Austin Butler defends calling ex Vanessa Hudgens a ‘buddy’

Austin Butler meant no disrespect by referring to ex Vanessa Hudgens, whom he dated for almost a decade, as nothing greater than an outdated “buddy” throughout an interview final yr.

Whereas talking with Esquire, the Elvis actor defined that he wasn’t making an attempt to downplay her function in his life however somewhat protect her from any further media consideration.

“Oh, yeah, I discovered a lesson with that one,” the 32-year-old mentioned when requested concerning the label within the interview revealed Tuesday.

“I felt that I used to be respecting her privateness in a means and never desirous to carry up a ton of issues that might trigger her to have to speak,” the Oscar nominee continued.

“I’ve a lot love and take care of her. It was under no circumstances making an attempt to erase something.”

Butler famous that the pair have been collectively for a “very long time” and advised the outlet that he “didn’t need to surrender anyone else’s privateness” as a result of he values his personal “a lot.”

The clarification got here simply over a yr after the Dune star got here underneath hearth for seemingly dissing the Excessive Faculty Musical actress, whom he began relationship in 2011, throughout The Hollywood Reporter’s 2023 Actor Roundtable.

When requested if he had at all times dreamed of enjoying the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Butler revealed that an unnamed “buddy” satisfied him to pursue the function.

“The month earlier than I heard that [director] Baz [Luhrmann] was making the [Elvis] film, I used to be going to have a look at Christmas lights with a buddy,” the Golden Globe winner defined.

“And there was an Elvis Christmas music on the radio, and I used to be singing alongside, and my buddy regarded over at me and goes, ‘You’ve gotta play Elvis!’”

Though Butler thought it was a “lengthy shot,” the unnamed pal — aka Hudgens — continued to push him.

“A few weeks later, I used to be enjoying the piano,” he continued on the time. “I by no means actually sang for any of my pals or something.”

“That very same buddy was there and I used to be enjoying the piano. She mentioned, ‘I’m critical. You gotta work out how one can get the rights to a script.’”

Just a few days later, Butler’s agent known as to inform him that Luhrmann was making a film concerning the Jailhouse Rock singer.

“And the hairs simply stood up on my arms,” he recalled.

Though Butler by no means talked about Hudgens, 35, by title, followers rapidly realised he was speaking concerning the Spring Breakers actress since she had beforehand advised the very same story throughout look on Stay with Kelly and Ryan.

“Final December, we have been driving alongside and we have been listening to Christmas music, after which an Elvis Presley Christmas music got here on,” she advised Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest in August 2019 — one month after her then-boyfriend landed the function.

“He had simply dyed his hair darkish. He’s a pure blonde, and I used to be taking a look at him and he was singing alongside and I used to be like, ‘Babe, you could play Elvis.’”

She grew to become much more satisfied that Butler was the person for the job after listening to him sing whereas enjoying the piano a month later.

“And he’s enjoying and he’s singing and I’m like, ‘I don’t know the way, however you could work out how one can play Elvis,’” she recalled. “‘Like, I don’t know the way we get rights or what we do, however you could play him.’”

Though Hudgens noticed her imaginative and prescient come to fruition, the pair broke up in January 2020 — across the similar time that Butler travelled to Australia to shoot the Oscar-nominated movie.

Regardless of the preliminary snub, Butler later credited his ex for pushing him to check out for the function within the first place.

“I used to be with my companion on the time,” he advised the Los Angeles Occasions a number of weeks after dealing with backlash over the obvious diss.

“We’d been collectively for thus lengthy and he or she had this form of clairvoyant second and so I actually, I owe her quite a bit for believing in me.”

Each Hudgens and Butler have since moved on from their break up, with the Masters of Air star now relationship mannequin Kaia Gerber. In the meantime, the Princess Swap actress lately married baseball participant Cole Tucker.

This text initially appeared in Web page Six and was reproduced with permission