Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler began dating in 2011 and for over eight years before splitting in 2020.
Austin Butler has recently been cast as Elvis Presley in an upcoming biopic about the iconic singer. In a recent interview, Butler thanked his ex-girlfriend and former High School Musical co-star, Vanessa Hudgens, for helping him prepare for the role.
Austin Butler has been on a journey of transformation to become the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. From replicating his style to embodying his persona, Butler’s preparation for his role as the iconic singer in “Elvis” goes beyond just fashion choices.
Check out how Austin Butler’s outfits have channeled Elvis Presley’s styles from head to toe throughout this process, and see some of his best looks inspired by the King himself!
Austin Butler’s Appreciation for Vanessa Hudgens
If you’re a Vanessa Hudgens fan, you’re probably aware that she influenced her ex-boyfriend Austin Butler’s decision to play Elvis Presley.
She was the one who encouraged him to apply for the role after noticing how much he resembled the late rock ‘n’ roll icon.
“It’s so crazy because last December 2019, we were driving along, listening to Christmas music, and then an Elvis Presley Christmas song came on,” she recalled on Live With Kelly and Ryan in 2019.
“He’d dyed his hair dark — a natural blonde —and I was looking at him, and he was singing along, and I was like, ‘Babe, you need to play, Elvis, ‘” she says.
Years later, during The Hollywood Reporter’s Actors Roundtable, Butler retold the same story — with one significant difference. He avoided calling Hudgens by name, instead referring to her as a “friend.”
“A month before I found out Baz [Luhrmann] was making the film, I was going to look at Christmas lights with a friend, and there was an Elvis Christmas song on the radio, and I was singing along, and my friend looked over at me and said, ‘You’ve got to play Elvis.’ I said, ‘Oh, that’s such a long shot,” Butler explained.
A few weeks later, when he was “playing the piano,” and “that same friend was there — she said, ‘I’m serious. You gotta figure out how you can get the rights to a script’,” Butler shared. “Then my agent called and said, ‘So Baz Luhrmann is making an Elvis film.’” While many assumed the ‘friend’ was Hudgens, with whom he was in a relationship at the time the story took place, Butler left the mystery hanging in the air.
“We’d been together for so long, and she had this sort of clairvoyant moment, and I really, really owe her a lot for believing in me,” Austin explained. Because of his portrayal of Elvis, he was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe, so we’ll have to agree on that last point.
Butler confirmed Hudgens was his “friend” in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Buttler on Giving Credit to Hudgens For Leading Him On The Elvis Role
It is clear that Austin Butler is grateful to have Vanessa Hudgens in his life and for her inspiration in his journey to playing Elvis Presley.
Butler, 31, plays the musical icon from his adolescence to his death at 42 in the film. The film, which explores Presley’s relationship with his longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks, became a box office sensation, grossing more than $287 million worldwide.
Brendan Fraser for “The Whale,” Colin Farrell for “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Paul Mescal for “Aftersun,” and Bill Nighy for “Living” were also nominated for lead actor. Aside from Butler’s nomination, “Elvis” received seven other nominations, including best picture.
Butler was born in Anaheim and began acting as a teenager, appearing on TV shows such as “Hannah Montana,” “iCarly,” and “Zoey 101.” Butler made his Broadway debut in 2018 in a production of “The Iceman Cometh,” starring Denzel Washington. He appeared as Manson family member Charles “Tex” Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film “Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood,” and he will soon be seen in the upcoming “Dune: Part Two.”
Butler has won numerous other awards for playing Elvis Presley, including a Golden Globe, and is currently a BAFTA nominee.
Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler’s Relationship
The pair became Instagram official in August 2014 when Hudgens posted a sweet birthday tribute for her beau on Instagram.
“Happy birthday to the man with the kindest heart, beautiful soul, crazy talent, and best looks I’ve ever seen,” she wrote on her birthday. “He never stops inspiring me in every aspect of life and always lifts those around him up; I thank god so greatly for blessing the world 23 years ago by creating Austin Butler.”
Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler dated for more than eight years before splitting up in 2020.
The actors first became involved in 2011 and shared many sweet moments, including joint red-carpet appearances, Coachella weekends, and romantic vacations.
Due to their hectic schedules and the demands of their respective acting careers, their relationship was frequently long-distance, which Hudgens openly discussed.
“It’s all about communication,” the actress told PEOPLE in 2017 about how she and Butler made it work.
Finally, the distance and scheduling issues proved too much for them, and they split up in 2020.
Butler has been linked to model Kaia Gerber since their split, while Hudgens has found love again with professional baseball player Cole Tucker.
On the other hand, fans cannot help but reflect on their nearly decade-long relationship.
Butler and Hudgens are a great example of how two people can remain close even after ending their romantic relationship.
It’s no secret that celebrity breakups often turn sour and leave one or both parties bitter about their former partner; however, it seems Butler and Hudgens are set on proving that exes don’t have to be enemies.
They have managed to stay on amicable terms following their breakup, which is an inspiration for all couples looking to handle partitions maturely and with respect for one another.
It’s no secret that finding success in Hollywood requires hard work and dedication—but it also requires a lot of help from family and friends who believe in you. And while many people will never know just how much Vanessa Hudgens did to help her then-boyfriend Austin Butler land the part of Elvis Presley in an upcoming biopic—he certainly won’t forget it anytime soon!
With this news, fans everywhere are even more excited to see what Austin holds for us once the movie is released! It looks like we have another Hollywood power couple on our hands!