Here's How Much Austin Butler Is Actually Worth

Long before Austin Butler portrayed Graceland's music monarch in director Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic, the actor graced the small screen. Butler slowly worked his way up to the A-list, but along the way, the former child star risked having his career overshadowed by his high-profile relationship with another celeb who began building up her bank balance at a young age: "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens.

Butler's early years in the biz were spent on competing kids' television networks, where the most popular stars' pay definitely was not child's play. On Disney's "Hannah Montana," Butler worked alongside Miley Cyrus, who made $15,000 per episode, according to the New York Post, while Celebrity Net Worth reports that his "Zoey 101" co-star, Victoria Justice, got paid $50,000 a pop by Nickelodeon. Butler wasn't a top-billed actor like Cyrus and Justice, but his various TV and film gigs have still helped him accrue a sizeable net worth of $4 million, per Celebrity Net Worth.

Butler also earned an accolade worth a king's ransom after the King of Rock 'n Roll's family previewed the "Elvis" biopic. "Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father's heart and soul beautifully," wrote Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, on Instagram in May 2022. "If he doesn't get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot." But Butler's road to portraying music royalty was only partially paved in gold. As we take a stroll back down it to discover where his wealth came from, don't step on our blue suede shoes.

Austin Butler's magical childhood had nothing to do with money

Austin Butler grew up in Anaheim, California, the location of Disneyland. According to Vogue, his dad worked in real estate, while his mom worked from home by providing childcare services. Butler's parents weren't big earners, which meant that he couldn't really relate to his character when he landed the role of Carrie Bradshaw's wealthy boyfriend, Sebastian Kydd, in "The Carrie Diaries." In a 2013 interview with Just Jared, Butler said of the proto-Mr. Big, "He comes from not a very loving family, but a very wealthy family who has sort of neglected him. I come from a very, loving supporting family, not very wealthy at all, very different in that way."

Butler's mother managed to save up enough money to buy the family season tickets to Disneyland, and she also found some inexpensive ways to make his childhood magical. "My mom started this tradition where we throw reindeer food the night before Christmas and it's basically oatmeal that has glitter in it. I've done that since I was a little kid," he later told Just Jared Spotlight. Butler was a timid child, but perhaps growing up with such an imaginative parent inspired the creative way he combatted his shyness. "I would hide behind playing pretend. That's when I would come out of my shell. I would dress up as an old man or something and go out onto the street with my mom," he recalled.

How his stepbrother's perm helped him get work

When Austin Butler was seven, his mom and dad got a divorce, and he later gained a stepbrother. In a 2019 episode of Howard Fine Acting Studio's "In Conversation" series, Butler recounted how his stepsibling's freshly permed hair caught the attention of a talent scout at the Orange County Fair and scored him an audition offer. "We drove up as a family to L.A. to support him in auditioning, and when we got there, it turned out to be there was 300 children — it was this cattle call for a background talent agent," Butler said. He was coaxed into filming his own audition tape, but the entire setup turned out to be less than legit. "Years later, I found out they didn't even have film in the camera. ... They basically signed anybody who paid a certain amount of money," he recalled.

However, the talent agency wasn't a total scam; it did help Butler get work as an extra, which would have paid from $100 to $200 a day in 2021, according to Backstage. Just keep in mind that Butler's earning potential was likely different, as his career started circa 2005. Bigger gigs came soon after Butler landed a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide." He recalled to Portrait magazine in 2008, "Lindsey Shaw [who played Moze on the show] introduced me to her manager, Pat Cutler. I signed with her immediately, and she got me on the right track."

The work he didn't get paid for while shooting a Disney film

Austin Butler was 12 when he embarked on his acting career, and his mom made a huge financial sacrifice for him by giving up her own job to become his unpaid audition chauffeur, per WWD. The tween found a cost-effective way to polish his acting skills while they were on the road. "I printed out 'Pulp Fiction,' and I read it to my mom as we would drive to auditions," he told Access Hollywood in 2019.

Butler was so dedicated to his craft that he was willing to put in extra work for free when his friend, Ashley Tisdale — with whom he had previously worked on 2009's "Aliens in the Attic" — asked him to co-star in her 2011 "High School Musical" spinoff movie, "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure." His character was an aspiring filmmaker, and Butler actually filmed some behind-the-scenes footage. "I didn't get any extra pay," he told when asked about his amateur camerawork. "I think that my pay is just going to be that sort of thing for my memoir."

Luckily, Butler's line of work comes with plenty of perks that make any unpaid overtime worth it. "You get to meet great people, you can express yourself in so many ways, you get paid to play like when you were a kid in dress up clothes, and one of the best things is that you get to travel to amazing places!" he told Portrait magazine.

Austin Butler bought a house with Vanessa Hudgens

Austin Butler started dating Vanessa Hudgens in 2011 after first making her acquaintance on the set of "High School Musical," per the Daily Mail. The popular Disney franchise has helped Hudgens achieve a net worth of around $18 million, per Celebrity Net Worth, which is more than four times the amount of Butler's estimated total assets. Hudgens' bop to the top income bracket helped her and Butler afford a swanky Los Angeles pad when they decided to purchase a home together in 2018, and according to Dirt, its price was close to $5 million — $1 million more than Butler's total net worth, at the time of this writing.

