Austin Butler considered Vanessa Hudgens his inspiration for the role of “Elvis”.

We’ve barely reached the end of January, and 2023 has already been a very successful year for Austin Butler.

things started b Golden Globe He won for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in singer Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, and this week, the actor outdid himself by nabbing the coveted film. Oscar nomination for the part.

And while everyone is thrilled with Austin, there are plenty of fans online who are keen to stress that this might not have happened without the encouragement of someone particularly special — Austin’s ex Vanessa Hudgens.

Austin and Vanessa started dating in 2011 after meeting on set High School Musical several years ago. They were together for about a decade, cementing their status as sweethearts power couple at that time.

For some context, it was Austin Cast like Elvis In July 2019 while he and Vanessa were still together.

A month later, Vanessa celebrated winning her major boyfriend while guest hosting Live with Kelly and Ryan‘, revealing that she had the idea of ​​him playing the famous singer even before they knew Luhrmann’s biopic was in the works.

“It’s pretty crazy because last December we were walking and listening to Christmas music, and then Elvis Presley’s Christmas Song came on,” she recalls.

She continued, “He just dyed his hair—it’s a natural blonde—and I was looking at him and he was singing along and I was like, ‘Babe, you have to play Elvis. ‘” I don’t know how, but I’m serious. You have to play it.”

She continued, “In January, he’s sitting at the piano — he’s a musician — and he plays and he sings and I’m like, ‘I don’t know how, but you have to know how you can play Elvis. Like, I don’t know how we get the rights or what we do, but you have to You play with him.”

As we now know, Austin and Vanessa ended up calling it quits after just five months in January 2020 — around the time that Elvis is set to Start shooting In Australia – with reports citing the “distance issue” and different timelines as the reason for the split.

So, fast forward three years, and Austin reflects on how he landed the highly coveted role, recalling that “Friend“He actually had the idea—you guessed it—while they were driving around listening to Christmas music.

“So I was looking at the Christmas lights, and there was Elvis’ Christmas song on the radio,” Austin told Hollywood Reporter earlier this month. “I was with a friend of mine and I was singing with him, and my friend kind of looked at me and said, ‘You have to play Elvis. “

He continued, “Two weeks later, I was playing the piano. I never 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 should know how you can get the rights to the script.'”

Of course, it didn’t take long for fans to connect the dots and realize that Austin’s version of events matches up directly with the same story that Vanessa told in 2019, leading many to wonder why he chose to leave her out. picture.

As the clip garnered attention online, fans haven’t held back from expressing their outrage that Austin failed to give Vanessa credit, with some describing the lack of acknowledgment as obvious.Lack of respectConsidering how long they’ve been together.

“If I dated the same guy for nine years of my adult life and then called me a ‘friend’ on live TV after projecting the role that made his career…” one tweeted in response.

If I dated the same guy for nine years of my adult life and then called me a “friend” on live TV after I predicted the role that made his career…

Twitter: @sammiehudzik

Others came to Austin’s defense, however, and argued that it was just too cute for him to refer to Vanessa as a friend, especially considering they’re now dating other people.

What’s wrong with calling V a “friend”? They are no longer dating. I swear to God this guy is breathing a certain way and it’s wrong.

Twitter: @unchainedbutler

And now, after weeks of criticism, Austin is finally giving Vanessa her due.

Celebrating his Oscar nomination during an interview with Los Angeles Times On Tuesday, reporter Mark Olsen asked Austin if he might be able to “clear up” the confusion about who exactly inspired him to take on the role.

“You talked about a moment before you even got the part, it was Christmas time, and an Elvis song came on and you were with a friend and you were singing with him,” the reporter began.

Before he could finish, Austin was quick to step in and set the record straight. He said, “I was with my partner at the time.”

When asked to clarify if it was Vanessa he was referring to, Austin finally credits her for her involvement in the casting.

He said, “That’s right.” “We’ve been together for a long time and she had these kind of clairvoyant moments and so I really owe a lot to her for believing in her.”

While all this was going on, Vanessa remained pretty quiet about her busy former career, and so it seems unlikely that she would ever publicly react with a nod to him.

However, I took the time last week to poke a little fun – or shade, as I decided – in Austin lingering Elvis dialectwhich has been the focus of discussions for several months now.

One Instagram The user shared a meme about Austin’s fuzzy Southern tie, joking that he went to “Lady Gaga’s Oscars Campaign School,” prompting Vanessa to comment: “Crying.”

And with that, justice is restored, and I think the Austin/Vanessa/Elvis discourse may have finally come to an end. See you at the Oscars!

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