Kenan Thompson hasn't talked to “All That” costar Amanda Bynes in years: 'I'm just rooting for her from afar'

"I cared about her, and I still do. She's good people," the "Saturday Night Live" star wrote in his memoir.

Kenan Thompson starred alongside Amanda Bynes on All That in the 1990s — but he hasn’t talked to the Amanda Show star in about two decades.

The Saturday Night Live cast member talked about his relationship with his former Nickelodeon costar during Wednesday’s Tamron Hall show. "I unfortunately haven't spoken to Amanda since she was really, really young," Thompson said. "Like when she was doing her first movies. I think the soccer movie [2006’s She’s the Man] was around that time, was the last time I actually saw her. I’m just rooting for her from afar."

<p>Eric Charbonneau/BEI/Shutterstock</p> Amanda Bynes and Kenan Thompson in 2001

Eric Charbonneau/BEI/Shutterstock

Amanda Bynes and Kenan Thompson in 2001

In his recent memoir, When I Was Your Age: Life Lessons, Funny Stories & Questionable Parenting Advice From a Professional Clown, Thompson discussed working with Bynes, who is eight years his junior, on All That when she was just 10 years old. “She was adorable and had a ginormous range of talent,” Thompson wrote. “She was the best, man; we were very close. She was like all of our little sister, and we were all very protective of her… but now she was starting to grow up, and it’s like when parents don’t have a kid in diapers anymore, and they’re like, What’s happening? Let’s have another baby! When Amanda came in, we got a new wee one to nurture and spoil. We had to watch out for our little ones.”

In the book, Thompson went on to praise his former costar’s talents. “Amanda was the sweetest, happiest girl, and she loved to laugh,” he wrote. “She was an explosion of bright innocence and joy. She was funny whether the cameras were rolling or not. She was an old soul, it was almost like she’d made the decision at that young of an age to be the next Carol Burnett. I remember she was so knowledgeable about Lucille Ball’s comedy style. I connected with her because she was laser-focused like me and had a very sweet, supportive family, too. Unfortunately, some leeches sent her down a dark path. When she went left for a little while, we all were sad. I cared about her, and I still do. She’s good people.”

Bynes has largely retreated from public life in recent years. After struggling with substance abuse, the Big Fat Liar actress was placed in a conservatorship in 2013, which was eventually terminated in 2022. Bynes was also set to reunite with other All That performers at ‘90s Con in 2023, but ultimately didn’t attend the event.

Bynes did not participate in the documentary series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. Due to her close professional connection to the doc’s subject, Amanda Show creator Dan Schneider, Bynes was frequently mentioned by several former Nickelodeon stars and crew members who were interviewed in the series.

“I definitely saw Amanda being very close physically with Dan,” editor Karyn Finley Thompson stated in the docuseries, alleging, “There were many times that I saw Amanda sitting behind him hugging him, or like giving him a neck massage or whatever. Dan and Amanda had a close relationship, and I didn’t think anything different than that.”

Schneider did not respond to EW’s specific inquiry about his relationship with Bynes, though he did mention the Hairspray actress in his video responding to the documentary. Schneider said that Bynes once ran away from home when she was seeking emancipation from her parents, and she called him for assistance. “It was very late. Well, after midnight, or one or two in the morning, the phone rang,” he said in the video. “I answered it and it was Amanda. She was in distress. She had had some conflict with her parents, I think her father, and she called. I was immediately concerned for her safety.” Schneider said he arranged for someone to pick the actress up and find a safe place for her to stay. “I felt better. She ended up being taken to the police.”

Watch Thompson's full interview on Tamron Hall above.

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.