Talk about awkward. Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens attended the Oscars 2023 three years after their breakup, but seemed to avoid each other on the red carpet.
Butler and Hudgens both walked the red carpet the 95th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Butler was nominated for Best Actor for his role as Elvis Presley in 2022’s Elvis, while Hudgens was a red carpet host, along with Ashley Graham and Lilly Singh, for ABC’s “Countdown to the Oscars” pre-show, which aired before the Academy Awards.
The pre-show saw Hudgens interview several Oscar nominees and attendees including Angela Bassett, Paul Mescal and Baz Luhrman (who directed her ex-boyfriend, Austin Butler, in Elvis.) One celebrity Hudgens didn’t interview was Butler, whom producers had her co-host, Ashley Graham, interview instead. During the interview, Graham asked Butler, why his current girlfriend, Kaia Gerber, wasn’t with him at the Oscars. “I thought I was going to see a little arm candy tonight. Where is Kaia,” Graham said, to which Butler responded, “I’ve got my best friend here with me, who is also my agent. And I owe my career to him, so as a thank you, I wanted him to be by my side tonight.” At the end of the interview, Graham cut to Butler’s ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens, who continued the pre-show.
After the Oscars, both Butler and Hudgens attended the Vanity Fair Oscars Party, where they also seemed to ignore each other. In a video posted by Us Weekly, Butler was seen walking with Sharon Stone as fans across the street shouted his name. As Butler stopped to smile and wave to the fans, Hudgens walked in front of him without making any eye contact and seemingly ignoring her ex-boyfriend.
@entertainmenttonight Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens managed to avoid each other at the #Oscars, but they nearly collided at the after party. #vanessahudgens #austinbutler #vanityfair ♬ original sound – sissy
Two days after the Oscars on March 14, 2023, Hudgens seemed to respond to the video by reposting a video on her Instagram Story of Malala Yousafzai telling Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel, “I only talk about peace.” Vanessa captioned the Instagram Story, “let’s all be on the ‘I only talk about peace’ train. Ok?”
The Oscars come two months after Hudgens shaded Butler in a comment on an Instagram post in January 2023. The Instagram post featured a Page Six article with the headline: “Austin Butler’s ‘Elvis’ accent is ‘genuine,’ might remain ‘forever’: voice coach.” The Instagram post included the cation, “He went to the Lady Gaga school of Oscar campaign acting.” In the comments, Hudgens seemed to shade Butler’s Elvis accent by commenting: “crying.”
Butler and Hudgens dated for almost nine years from 2011 to 2020. They were first linked in September 2011 after they were photographed together at the birthday part of their mutual friend Ashley Tisdale’s sister, Jennifer. (Butler and Tisdale starred in Disney Channel’s Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, while Hudgens and Tisdale starred in the High School Musical movies.) Butler and Hudgens confirmed their relationship in February 2012 after they walked the red carpet together at Hudgens’ movie, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
Butler and Hudgens broke up in January 2020 after more than eight years together. “They really loved each other and have been through some of their toughest life moments together,” a source told People at the time. “Busy work schedules and travel definitely put a strain on the relationship. They were a wonderful couple and it’s really sad that it didn’t work out.” Another source added to People, “The breakup isn’t easy, but she’s not one to sit around and mope. She’s living it up and having fun. She seems really happy and excited about life, honestly.”
Image: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images.
Butler broke his silence on his breakup from Hudgens in an interview with GQ in May 2022.”Life is full of changes, and you’ve got to find a way to constantly be evolving and growing,” he said. Hudgens broke her silence in an interview with Nylon in September 2022. “The public only sees so much. I’ve also been through two very long life-changing relationships, and no one really knows what happened except for me,” she said. . “When I write my memoir, it’ll be amazing.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in January 2023, Butler referred to Hudgens as a “friend” when talking about how she encouraged him to play Elvis Presley in 2022’s Elvis. “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 goes, ‘You’ve got to play Elvis.’ I said, ‘Oh, that’s such a long shot,’ ” Butler said. The interview came four years after Hudgens, who was still with Butler at the time, told Live With Kelly and Ryan in 2019 about a time she and Butler were in a car singing along to an Elvis Christmas song. “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,’ ” she said.
Image: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images.
In January 2023, Butler credited Hudgens for “believing” he could play Elvis in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. “That’s right. I was with my partner at the time,” he said. “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.”
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight in June 2022, Butler explained why he still speaks in his Elvis accent. “At this point, I keep asking people, ‘Is this my voice?’ because this feels like my real … it’s one of those things where certain things trigger it and other times as well it’s, I don’t know,” he said. “When you live with something for two years, and you do nothing else, I think that you can’t help it. It becomes a fiber of your being.”
He also told Entertainment Tonight that he “had to work hard” to re-create Elvis’ movements in the movie. “The thing with him is they weren’t moves, they were coming out of the feel of the music,” he said. “So, for me, it had to be about finding the feeling of the music, moving me in that way. That was really fun. It was liberating.”
Butler also told Entertainment Tonight that he felt like there was a “weight like I never felt before” to do Elvis’ story justice. “And there’s a responsibility to his family and also putting his story into context,” Butler said. “That’s the thing. There were so many misconceptions about him; there’s so many ideas of him. So I felt a responsibly to bring the humanity.”
The Oscars 2023 air on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Here’s how to watch them for free with Fubo’s free trial.
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