It feels like Austin Butler became a household name overnight following his casting in the role of Elvis. However, if you’re an OG Nickelodeon fan, you’ve definitely recognized the actor way before his breakthrough Hollywood role!

The Elvis star originally began as a background actor in shows like Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide in 2005, until starring as Derek Hansen in Hannah Montana. He would then star as Jake in the iCarly episode called iLike Jake and from there, he landed a main role in Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101 playing James Garrett, the love interest of Jamie Lynn Spears‘ title character Zoey in the fourth season. He also briefly starred on Wizards of Waverly Place, Jonas and Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.

After his acting stints in Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, Austin went on to star in other TV shows such as Switched at Birth, Netflix’s The Carrie Diaries and MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles. His big movie break came in 2019, when he booked a small role in Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

So, no, Austin is definitely not new to the acting industry, but Elvis is sure to be his biggest break to date!

“I started acting when I was about 13 years old. I stumbled into doing extra work, so that got me onto sets in a very low-pressure way,” Austin told Interview Magazine in October 2019.  “Prior to that, I had been a very, very shy child. Being on a set with other children, there wasn’t this hierarchy, which there can be sometimes. That really taught me a lot about how I want to conduct myself in any environment. I started going to acting class and learning that there was a craft to it, and then I fell in love with it. Then it was a slow process of going through hundreds of auditions, and you only book one thing. I remember the days of being so grateful to just book one line on a TV show.”

Austin said he “didn’t realize it was a possibility” to be in movies but thta he felt the most free “playing pretend.”

“I would watch a movie, and then I would put on the clothes that I could find that were most similar to a character I liked. I would get really dressed up to then destroy myself in some way in an action scene,” he explained. “I look at my job now and—I mean, in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, they paid for my horse lessons. I got to train four hours a day for months. Now people are putting these incredible costumes on me, but it’s just a very elaborate version of what I was doing as a child.”

Click through our gallery to see Austin’s impressive transformation from Nickelodeon actor to Hollywood star.

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