Austin Robert Butler
August 17, 1991
Anaheim, California, U.S.
|Partner||Vanessa Hudgens (2011–2020)|
Austin Robert Butler (born August 17, 1991) is an American actor. He is known for portraying Elvis Presley in the musical biopic Elvis (2022), for which he won a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA, in addition to a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2023.
Butler began his career on television, first in roles on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon and later on teen dramas, including recurring parts on The CW's Life Unexpected (2010–2011) and Switched at Birth (2011–2012). He gained recognition for starring in The Carrie Diaries (2013–2014) and The Shannara Chronicles (2016–2017). Butler made his Broadway debut in the 2018 revival of The Iceman Cometh and played Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino's film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).
Butler was born on August 17, 1991, in Anaheim, California, the son of Lori Anne (née Howell), an aesthetician, and David Butler. The two divorced when he was seven. He has an older sister, Ashley (born in 1986), who worked as a background actor alongside him on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
When Butler was thirteen, he was approached by a representative from a background acting management company at the Orange County Fair who helped him get started in the entertainment industry. He found that he enjoyed it and soon began taking acting classes.
Butler attended public school until the seventh grade, when he left to be homeschooled to better accommodate his work schedule. He continued his homeschooling until the tenth grade and later passed the CHSPE, the state's high school equivalency diploma.
In 2005, after working as an extra on several television series, including Unfabulous and Drake and Josh, Butler landed his first regular job as a background actor playing the role of Zippy Brewster for two seasons on Nickelodeon's Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. His friend on the show, Lindsey Shaw, introduced him to her manager, Pat Cutler, who signed him and launched his career. From that point on, Butler began taking acting seriously as a career.
In May 2007, Butler landed a guest starring role on the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana playing the role of Derek Hanson opposite actress Miley Cyrus, and in September of that same year, he portrayed Jake Krandle in the episode "iLike Jake" on the Nickelodeon series iCarly.
In February 2008, Butler landed a main role on another Nickelodeon series, Zoey 101, playing James Garrett, the love interest of Jamie Lynn Spears's title character Zoey in the fourth season; previously, he guest starred on the same show playing the role of Danifer on the third-season episode "Quarantine". In March of that year, he appeared in an episode on the short-lived Cartoon Network sitcom, Out of Jimmy's Head, playing the role of Lance in the episode titled "Princess".
In July 2009, Butler starred in 20th Century Fox's family adventure movie Aliens in the Attic portraying Jake Pearson, alongside Ashley Tisdale, Carter Jenkins, Robert Hoffman, Kevin Nealon and Doris Roberts. In the movie, his character, along with his family, battles to save their vacation home and the world from an alien invasion. That same summer, Butler appeared in the starring role of Jordan Gallagher on the popular, but short-lived ABC Family series Ruby & the Rockits, alongside David Cassidy, Patrick Cassidy and his good friend, Alexa Vega.
In February 2010, Butler landed a recurring role as Jones on the CW series Life Unexpected, Later that year, he guest-starred in episodes of the Disney Channel sitcoms Wizards of Waverly Place and Jonas as well as on CSI: Miami and The Defenders. Also in 2010, Butler's Aliens in the Attic co-star Ashley Tisdale invited him to audition for a lead role in the film Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, a spin-off of Disney's High School Musical franchise that followed the adventures of Sharpay Evans after high school as she tries to get her big break on Broadway. In the film, Butler plays Peyton Leverette, the love interest of Sharpay. Regarding his casting, Butler told Week In Rewind, "I had worked with Ashley once, and then I heard about the movie, because she called me and said, 'Austin, I want you to come and read for the director for this—I think you'd be perfect.' So, I went and met with the director, and it went really well, and I ended up doing the movie." The film was released direct to DVD on April 19, 2011.
In 2011, he booked the recurring role of Wilke on the ABC Family series Switched at Birth, debuting on June 27, 2011. In the same year, he signed on to play the lead role of Zack Garvey in the Lifetime TV movie The Bling Ring, made by Dick Clark Productions and directed by Michael Lembeck, based on the burglary group of the same name who targeted the homes of Hollywood's celebrities. The movie was released on September 26, 2011. In January 2012, Butler guest-starred on the NBC comedy Are You There, Chelsea?
