Austin Butler has been at the Santa Barbara Film Festival the last few days, participating in panel events and interviews, as one of the recipients of the Virtuosos Award, recognising the best performances of the last year. This has been the major Oscar campaign stop this week, as several Oscar contenders have attended ahead of the voting deadline for the SAGs and BAFTAs which, of course, precedes the voting period for the Oscars. 


And Austin is definitely in it. The race is tight. Like Brendan Fraser is in the lead… but I don’t think anyone would say that he’s running away with it. So there’s room for Austin to close the gap. What’s tricky about situations like this, though, is that you also don’t want to get too thirsty about it. Especially when you’re as young as Austin and you’re in contention with actors who’ve had more experience, who can speak to career struggles and highs and lows. 

So far, at least to me, he’s managing that balance quite well. Like I’m not smelling desperado vibes on Austin – but that could just be my bias, because I’m big on Elvis Presley and I’m big on his performance as Elvis and, well, sorry, but he’s also just really, really hot. He might even be hotter when he’s hot. 

And by that I mean his appearance on Hot Ones. Which is hysterical to me, that Hot Ones is now an Oscar campaign stop. This is not a complaint or a judgement. Hot Ones is great. Hot Ones interviews are better than most interviews. Hot Ones is actually cool – and historically there’s not a lot of cool sh-t that comes along with Oscar campaigning. 


As Sarah wrote to me this morning, Austin “didn’t totally embarrass himself” on Hot Ones. I thought he did really well but again, that could my bias talking. Still, he wasn’t a mess, it got uncomfortable for him near the end, and he started sniffling, but he wasn’t breaking out into a sweat, he barely got dewy, actually; just a mild glow which, frankly, who’s mad at that face with a little glow? Not me. 

This is 26 minutes of watching a really, really hot guy eat really, really hot wings, and not fall completely apart. In other words, excellent entertainment! It doesn’t hurt that he’s so nice and thoughtful and don’t talk to me about the accent because I can’t tell anymore, OK? I don’t *think* he was doing the Elvis voice, but at this point, this is just how he sounds to me all the time and I’ve just accepted it, because the voice goes really well with the face, and then when he starts making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at the end, it’s over for me, I’m gone, I have no objectivity left. He is too much. Too much now that I know he’s as into peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as I am. 


And reacted the way I would to squeezing jelly out of a squeeze bottle – what is this madness?! One of the best parts of making a PB&J is using the knife to smear the jelly all over the PB so that you can lick it off after! My only note: he went too light on the PB. Austin, you need at least a tablespoon more per side. There, that’s my criticism. Austin is an actor, after all. They’re always going to restrain themselves around food.