Austin Butler Talks Meeting Tom Cruise and Selena Gomez Friendship (Exclusive)
“Extra’s” Terri Seymour spoke to “Elvis” star Austin Butler Wednesday as he was honored with the Virtuosos Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. He dished on meeting Tom Cruise recently at the 2023 Oscar Nominees Luncheon and revealed what they said to one another. Austin also talked shooting the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue cover with a group that included his longtime pal Selena Gomez.
Plus, Austin reflected on his comments in the magazine about being glad that his success didn’t come too soon.
Terri congratulated him on receiving another award, and he replied, “Definitely overwhelmed!”
She asked, “Is it sinking in? What is this time like for you, Austin?”
Butler shared, “I mean, it means the world to me. For one, getting to see all these people and just see how the movie has resonated with them. It just means the world to me and this is just the cherry on top… We worked so hard to make this film, and every film you work on you work really hard, but you never know how it's going to be received, so it feels really nice right now.”
Terri added, “Well this one’s been very well-received. You were just at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon. We know you're a fan of Tom Cruise. We saw you chatting away with him. What were you guys talking about?”
Austin answered, “About it all, you know? It was our first time meeting. So told him what he meant to me and he told me his feelings on the film and, and just this profession that we both share a love for, and some of those things I keep private.”
Terri asked, “Come on, you gotta tell us what he thought about the film. What did he say about the movie?”
Butler replied, “He said he liked it!”
“Of course, how could he not?” Terri added. “Everybody loves it. Vanity Fair cover, how much fun was it shooting that?”
“It was a lot of fun,” Austin said. “I’ve been a fan of [photographer] Steven Klein’s for a long time, and that was very fun and I got to see my friends, you know, Selena and Florence [Pugh] and it was just, it was lovely to get to be there.”
Terri asked him about Selena and sharing this surreal time, asking, “She sent you a text message, didn’t she?”
“Yeah, yeah, she did,” Austin confirmed. “We’ve, you know, I've known her for so many years, so it is nice to get to share space with somebody for a long period of time, you know, and I'm just so proud of her. Her documentary really moved me as well. Getting to see that, I thought that was so brave. I feel really honored to be in her company.”
Terri went on, “And in the article you talk about how you've always been a fan of Leonardo [DiCaprio's] but you were glad that your career took a different path and it didn't happen so quickly for you, that it took a little while longer. Explain that to me.”
Austin said, “Well, I think for one, it's the realization that we're all on our own path, that things happen in time for each one of us, you know… [A]nybody else's… is irrelevant, really, because we all have our own journey, and for myself, it was that it gave me time to really, one, kind of grow into myself, but two, to have time to really try to figure out how to get better as an actor. Because those times where you don't get a job or you do a job and you're not happy with your work or you don't feel like your skill is at the level that your taste is, you know, and so it gave me many years of kind of going back to the drawing board and trying to figure out how to get better.”