“Even though I didn’t have the ability, I still wanted to give energy,” said the Golden Globe winner.
Austin Butler could have been a contender for Hannah Montana’s heart.
The “Elvis” Golden Globe winner reflected on the intensity he brings to Disney and Nickelodeon roles, most famously as Hannah Montana’s (Miley Cyrus) suitor in the eponymous hit series. Butler appeared in two episodes of “Hannah Montana,” with his second appearance portraying Derek Hanson, Hannah’s blind date, in Season 2, Episode 7, “My Best Friend’s Friend.”
She also had roles in “iCarly” and “Zoey 101,” both of which have been revived in modern times.
“In hindsight, I look back at the Nickelodeon and Disney shows that I did; even though I didn’t have the ability, I still wanted to put the energy (like) into making ‘Raging Bull,’” Butler said. Backstage magazine. “I have maintained a fierce commitment to seeking more truth, even in matters where it would be easier to make a phone call.”
The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood alum continued, “I did these TV shows that were really fun and some people really dug them. But I didn’t feel fulfilled as an artist. I just wasn’t challenged as much as I wanted to be.”
Even Butler’s transition to older teen dramas like “Life Unexpected” and “Switched at Birth” still felt “unfulfilled.”
“When you watch ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ and then all of a sudden you’re doing a CW show, it’s just…” Butler added. “As great as these experiences were — and I’m so grateful for them and everyone involved — I was hungry.”
Butler summed it up: “I’d been away for a few years and then I came back to Los Angeles and thought I’d rather not be an actor than ever do something I’m not passionate about. I didn’t work for eight months. If you haven’t worked as an actor for a while, you might be thinking. It made me think, “Is this really what I want to do?”
The “Elvis” Oscar winner previously admitted that he is “kind of embarrassed” about his previous roles as a teenage heartthrob.
“But I had to cut my teeth somewhere, so I decided to treat each job as a way to grow,” Butler said.
The actor credited his starring role in the “Sex and the City” prequel series, “The Carrie Diaries,” as inspiring his love of theater.
“I would go to 14 shows in two weeks; I just fell in love with it. The actors that I really admired when I was young—think Marlon Brando or Al Pacino, starting out in the theater—I always knew there was something about you being only as good as you were that night,” Butler told IndieWire. “You have to go back and try again the next night and dig deeper. (I thought): “I’m afraid of the theater. I’m afraid to go out in front of people and I can’t do it a second time. But I know I’m learning something in the process.”
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