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CNN Today

13-Year-Old Actress Amanda Bynes Discusses The Big Help

Aired March 23, 2000 - 2:23 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, a young comedian from the Nickelodeon network is taking on a big project. 13-year-old Amanda Bynes is probably most familiar to viewers for her role playing on "The Amanda Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NICKELODEON)

AMANDA BYNES, BIG HELP SPOKESPERSON, "JUDGE TRUDY": Hello, I am Judge Trudy. Now, J.C. Fema, I understand you have a complaint against your parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure do, Judge Trudy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His complaint is ridiculous.

TRUDY: Did I tell you it was your turn to speak Mr. I Can't Keep My Mouth Shut.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

TRUDY: Then your yapper flapper.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Good one, Amanda. Amanda is also this year's spokesperson for The Big Help. It's a campaign designed to get kids involved in volunteering. And she joins us here in our studio to tell us more, and you are welcome to flap all you want here.

BYNES: OK.

ALLEN: So, first of all, congratulations on being such a growing young star at the ripe old age of almost 14.

BYNES: Thank you.

ALLEN: Tell us about The Big Help and what you're doing with kids.

BYNES: OK, well, The Big Help is a campaign to encourage kids to volunteer, and we are going around, and we are planting historic trees at a school in Georgia. So...

ALLEN: And what can you tell us about the tree you planted today?

BYNES: Well, we planted the Martin Luther King sycamore. And it is a tree that we took a sapling from the original tree that was planted in front of the church where martin Luther King used to preach. And another one is like the Johnny Appleseed apple tree, and they took a sapling from an original tree -- apple tree that he had planted in the 1700s.

ALLEN: I was reading that The Big Help came out of an anti- violence campaign from years ago, and tell us about that, why they decided that kids needed to volunteer. How would that help them?

BYNES: Well, I mean, if you're a volunteer as a kid you know you will be a volunteer for life, and it is really cool because this is your community, and you want it to look nice. And it is really fun if you can do it, as a, you know, group project. It is really cool. And it is good that kids like it, you know.

ALLEN: What kind of things do you find that children like to do, as far as volunteering?

BYNES: Well, they go to animal shelters, you know they help the elderly, or you know I would read to kids or just go to their park, you know, plant trees, throw away trash, you know, throw away the litter. So stuff like that makes them part of The Big Help.

ALLEN: And when you travel around, because you are a big star, what kind of things are they asking you, or do they want to know about you, someone who has done so well in her young career already.

BYNES: Well, kids usually ask me, like, what advice for kids who want to, like, go into the business. And I usually just say, you know, don't let anybody get you down. You know, there is like a lot of rejection in it. You know, I go on a lot of auditions over and over, but finally, you know, you will get something if you keep working at it. Just kind of stay happy.

ALLEN: And I mentioned you have your own show on Nickelodeon. We saw you playing your Judge Trudy part very good, by the way.

BYNES: Thank you.

I have got you here on the cover of "TV Guide," and you are all over the place, and you started at a comedy show in Los Angeles. You were on stage in a comedy show at the age of 10. How did that happen?

BYNES: Well, when I was 7 years old, I did at the Comedy Store. My dad saw a newspaper article so I did it then with my sister, Jilian (ph), and then when I was 10 years old, I did it at The Laugh Factory, and it was like a comedy camp. And the graduate night is where Dan Schneider (ph) and Brian Robinson (ph) and Mike Tolin (ph) saw me, and then they asked me to go on and audition for "All That," which is another sketch comedy show on Nickelodeon that I did for four years. And then I got "The Amanda Show" after all that.

ALLEN: So where do you go out from here. I am going to go way out on a limb, and say you will probably do pretty well in show business.

BYNES: I hope so. I want to do movies, or even fashion designs, do stuff like that, because I love to draw, and do other things like that.

ALLEN: Do you have some comedic comedy heroes that you like?

BYNES: Jim Carrie, Martin Short, Lucille Ball, Tracy Ulman, Carol Burnett, all funny, funny people.

ALLEN: Pretty funny people. How does a young woman like yourself keep their head about them. You know, you are becoming a big star, you are very busy, you are doing projects like The Big Help. How do you go about that?

BYNES: Well, I'm doing independent study. So I do my school at home. And I have the best family, they are really supportive. My mom and my dad they kind of, they take turns going on trips, and my sister is the best, and my bother, they, you know, they're really supportive of me. They don't treat me like a star, not really, I just go home. It's just like being a regular kid, I just do stuff on the weekends with my friends, and birthday parties, regular kid stuff.

ALLEN: Go home, eat Spaghetti-O's...

BYNES: Yes, watch TV.

ALLEN: That is good to know. Amanda, good luck to you.

BYNES: Thank you.

ALLEN: And good luck with The Big Help. All the kids out there, if you want to know more about it...

BYNES: Go to Nic.com.

ALLEN: Nic.com.

BYNES: Yep.

ALLEN: Thank you for joining us.

BYNES: Thank you.

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