If you’re a fan of Vanessa Hudgens, you probably know that she played a pivotal role in ex-boyfriend Austin Butler’s decision to play Elvis Presley.
In fact, she was the one who encouraged him to opt for the position in the first place after noticing how much he resembled the latest rock ‘n’ roll icon.
“It’s crazy because last December we were driving and listening to Christmas music, and then an Elvis Presley Christmas song came on,” he recalled during a 2019 appearance on Lives with Kelly and Ryan.
“He had just dyed his hair dark, it’s natural blonde, and I was looking at him and he was singing and I was like, ‘Baby you need to play Elvis,’” she shared.
Vanessa continued: “Then in January, he was sitting at the piano, he’s a musician, and he was playing and singing and I was like, ‘I don’t know how, but you need to figure out how you can play Elvis. . Like, I don’t know how we get the rights or what we do, but you need to play with it.’”
Lo and behold, Austin ended up landing the role of Elvis in the Baz Luhrmann biopic, which was released last summer. However, he and Vanessa broke up while the movie was in the works, with reports claiming it was “a matter of distance” that resulted in their split after almost a decade together.
Following the release of the film, Austin has been extremely successful thanks to his incredible performance.
However, fans noted that she avoided giving Vanessa public credit for her contribution to the whole thing.
For example, at the Golden Globes last week, Austin accepted the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama. While he thanked everyone from Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt to Quentin Tarantino and the Presley family, he didn’t mention Vanessa.
This wasn’t the only time he didn’t mention Vanessa in reference to playing Elvis. Last week, Austin went a step further, retelling the story of how she encouraged him to take the role, but didn’t mention her name.
“I was looking at the Christmas lights and there was an Elvis Christmas song on the radio,” Austin told Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser, Jeremy Pope, Ke Huy Quan and Adam Sandler during the Hollywood Reporter actors roundtable.
“I was with a friend of mine and he was singing, and my friend looked at me and said, ‘You have to play Elvis,’” he recalled.
“A couple of weeks later, I was playing the piano. I never really sang for any of my friends or anything,” she continued. “That same friend was there, and I was playing the piano. She said: ‘I’m serious. You have to figure out how you can get the rights to a script.’”
Austin, referring to Vanessa as an unnamed “friend,” upset several fans, especially given how successful the film has been since its release.
And it was only a matter of time before Vanessa chimed in on the conversation.
Leaving a short but sweet comment on an Instagram post about Austin’s Elvis’ deep southern accent, which he’s continued to speak in since filming wrapped, Vanessa wrote: “Crying.”
Some people praised the actor for responding so candidly to the news about his ex, especially considering that he didn’t give him credit for encouraging him to play Elvis.
“Vanessa Hudgens ended Austin Butler’s 20-year-old Elvis impression with 1 word,” said another.
“I love her even more for commenting on this,” added another.
However, others questioned why Vanessa felt the need to drop the comment entirely, calling the whole thing unnecessary.
“But why did you feel it was necessary to do that? Ladies girls a little obsessed…”, wrote someone.