Austin Robert Butler (born August 17, 1991) is an American actor and singer. He is known for his roles as James "Wilke" Wilkerson in Switched at Birth, Jordan Gallagher on Ruby & The Rockits, Sebastian Kydd in The Carrie Diaries, and Wil Ohmsford in The Shannara Chronicles.
Austin Butler was born on August 17, 1991, in Anaheim, California, the son of Lori Anne (née Howell), an aesthetician, and David Butler. He has an older sister Ashley (born in 1986), who worked as a background-actor alongside him on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
When Butler was thirteen, he was approached by a representative from a background-acting management company at the Orange County Fair who helped him get started in the entertainment industry. He found that he enjoyed it and soon began taking acting classes.
In 2005, after working as an extra on several television series, Butler landed his first regular job as a background actor playing the role of Lionel Scranton for two seasons on Nickelodeon's Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. His friend on the show, Lindsey Shaw, introduced him to her manager, Pat Cutler who immediately offered to represent him, and from that point on, Butler began taking acting seriously as a career.
In May 2007, Butler landed a guest starring role on the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana playing the role of Derek Hanson opposite actress Miley Cyrus, and in September of that same year, he portrayed Jake Krandle in the episode "iLike Jake" on the Nickelodeon series iCarly.
In February 2008, Butler landed a recurring role on the Nickelodeon/Family show Zoey 101 playing James Garrett, the love interest of Jamie Lynn Spears's title character Zoey, and in March of that year, he appeared in an episode of Out of Jimmy's Head playing the role of Lance in the episode titled "Princess".
In July 2009, Butler starred in 20th Century Fox's family adventure movie Aliens in the Attic (originally titled They Came From Upstairs), portraying Jake Pearson, alongside Ashley Tisdale, Carter Jenkins, Robert Hoffman, Kevin Nealon and Doris Roberts. In the movie, his character, along with his family, battles to save their vacation home and the world from an alien invasion. That same summer, Butler appeared in the starring role of Jordan Gallagher on the popular, but short-lived ABC Family series Ruby & The Rockits, alongside David Cassidy, Patrick Cassidy and his good friend, Alexa Vega. Butler portrayed the cousin of Alexa's character Ruby, whom he has a crush on, reasoning that it was because he never grew up with her.
In February 2010, Butler landed a recurring role as Jones on the CW series Life Unexpected, and that same month, he appeared in an episode of Wizards Of Waverly Place titled "Positive Alex" where he played Alex's new crush, George. In June of that year, Butler appeared in two consecutive Jonas episodes where he played Stone Stevens, and in December of that year, Butler's guest-starred on CSI: Miami and The Defenders.
Also in 2010, Butler's Aliens in the Attic co-star Ashley Tisdale invited him to audition for a lead role in the film Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, a spin-off of Disney's High School Musical franchise that followed the adventures of Sharpay Evans after high school as she tries to get her big break on Broadway. In the film, Butler played Peyton Leverette, a handsome student filmmaker who finds Sharpay nearly as fascinating as she finds herself.
In December 2010, Butler told Week In Rewind about landing his role in Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure: "I had worked with Ashley once, and then I heard about the movie, because she called me and said, 'Austin, I want you to come and read for the director for this—I think you'd be perfect.' So, I went and met with the director, and it went really well, and I ended up doing the movie." The film wrapped production in July 2010 and was released direct-to-DVD on April 19, 2011.
In 2011, he booked the role of Wilke on the ABC Family series Switched at Birth, debuting on June 27, 2011. In the same year, he signed onto play a lead role of Zack Garvey in the Lifetime TV movie called The Bling Ring, made by Dick Clark Productions and directed by Michael Lembeck who previously directed Tooth Fairy and the last two installments in The Santa Clause franchise as well as The Bling Ring, a Lifetime television movie, aired on September 26, 2011 which stars Austin Butler as Zack Garvey (based on Nick Prugo). It follows a group of young burglars as they target the homes of some of Hollywood's celebrities. Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing plays Iris Garvey, the mother of Butler's character Zack, one of the defendants. The movie also stars Yin Chang, Renee Olstead and Spencer Locke. The movie was released on September 26, 2011.
In January 2012, Butler guest-starred on the NBC comedy Are You There, Chelsea? in the third episode "Believe", playing the role of Luke, a band lead singer who Laura Prepon's title character is attracted to.
In March 2012, Butler was cast in The CW's Sex and the City prequel series, The Carrie Diaries, to play Sebastian Kydd, a brooding heartthrob attending the same high school as Carrie Bradshaw, played by AnnaSophia Robb. The Carrie Diaries is based on Candace Bushnell's novel by the same name and follows Bradshaw's life in the 1980s as a teenager in New York City. The show was cancelled on May 8, 2014 after two seasons.
