I included Vanessa Hudgens yesterday in my post about Austin Butler’s award season experience and how he was interviewed on the Oscar carpet by her co-host Ashley Graham instead. Twitter, not surprisingly, was full of jokes about their avoidance.
vanessa watching austin lose the oscar for the role she said he should do pic.twitter.com/16mzgGSLrz— former hellraiser (@sueincouture) March 13, 2023
biggest upset of the Oscars is Austin Butler not getting interviewed by Vanessa Hudgens on the carpet wow— Liz Duff @producerliz (@producerlizz) March 12, 2023
And that was even before the Vanity Fair party. Austin was there, as noted, with Kaia Gerber and then on his way out, when he was talking to Sharon Stone, Vanessa walked past, like right in front of them, and there was zero interaction. And of course the internet has gone wild over this scene:
I mean, I get it. I get why it’s lighting up the gossip dance floor. Especially since a couple of months ago, there was all kinds of chatter about Austin not giving Vanessa credit for manifesting his role in Elvis, instead referring to her as “a friend” when he talked about her encouraging him to go for the role and having the confidence to play the part. They were together for almost a decade. “A friend” really isn’t the right description for what she meant to him in that time.
The fact that they were both at the Oscars, then, and pretended to have no history, it is the exactly the kind of celebrity gossip that becomes a story. And when you can attach visuals to that whole narrative, it’s bound to go viral.
In the spirit of accuracy though, if that still matters, Austin did end up changing the way he talked about Vanessa in subsequent interviews. He doesn’t name her, but he does make an adjustment:
Austin Butler has now credited Vanessa Hudgens for helping him with â€˜Elvisâ€™ role after receiving backlash:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) January 25, 2023
â€œI was with my partner at the time. Weâ€™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.â€ pic.twitter.com/WxgAWXguf6
That comment was not as widely circulated as the previous one, though. So leading up to the Oscars, the perception that Austin had erased Vanessa from his Elvis origin story persisted. And now this video of her walking past him, the two of them ignoring each other, until his eyes follow her as she gets farther away.
Now I’m the asshole in class who keeps putting her hand up with a “but actually” because if you zoom out from that shot, his eyeline isn’t as incriminating as it looked initially. Here’s a longer wide view of how that went down:
Austin Butler was looking at the guy who greeted him. Vanessa Hudgens was looking at whatever but not Austin. Yall need to stop being weird about exs who are celebrities bc YOU DO NOT KNOW THEM PERSONALLY pic.twitter.com/G0seDrlbmU https://t.co/7WvLGJpN77— Sacred (@Sacredxx0) March 13, 2023
The camera isn’t in focus when Vanessa actually passes in front of Austin so it’s hard to say whether or not he really saw her. But it is clear that the glance he gives where he seemingly, on the closeup, clocks her presence – it turns out that he’s looking at someone else entirely, it’s the man who speaks to him as he’s getting to the car. Makes the situation much less shady on his end but she definitely clocked him. And she would have heard the screams. And she kept going.