In his early twenties, Butler continued to act in teen-oriented television series, but gained greater recognition his starring roles in The Carrie Diaries and later The Shannara Chronicles; he also branched out into new stage and film projects.
In March 2012, Butler was cast in The CW's Sex and the City prequel series The Carrie Diaries to play Sebastian Kydd, a brooding heartthrob attending the same high school as Carrie Bradshaw, played by AnnaSophia Robb. The Carrie Diaries is based on Candace Bushnell's novel by the same name and follows Bradshaw's life in the 1980s as a teenager in New York City. The show was cancelled after two seasons.
In April 2014, it was announced that Butler had joined the cast of the play Death of the Author at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. He played the role of Bradley, a pre-law student with a double major in political science and math, and is set to graduate from a wealthy university. The play is directed by Bart DeLorenzo and written by Steven Drukman. Following previews on May 20, 2014, the play ran from May 28 to June 29.
Butler then joined the cast of Arrow in the recurring role of Chase. His character was a DJ and a love interest of Willa Holland's character Thea Queen. He co-starred with Miranda Cosgrove and Tom Sizemore in the 2015 thriller film The Intruders, and appeared in Kevin Smith's 2016 horror-comedy film Yoga Hosers about 15-year-old yoga nuts Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie. The films also stars Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith and Haley Joel Osment.
In 2016, he began playing the role of Wil Ohmsford in The Shannara Chronicles, MTV's television adaptation of the Terry Brooks novel The Elfstones of Shannara. The series was cancelled after two seasons.
Butler made his Broadway debut playing Don Parritt, the "lost boy" in The Iceman Cometh, which starred Denzel Washington and David Morse. Previews for the limited run began in March 2018, and the play closed in July 2018. Per Hilton Als' review of the play in The New Yorker: "Although there are many performers in George C. Wolfe's staging of Eugene O'Neill's phenomenal [...] drama, The Iceman Cometh, [...] there is only one actor, and his name is Austin Butler."
In 2019, he appeared in the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as a fictional version of Manson Family member Tex Watson. Though he had limited screen time, his performance has been described as "intense" and "brooding". In that same year, Butler was cast as Elvis Presley in Elvis, a biographical film about the singer directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where the film received a twelve-minute standing ovation from the audience, the longest at the year's festival. Butler's performance received critical acclaim, as well as praise from the Presley family. He described the part as "the most intimidating thing I've ever done. I honestly didn't sleep for about two years." Butler hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live later that year.
Butler will next star in the war drama miniseries Masters of the Air. He will then play Feyd-Rautha in the science fiction epic Dune: Part Two and will star alongside Tom Hardy and Jodie Comer in Jeff Nichols’s The Bikeriders.
Butler enjoys creating and recording music. He taught himself to play guitar at the age of thirteen and piano at sixteen.
He was in a relationship with actress Vanessa Hudgens from 2011 to 2019. Since late 2021, Butler has been in a relationship with model Kaia Gerber.
In 2014, Butler's mother died of duodenal cancer.
