Austin Butler is making headlines again, this time for referencing his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens, as an unnamed “friend” while discussing how he won the role of Elvis Presley in the 2023 biopic. During a recent Hollywood Reporter’s Actors Roundtable, the 31-year-old Golden Globe winner Austin Butler explained how he sang along to an Elvis Christmas carol with an unnamed “friend,” who encouraged him to play the role of the King of Rock and Roll.
“I heard that a month ago [director] baz [Luhrmann] made the [“Elvis”] movie, I wanted to go see the Christmas lights with a friend,” Butler said. “And there was an Elvis Christmas carol on the radio and I sang along and my friend looked at me and said, ‘You have to play Elvis!’”
Austin Butler Heartbreak Story
Austin Butler and Hudgens began dating in 2011 and split in January 2020, but Hudgens shared an almost identical story during an August 2019 appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan. This led some fans to wonder why Butler didn’t give his ex-girlfriend the “respect” of correctly identifying her as such.
“Her name is Vanessa,” one angry TikToker commented, while another added, “I absolutely love him. I think he did a great job on this film, but I absolutely hate that he called her a friend.”
Austin Butler brushed off his friend’s suggestion, calling it a “long shot,” but his agent called him days later to update him on Luhrmann’s project. “And the hair just stood up on my arms,” he recalled. The actor eventually won the 2023 Golden Globe for his performance in the film, but some still think he should have shown the actress the “respect” of correctly identifying her as such.
Though Austin Butler didn’t identify his companion as Hudgens, her name has been inextricably linked to his success. After all, Austin Butler refers to an ex, Vanessa Hudgens as his unnamed “friend” and it was she who encouraged him to pursue the role of Elvis Presley. As Austin Butler continues his successful career, he’ll no doubt remember the contribution his ex-girlfriend made to.