Austin Butler has nothing but burning gratitude for his ex Vanessa Hudgens.
The Elvis The star finally thanked his former girlfriend, who he dated from 2011 to 2020, for the encouragement she gave him to perform Elvis Presleywhich recently earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
“I was with my partner at the time,” he said The Los Angeles Times on January 24, referring to the person who inspired him to pursue the role. When asked if he was actually talking about Vanessa, Austin confirmed.
“It’s true,” he said. “We were together for so long and she had this kind of insightful moment and so really, I owe her a lot for believing in me.”
Initially, Austin referred to Vanessa as an unnamed “friend” who thought he was perfect for the role, telling The Hollywood Reportr on January 10 that the idea came to him a month before he learned Baz Luhrmann was doing a biopic about Elvis.
Kaia Gerber and Austin Butler spend Valentine’s Day in London
“I was going to watch the Christmas lights with a friend,” he recalls. “And there was an Elvis Christmas song on the radio and I was singing and my friend looked at me and said, ‘You have to play Elvis. I said, ‘Oh, that’s so far.'”
“The Friend,” as Austin called her, doubled down on the idea, telling her a few weeks later that he had to “find out how you can get the rights to a screenplay” after hearing him play the piano. Afterwards, Austin said, his agent called to tell him that an Elvis movie was in the works.
The story sparked buzz online, with fans finding a similar account on musical high school alum shared in August 2019, a month after gushing on social media that she was “OVERRRR THE F–KING MOOOOOOOOONNNNN” about Austin landing the role of the king of rock n’ roll.
“Last December we were driving and listening to Christmas music and then an Elvis Presley Christmas song came along,” Vanessa shared on Live with Kelly and Ryan in 2019. “He had just dyed his hair black. He’s a natural blonde, blonde and I was looking at him and he was singing along to me and I was like, ‘Baby, you gotta play Elvis.'”
She continued, “Then in January he was sitting at the piano. And he’s playing and he’s singing and I’m like, ‘I don’t know how, but you gotta figure out how you can play Elvis. Like, I don’t know how we get the rights or what we do but you have to play it.””
Since their split, Vanessa hasn’t spoken about Austin now Golden Globe-winning performance like Elvis, although she took a moment to acknowledge receipt of a message who laughed at him Accent à la Elvis which mesmerized and intrigued fans.
As she simply commented, “Crying.”
He is now dating a model Kaia Gerber and Vanessa is with a baseball player Cole Tucker.
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