|2007||The Faithful||Danny||Short film|
|2009||Aliens in the Attic||Jake Pearson|
|2011||Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure||Peyton Leverett||Direct-to-video|
|2012||My Uncle Rafael||Cody Beck|
|2013||Life Life in in Space Space||Assistant Shnotzy||Short film|
|2015||The Intruders||Noah Henry|
|2016||Yoga Hosers||Hunter Calloway|
|2019||The Dead Don't Die||Jack|
|Once Upon a Time in Hollywood||Tex Watson|
|2023||Dune: Part Two||Feyd-Rautha||Post-production|
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2005–2007||Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide||Zippy Brewster||Uncredited; 41 episodes |
|2005||Unfabulous||Student||Uncredited; episode: "The Eye Randy"|
|2006||Drake & Josh||Extra||Uncredited; episode: "The Demonator"|
|2006–2007||Hannah Montana||Derek Hanson||Episode: "Oops! I Meddled Again", "My Best Friend's Boyfriend"|
|2007||iCarly||Jake Krandall||Episode: "iLike Jake"|
|2007–2008||Zoey 101||Danifer / James Garrett||Main role (season 4), 10 episodes|
|2008||Out of Jimmy's Head||Lance||Episode: "Princess"|
|2009||Ruby & the Rockits||Jordan Gallagher||Main role|
|Zeke and Luther||Rutger Murdock||Episode: "Adventure Boy"|
|Jonas||Stone Stevens||Episode: "House Party", "Back to the Beach"|
|CSI: Miami||Josh Chapman||Episode: "Happy Birthday"|
|The Defenders||Cody Dennis||Episode: "Nevada v. Dennis"|
|2010||Wizards of Waverly Place||George||Episode: "Positive Alex"|
|2010||Betwixt||Cameron Brower||Television film|
|2010–2011||Life Unexpected||Jones Mager||10 episodes|
|2011||CSI: NY||Benjamin Gold||Episode: "Do or Die"|
|The Bling Ring||Zack Garvey||Television film|
|2011–2012||Switched at Birth||James "Wilkie" Wilkerson||14 episodes|
|2012||Are You There, Chelsea?||Luke||Episode: "Believe"|
|2013–2014||The Carrie Diaries||Sebastian Kydd||Main role|
|2016–2017||The Shannara Chronicles||Wil Ohmsford||Main role|
|2022||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||Episode: "Austin Butler/Lizzo"|
|2023||Masters of the Air||Gale Cleven||Main role; upcoming miniseries|
|Denotes television series that have not yet been released|
|2014||Death of the Author||Bradley||Geffen Playhouse|
|2018||The Iceman Cometh||Don Parritt||Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre||Broadway|
|2010||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Ensemble Cast (shared with Megan Parker, Henri Young, Regan Young, and Carter Jenkins)||Aliens in the Attic||Nominated|||
|Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actor||Ruby & The Rockits||Nominated|
|2011||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor 18–21||The Defenders||Nominated|||
|Atlanta Film Critics Circle||Best Breakthrough Performer||Elvis||Won|||
|AACTA Awards||Best Lead Actor||Won|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Most Promising Performer||Won|
|Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association||Best Actor||3rd place|||
|Dublin Film Critics' Circle||Best Actor||3rd place|||
|Florida Film Critics Circle||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Greater Western New York Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Indiana Film Journalists Association||Best Lead Performance||Nominated|||
|IndieWire Critics Poll||Best Performance||10th place|||
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|New York Film Critics Online||Breakthrough Performance||Won|||
|North Texas Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Online Association of Female Film Critics||Best Male Lead||Nominated|||
|People's Choice Awards||Drama Movie Star of 2022||Won|
|Philadelphia Film Critics Circle||Best Breakthrough Performance||Runner-up|||
|Phoenix Critics Circle||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Phoenix Film Critics Society||Breakthrough Performance||Won|||
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Sunset Circle Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|UK Film Critics Association||Actor of The Year||Nominated|||
|Utah Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Runner-up|||
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|AACTA International Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|Academy Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Austin Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Breakthrough Artist Award||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Won|||
|Chicago Indie Critics||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Columbus Film Critics Association||Breakthrough Film Artist||Runner-up|||
|Critics Association of Central Florida||Best Actor||Runner-up|||
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Denver Film Critics Society||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|DiscussingFilm Critic Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Georgia Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama||Won|||
|Hawaii Film Critics Society||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Hollywood Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Houston Film Critics Society||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Irish Film & Television Awards||Best International Actor||Won|||
|Iowa Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Runner-up|||
|London Film Critics' Circle||Actor of the Year||Nominated|||
|Minnesota Film Critics Alliance||Best Actor||Pending|||
|Music City Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|North Carolina Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Best Breakthrough Performance||Won|
|North Dakota Film Society||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Online Film Critics Society||Best Lead Actor||Nominated|
|Palm Springs International Film Festival||Breakthrough Performance Award||Won|
|Portland Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|San Diego Film Critics Society||Best Actor||Runner-up|||
|San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Satellite Awards||Best Actor – Comedy or Musical||Won|||
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role||Nominated|||
|Seattle Film Critics Society||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Nominated|||
|Vancouver Film Critics Circle||Best Actor||Nominated|||
'That's right. I was with my partner at the time,' he told the Los Angeles Times, making it clear that Hudgens was the one who first suggested he play Elvis. '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.'
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