Austin Robert Butler (born August 17, 1991) is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the 2022 biographical film Elvis.

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). +more He 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).

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Early life

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. +more 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 home-schooled to accommodate his work schedule. He continued his home-school education until the tenth grade when he took the CHSPE to finish his formal high school education.

Career

2005-2011: Early career in teen sitcoms

In 2005, after working as an extra on several television series, Butler landed his first regular job as a background actor playing the role of Lionel Scranton 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 introduced him to powerhouse agent Jackie Lewis, they both launched his career. +more 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, and in March of that year, he appeared in an episode of 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. +more 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 onto play a lead role of Zack Garvey in the Lifetime TV movie called 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. +more The movie was released on September 26, 2011. In January 2012, Butler guest-starred on the NBC comedy Are You There, Chelsea?.

2012-2017: Leading roles in television

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 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. +more 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. +more 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. +more 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.

2018-present: Critical acclaim and Elvis

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 on March 26, 2018, and the play closed on July 1, 2018. +more 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. +more" In that same year, Butler was cast as Elvis Presley in Elvis, a biographical film about the singer directed by Baz Luhrmann. He has publicly expressed gratitude to Denzel Washington for vouching for his ability to take on the role. The film premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival on May 26, where the film received a twelve-minute standing ovation from the audience, the longest at the year's festival; it also opened the Guadalajara International Film Festival on June 10, 2022. Butler's performance received critical acclaim, as well as praise from the Presley family. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, he even opened up in a few interviews that he didn't sleep for the past two years, saying: "It was the most intimidating thing I've ever done. I honestly didn't sleep for about two years, and I didn't do anything else for that time. That was my life. ".

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.

Personal life

Butler enjoys creating and recording music and taught himself to play guitar at the age of thirteen and piano at sixteen.

Butler was in a relationship with actress Vanessa Hudgens from 2011 to 2020. Since late 2021, Butler has been in a relationship with model Kaia Gerber.

In 2014, Butler's mother died of cancer.

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
2009Aliens in the AtticJake Pearson
2011Sharpay's Fabulous AdventurePeyton LeverettDirect-to-video film
2012My Uncle RafaelMarc Fusco
2015The IntrudersNoah Henry
2016Yoga HosersHunter Calloway
2018DudeThomas Daniels
2019The Dead Don't DieJack
2019Once Upon a Time in HollywoodTex Watson
2022ElvisElvis Presley
2023Dune: Part TwoFeyd-RauthaFilming
The BikeridersFilming

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
2006-2007Hannah MontanaToby / Derek Hanson2 episodes
2007iCarlyJake Krandle1 episode
2007-2008Zoey 101Danifer / James GarrettGuest role (season 3); main role (season 4)
2008Out of Jimmy's HeadLance1 episode
2009Ruby & the RockitsJordan GallagherMain role, 10 episodes
2009Zeke and LutherRutger Murdock1 episode
2009JonasStone Stevens2 episodes
2009CSI: MiamiJosh Chapman1 episode
2009The DefendersCody Dennis1 episode
2010Wizards of Waverly PlaceGeorge1 episode
2010-2011Life UnexpectedJones MagerRecurring role, 10 episodes
2011CSI: NYBenjamin Gold1 episode
2011The Bling RingZack GarveyTelevision film
2011-2012Switched at BirthJames "Wilkie" WilkersonRecurring role, 10 episodes
2012Are You There, Chelsea?Luke1 episode
2013-2014The Carrie DiariesSebastian KyddMain role
2014-2015ArrowChase3 episodes
2016-2017The Shannara ChroniclesWil OhmsfordMain role
Masters of the AirMaj. Gale ClevenMain role; upcoming miniseries

Theater

YearTitleRoleVenueNotes
2014Death of the AuthorBradleyGeffen Playhouse
2018The Iceman ComethDon ParrittBernard B. +more Jacobs TheatreBroadway
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Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResultRef.
2010Young Artist AwardsBest Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast (shared with Megan Parker, Henri Young, Regan Young, and Carter Jenkins)Aliens in the AtticNominated
2010Young Artist AwardsBest Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Leading Young ActorRuby & The RockitsNominated
2011Young Artist AwardsBest Performance in a TV Series - Guest Starring Young Actor 18-21The DefendersNominated
2022Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Film AwardsBest ActorElvisWon
2022AACTA AwardsBest Actor in a Leading RoleElvisPending

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