By Ava Gilchrist

Thank You So Much: Austin Butler Finally Acknowledges Vanessa Hudgens’ Role In His Portrayal Of Elvis

The start of something new?
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – JULY 22: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend Sony Pictures’ “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Despite Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler both happily in new relationships, there’s a sense of melancholy that hangs over the former couple’s breakup. The timing of their split coinciding with the zenith of Butler’s career, especially after Hudgens and Butler had been together for nearly a decade, had piqued netizen’s interest upon their estrangement in 2021.

When compounded with the fact that Butler had relegated his former life partner to the role of “friend” when explaining how her encouragement led him to land the role of Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, it appeared that there were no sparks left between the former flames.

Now almost three years since their relationship first fractured, and on the eve of the release of his latest project, Dune 2, Butler has since acknowledged his wrongdoings in failing to mention Hudgens’ advocacy in coaxing him to tackle his breakout role. “Oh, yeah, I learned a lesson with that one,” the actor said in a recent profile regarding his failing to name the High School Musical star in an actor’s roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 24: Vanessa Hudgens (L) and Austin Butler attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

As you’ll recall, Butler explained that a “friend” of his, a person we now collectively know to be Hudgens, prompted him to take Elvis seriously after hearing him sing along to the King of Rock’s Christmas album.

“I never really sang in front of my friends or anything,” Butler explained at the time. “That same friend was there when I was playing the piano and she said, ‘I’m serious, you’ve got to figure out how to get the rights to a script and write something and do Elvis’ life!’”

Even Colin Farrell was impressed by Hudgens’ foresight, pressing Butler for more details on who this anonymous supporter was. But rather than giving Hudgens the gratitude she deserved, Butler kept her name out of his press cycle…until now.

I felt that I was respecting her privacy in a way and not wanting to bring up a ton of things that would cause her to have to talk,” the recent Masters Of The Air star noted. “I have so much love and care for her. It was in no way trying to erase anything.”

It was apparent the snub soured what was left of their fragmented relationship as a video of the pair awkwardly avoiding each other at the 2023 Oscars went viral. Hudgens hasn’t addressed Butler in public since their breakup, but we’ll always have the image of her meeting her ex’s new girlfriend, Kaia Gerber,  when she was only six years old in 2007. Perhaps time really does heal all wounds.

ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 14: Actress Vanessa Hudgens, model Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber arrive at Disney’s “High School Musical 2” world premiere at Downtown Disney on August 14, 2007 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

This story first appeared on GRAZIA International