Austin Butler Finally Credits Vanessa Hudgens For 'Elvis' Prediction

Austin Butler Finally Credits Vanessa Hudgens For 'Elvis' Prediction

Austin Butler is giving credit where credit is due.

As you've probably heard, the Disney alum has dominated this awards season so far thanks to his performance as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's glitzy biopic, which has already earned him a Golden Globe for "Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama" and an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

While his turn as The King may have made him a favorite amongst critics, Butler himself has been facing some criticism from the general public, mostly over his odd obsession with talking like Elvis in real life. Not only that, but the 31-year-old actor was also called out over a recent roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where he referred to his ex-girlfriend of 8 years, Vanessa Hudgens, as an unnamed "friend" who encouraged him to take the role.

"People always ask me, 'Had you for years thought you looked like Elvis?' And I’d say, 'I don’t really think I look that much like Elvis.' That never crossed my mind," Butler said. "But the month before I heard that Baz [Luhrmann] was making the movie, 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 goes, 'You’ve got to play Elvis.'"

Butler continued, "Then my agent called and said, 'So Baz Luhrmann is making an Elvis film …' The hairs just stood up on my arms. It made me go, 'All right. It’s Everest. I don’t know if I’m good enough. But I’ve got to give it everything.'”

As a result, many commenters pointed out that Hudgens had told the same story in 2019, which led them to accuse Butler of minimizing her role in his meteoric rise, with one person reportedly calling him "disrespectful" and another pointing out that he wouldn't have "even remotely considered the elvis role" without her.

That said, it now appears as if Butler has learned from his mistakes since then, as he finally acknowledged Hudgens' impact in a new interview with the LA Times, saying he owed his "clairvoyant" ex "a lot for believing in me," even if he also went on to try and excuse the slip-up with an extremely weak "we’d been together for so long."

Photo via Getty / David Crotty / Patrick McMullan