Drake Bell Reflects on His ‘Instant Connection’ with Amanda Bynes: ‘Talent Just Oozed Out of Her’

The former child stars are no longer in touch, Bell said, but he reflects fondly on their time working together on Nickelodeon

<p>Brian Ach/Getty Images for Blue Jacket; Ethan Miller/Getty</p> Drake Bell, Amanda Bynes

Brian Ach/Getty Images for Blue Jacket; Ethan Miller/Getty

Drake Bell, Amanda Bynes

Drake Bell isn’t in touch with Amanda Bynes anymore, but he looks back fondly on his time with the former child star.

Bell, 37, starred alongside Bynes on The Amanda Show from its premiere in 1999 through to its finale in 2002, and while they haven’t spoken “in many, many years,” his memories of working on the show remain positive.

“I grew up with her on All That, so getting to work on The Amanda Show, I felt like I was getting to work with Gilda Radner,” Bell told Access Hollywood, comparing Bynes, 38, to the famed SNL comedian in his younger mind, as she was a “huge star to me at 12 years old.”

The costars had a good working chemistry according to the dad of 3-year-old Jeremy.

“We had an instant connection and we were able to establish and create wonderful characters together. We played off each other so well,” Bell continued. “We ended up having a really great bond working together. And I learned so much from her, I mean, the talent just oozed out of her.”

Comparing her “intriguing and impressive” talent to the likes of Dean Martin, Elvis and Lucille Ball, the Drake & Josh star referred to her comedy as “effortless.”

“Some people are funny but you can see them working,” he told the outlet. “And with her, it was like Lucille Ball. It just was natural, it oozed out of her.”

Related: Amanda Bynes' Best Movies and TV Shows: From Nickelodeon Star to Teen Icon

Everett Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Amanda Bynes, Nancy Sullivan on 'The Amanda Show'
Everett Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Amanda Bynes, Nancy Sullivan on 'The Amanda Show'

Since the March release of ID's Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, and Bell's revelation that he was sexually abused while working for Nickelodeon as a kid, he has been reflecting on his time as a child star, as have several Nickelodeon alums.

Josh Peck, who met Bell on The Amanda Show and went on to lead Drake & Josh with him from 2004 to 2007, got in touch with his former costar "privately" in the days following the docuseries's release, after he "took a few days to process it," Peck, 37, wrote on Instagram.

He said he wanted to "give me support for the survivors who were brave enough to share their stories of emotional and physical abuse on Nickelodeon sets with the world."

Related: Everything Nickelodeon Stars Have Said About the Alleged 'Toxic Environment' on Set

Bell came to Peck's defense on social media, too, as he shared that his costar had gotten in touch privately and had been "very sensitive" towards him.

"He has reached out to talk with me and help me work through this and he's been really great," Bell said in a TikTok as he asked fans to stop directing hate toward Peck, as he hadn't spoken out publicly yet.

<p>Reed Saxon/AP</p> Drake Bell and Josh Peck on 'Drake & Josh'

Reed Saxon/AP

Drake Bell and Josh Peck on 'Drake & Josh'

Bynes has not commented on the docuseries or the wave of allegations that came with it, although several of her former costars were involved in Quiet on Set, including All That's Kyle Sullivan, who alleged that Brian Peck boasted a signed self-portrait painting of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, and several writers from The Amanda Show who said the network's boss, Dan Schneider, would make them massage him, among other unusual tasks.

Schneider, who was the primary target of the docuseries, has since taken legal action against the producers behind it, accusing them of defamation and creating a false impression of him through a "manipulative mix of editing, speech and imagery," according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.

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Quiet on Set is streaming now on Max and Discovery+.

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