Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens
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'Elvis' Star Austin Butler Credits Ex Vanessa Hudgens for Oscar-Nominated Role

Austin Butler has personally credited ex-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens with urging him to pursue the role that earned him his very first Oscar nomination: Elvis Presley.

In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, reporter Mark Olsen asked Butler about Hudgens directly in a bid to clear up past comments about the story regarding Baz Luhrmann's biopic Elvis, which found Butler omitting Hudgens' name.

"You've talked about a moment even before you had the role, it was Christmastime, and an Elvis song came on and you were with a friend and you were singing along. And your friend—," Olsen asked during the interview.

"I was with my partner at the time," Butler clarified."

"-said you should play Elvis," Olsen continued. "And people have been saying you must have been with Vanessa Hudgens. So that's right?"

"That's right," Butler 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."

Fans didn't react kindly when Butler originally told The Hollywood Reporter that a "friend" had encouraged him to pursue the role, as he omitted her name entirely.

"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 in the initial interview.

"A couple of weeks later, I was playing the piano," he continued. "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 film.' "

Butler's performance in Elvis won him a variety of award nominations, including a nod for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. But he had yet to give Hudgens the recognition many believed she deserves for urging him to go after the role she believed he was such a good fit for.

Hudgens had even gone so far as to tell a similar story and called Butler by name in a 2019 interview that aired on Live With Kelly and Ryan.

"Last December, we were driving along and we were listening to Christmas music, and then an Elvis Presley Christmas song came on," Hudgens said at the time. "He had just dyed his hair dark. He's a natural blonde...and I was looking at him and he was singing along and I was like, 'Babe, you need to play Elvis.' Then in January, he was sitting at the piano. And he's playing and he's singing and I'm 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 rights or what we do, but you need to play him."

It's unclear why Butler decided to word things the way he did, but at least he's correct his mistake, and all is well with the world — and we all know who to thank for giving us Butler's version of The King.

READ MORE: Austin Butler Earns First Oscar Nomination for 'Elvis'