In April 2014, it was announced that Butler had joined the cast of the play Death of the Author at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. He played the role of Bradley, a pre-law student with a double major in political science and math, and is set to graduate from a wealthy university. The play is directed by Bart DeLorenzo and written by Steven Drukman. Following previews on May 20, 2014, the play ran from May 28 to June 29. In September 2014, it was announced that Butler had joined the cast of Arrow as the recurring role of Chase. His character was a DJ and a love interest of Willa Holland's character Thea Queen.
He co-starred with Miranda Cosgrove and Tom Sizemore in the thriller film The Intruders, and appeared in Kevin Smith's horror-comedy film Yoga Hosers (2016), about 15-year-old yoga nuts, Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie. The films also stars Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith and Haley Joel Osment.
In 2016, he began playing the role of Wil Ohmsford in The Shannara Chronicles, MTV's television adaptation of the Terry Brooks novel The Elfstones of Shannara. On January 16, 2018, it was announced that the series had been cancelled after two seasons. Producers later announced that the series is being shopped to other networks.
He made his Broadway debut playing Don Parritt, the "lost boy" in The Iceman Cometh. Previews for the limited run began on March 26, 2018 and the play closed on July 1, 2018. Per Hilton Als' review of the play in The New Yorker: "Although there are many performers in George C. Wolfe's staging of Eugene O'Neill's phenomenal [...] drama, The Iceman Cometh, [...] there is only one actor, and his name is Austin Butler."
Butler attended public school until the seventh grade when he left to be home-schooled to accommodate his work schedule. He continued his home-school education until the tenth grade when he took the CHSPE to finish his formal high school education.
Butler enjoys creating and recording music and began playing the guitar at the age of thirteen and piano at sixteen. He enjoys collecting guitars, and his other hobbies include outdoor activities that keep him in shape such as basketball, hiking, and cycling, as well as exercising in his home gym.
Butler and actress Vanessa Hudgens have been dating since 2011.
|2007||The Faithful||Danny||Short film|
|2009||Aliens in the Attic||Jake Pearson|
|2011||Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure||Peyton Leverett|
|2012||My Uncle Rafael||Cody Beck|
|2013||Life Life in in Space Space||Assistant Shnotzy||Short film|
|2015||The Intruders||Noah Henry|
|2016||Yoga Hosers||Hunter Calloway|
|2019||The Dead Don't Die||Jack|
|2019||Once Upon a Time in Hollywood||Charles "Tex" Watson|
|2005–07||Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide||Lionel Scranton||Uncredited; 41 episodes|
|2005||Unfabulous||Student||Uncredited; episode: "The Eye Randy"|
|2006||Drake & Josh||Extra||Uncredited; episode: "The Demonator"|
|2006||Hannah Montana||Toby||Uncredited; episode: "Oops! I Meddled Again"|
|2007||Hannah Montana||Derek||Episode: "My Best Friend's Boyfriend"|
|2007||iCarly||Jake Krandle||Episode: "iLike Jake"|
|2008||Zoey 101||James Garrett||Main role (season 4)|
|2008||Out of Jimmy's Head||Lance||Episode: "Princess"|
|2009||Ruby & the Rockits||Jordan Gallagher||Main role|
|2009||Zeke and Luther||Rutger Murdock||Episode: "Adventure Boy"|
|2010–11||Life Unexpected||Jones Mager||Recurring role; 10 episodes|
|2010||Wizards of Waverly Place||George||Episode: "Positive Alex"|
|2010||Jonas||Stone Stevens||2 episodes|
|2010||CSI: Miami||Josh Chapman||Episode: "Happy Birthday"|
|2010||The Defenders||Cody Dennis||Episode: "Nevada v. Dennis"|
|2011||CSI: NY||Benjamin Gold||Episode: "Do or Die"|
|2011||The Bling Ring||Zack Garvey||Television film|
|2011–12||Switched at Birth||James "Wilkie" Wilkerson||Recurring role; 14 episodes|
|2012||Are You There, Chelsea?||Luke||Episode: "Believe"|
|2013–14||The Carrie Diaries||Sebastian Kydd||Main role|
|2016–17||The Shannara Chronicles||Wil Ohmsford||Main role|
Awards and nominations
|2010||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Ensemble Cast||Aliens in the Attic||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actor||Ruby & The Rockits||Nominated|
|2011||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor 18–21||The Defenders||Nominated|