As he continued to gain fame, Butler stayed close to his inner circle, which includes Ashley Tisdale. The duo met when the Yoga Hosers actor was a teenager — well before Butler dated Tisdale’s other BFF Vanessa Hudgens — and went on to costar in 2011’s Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.
“You’ve been my best friend since you were 15 so that’s 15 years strong of friendship,” the Suite Life of Zack and Cody alum gushed via Instagram in August 2021 in celebration of Butler turning 30. “I am beyond proud of you and everything you’re accomplishing but most importantly proud of the person you are.”
Tisdale continued: “You’ve been my closest friend through the years, you’re the type of friend that came over when I was crying on the floor from a horrible breakup and not only lifted me off the ground but brought my favorite candy 😭.”
The Young and Hungry alum praised her longtime pal for understanding her better than almost anyone. “There’s no one like you Austin, you’re my twin born 7 years later 😉,” she added.
The pair’s friendship, however, has confused some fans after Butler and Hudgens called it quits in late 2019 after more than eight years of dating. Tisdale has known the Princess Switch actress since before their High School Musical days, but clearly, her roots run deep with both actors.
Butler, for his part, showed that there are no hard feelings between him and Hudgens. In April 2022, the former Nickelodeon star revealed that his ex-girlfriend was part of the inspiration behind him taking on the role of Elvis Presley in the film Elvis, which premiered in June of that year.
“I was actually driving up through Griffith Park and Elvis’s ‘Blue Christmas’ came on,” he recalled to Vogue of what sparked the desire to embody the music icon. “I was singing along with it when my friend [Vanessa] had kind of an epiphany: ‘You need to play Elvis.’”
Scroll down to see Butler’s ups and downs throughout his career: