CELEBRITY
06/11/2013 12:31 pm ET Updated Jun 11, 2013

Drake Bell Defends Amanda Bynes: Actress Is 'Good' And 'Healthy,' Claims Former Co-Star

At least one person isn't concerned when it comes to Twitter-performance artist "retired actress" Amanda Bynes: former "Amanda Show" co-star Drake Bell.

The 26-year-old actor, who has maintained a close friendship with Bynes, told OK! magazine on the red carpet that Bynes did not suffer from a mental illness but was instead "good" and "healthy."

Bell acted in 13 episodes of Bynes' Nickelodeon show from 1999 to 2001. He also said the 27-year-old star was "like a sister" to him. A few excerpts from the interview are below.

On their friendship, Bell said:

“Amanda and I are close ... We worked together for years. I talk to her every day. She’s a sweetheart. I had lunch with her yesterday, and she’s brilliant. She’s good, and she’s healthy.”

On speculation of Bynes' mental health, Bell said Bynes is just a victim of a bad hairstyle:

“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.’ 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.’ ... I’m like ‘dude, you come off crazy.’ She’s like, ‘I know, but I don’t mean to. I just changed the way I look!’”

Finally, Bell confirmed that the former child star had family issues, and suggested she end her self-professed "retirement" to get back into the spotlight in a positive way:

“She definitely has an issue with the family, but everybody does. Everyone has issues with their family, but that’s not what it is ... She needs to get out of retirement, and make us laugh again, because that’s what she’s brilliant at. Amanda Bynes is brilliant at making us laugh, and that’s what she needs to do. She’s great at it.”

Bell is one of the 14 people Bynes -- who has nearly 2 million followers -- follows on Twitter. In late May, the pair exchanged a few friendly words on the social media website, appearing to confirm their good relations.

For more of the interview with Bell, click through to OK! magazine.

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