Bynes: I think it's sort of something that you're born with. I really believe that there's a lot you can learn from being with people. I learn so much from my parents I think they have so much to do with who I am. You can kind of tell from five years old who you are going to be, if you're going to be shy or you're going for things.

But this industry can change thatŠ.

Bynes: Grounded wise definitely my parents they get all credit because they are just, they're wonderful people and I think you always look to your parents and I think people who have problems later on in their life always sort of goes back to things that their parents didn't do or you know what I mean that sort of, that's your core so I'm really lucky.

How much longer are you going to be doing the TV show for?

Bynes: We're in our third season now, I hope to do a fourth season and then I think I will move on.

So the fourth season could be the last one?

Bynes: Yes.

Why did you want to do television in the first place? Did it represent a degree of stability in your career?

Bynes: Well, I really wanted to do something that was a little bit older than my other TV show for teenage girls and young adults just because I was growing up I wanted to do something like that and I love watching those sorts of shows so I wanted to do it. How do you relax?

Bynes: I try to get like massages, facials. I need to have a thing in that nature; relax, meditation type things, but I love to go to the movies and, go out to eat with my friends.

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