Austin Butler is finally crediting his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens, for his first Oscar nomination.
While chatting with the Los Angeles Times, the “Elvis” actor admitted it was Hudgens that convinced him to try out for the coveted role after previously referring to her as his unnamed friend.
“I was with my partner at the time,” he explained. “We’d been together for so long and she had this sort of clairvoyant moment and so I really, I owe her a lot for believing in me.”
Hudgens, 34, and Butler, 32, dated for nearly a decade before calling it quits in 2020.
Before their split, the then-couple was driving when the “High School Musical” star realized Butler was made to play Presley.
“Last December, we were driving along and we were listening to Christmas music, and then an Elvis Presley Christmas song came on,” Hudgens said back in 2019 on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”
He had just dyed his hair dark. He’s a natural blond, and I was looking at him and he was singing along and I was like, ‘Babe, you need to play Elvis.’”
Yet when Butler retold the same story on the Hollywood Reporter’s “Actors Roundtable” last month, fans noticed he minimized Hudgens’ role in the tale.
“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 went, ‘You’ve got to play’ Elvis. I said, ‘Oh, that’s such a long shot,’” Butler recalled.
He continued, “A couple of weeks later, I was playing the piano. I never really sang for any of my friends or anything. That same friend was there and I was playing the piano. She said, ‘I’m serious. You gotta figure out how you can get the rights to a script.’ Then my agent called and said, ‘So, Baz Luhrmann is making an Elvis movie.’”
The snub apparently didn’t sit right with the actress, who went on to joke about Butler’s lingering Elvis accent following his Golden Globes speech.
After Ryan Scott shared a funny Instagram post comparing the actor’s new voice to Lady Gaga’s Italian accent from “House of Gucci”, Hudgens commented “crying.”
Speaking of exes, the Times also asked Butler whether or not he has given Jacob Elordi, who dated Butler’s now-girlfriend Kaia Gerber for over a year, any advice on playing the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the upcoming biopic, “Priscilla .”
“No, I haven’t,” Butler revealed. “I’ve met him before, but we haven’t spoken about that at all…I wish him all the best.”