The three-bedroom, four-bath abode was around a century old and was sold to the couple by "The Dark Knight" star Gary Oldman. He had allowed ivy to grow all over the building, giving it a whimsical appearance, and a grove of citrus trees in the backyard added to its rustic charm. It also featured a pool, guesthouse, and spa. Unfortunately, Butler and Hudgens didn't get to enjoy their time together there for long; they broke up in 2020. According to WWD, they had shared an apartment in New York City, as well.

Thanks to the paparazzi's interest in his relationship with Hudgens, we also know that Butler owned a black Audi A7 in 2019. According to J.D. Power, he likely paid somewhere from $50,000 to upwards of $65,000 for the luxury sedan.

The actor enjoys jet-setting with his famous girlfriends

Love really seems to bring out Austin Butler's adventurous side. When he was dating Vanessa Hudgens, the couple visited various locales around the globe. Sometimes, this was a necessity because their jobs would have made it difficult for them to spend time together otherwise. When Hudgens' promotional tour for the movie "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" called for her to jet off to Hawaii in 2012, Butler naturally joined her, as reported by PopSugar. The following year, he accompanied her on a trip to Bali to watch a professional surfing competition, per Marie Claire. Then there was the couple's 2016 trip to Portofino, Italy, where they were photographed sipping on champagne and chilling on a yacht with some pals, according to the Daily Mail.

While Butler told Access Hollywood that he disapproves of the paparazzi snapping unauthorized vacation pics, he stated, "You can go the route of not living your life at all — and a lot of actors do that, where they just won't even go out of the house at all — but it makes life so unenjoyable."

Butler was later linked to model Kaia Gerber, who appeared more than willing to adopt his jet-setting lifestyle. The couple was spotted catching a flight together in Los Angeles in December 2021, per E! News, and a source told the outlet that they later spent Valentine's Day in London. So, when Butler falls for someone, he seems to really rack up those frequent flyer miles.

Austin Butler made priceless memories in New Zealand

Austin Butler began working overseas at a young age, and he has fond memories of filming two different projects in New Zealand. The first was the 2009 comedy "Aliens in the Attic," which was a box office bust — it had a budget of $45 million but grossed just under $58 million worldwide, per Bomb Report. But at least he and Ashley Tisdale had fun making it. "We kayaked to this little island off the beach. When we got there we realized the ground was really sharp and we hadn't brought any shoes," Butler recalled in an interview with "We ended up wrapping seaweed around our feet and exploring the island. It was a cool adventure!"

At the time of this writing, a week-long New Zealand vacation for one person can cost over $1,200 in the country's currency, according to Budget Your Trip, so actors can thank their lucky stars that their accommodations are part of a production's budget, per Backstage. However, when Butler returned to New Zealand to film the TV series "The Shannara Chronicles," which premiered in 2016, he was willing to pay to upgrade his temporary residence. "I got together with some of the other cast and some of the producers and we rented a big house out on this island that had its own private beach, so we got to get up in the morning with the sunrise and ride kayaks out into the water. It was just absolutely magical," he told

These exes faced a hefty fine for writing on a landmark

Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens received a stone-cold response from authorities when they turned a boulder into a tribute to their love during a 2016 Valentine's Day vacay. As reported by TMZ, the couple was investigated for defacing a large rock in Sedona, Arizona, after they scratched their names and a heart onto its surface. Hudgens incriminated herself and her beau by posting a photo of the artwork on Instagram. Because their craggy canvas was located in a national park, they could have been fined up to $5,000 or even jailed for up to half a year, but according to a later report by Us Weekly, Hudgens was only ordered to pay $1,000. There's no word on if Butler offered to go halfsies on the fine.

On "Sway in the Morning," Hudgens later argued that the fine was underserved because the romantic etching wasn't permanent, claiming that she had used a smaller rock like a piece of chalk. "But I donated a lot of money to the park to say, 'Sorry for the drama it's caused you guys,'" she said.

Hudgens and Butler had embarked on a cross-country road trip from one U.S. coast to the other weeks earlier, during which Butler discovered the joys of thrifty fashion. "We would go to these little vintage stores and you would find a shirt for $2 or something. I still wear them. I love it," he told Just Jared Spotlight.

The actor did almost 12 hours of work to get a job

To secure his role as Tex Watson in "Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood," Austin Butler found himself spending half a day with Quentin Tarantino, who was impressed enough with Butler's audition tape to request an in-person meeting. But first, Butler had to fly from New York, where he was performing on Broadway, to Tarantino's office in Los Angeles. "Quentin wanted me to come out and do a little workshop with him and a ton of the other actors. ... I basically went straight from the show to the airport to Quentin's office, worked all day from about 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., and he gave me the job that day," Butler told Variety in 2019.

In an interview with WWD, Butler said that auditions usually take just 20 minutes, but the extra time he spent with Tarantino paid off in a big way: In addition to getting to work with a legendary director, he had the opportunity to act alongside seasoned stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. The latter even gave him some invaluable career advice. "One thing Brad said was to play the long game," Butler told ET. "I love that, the idea of choosing quantity over quality." He also got free horse-riding lessons out of the deal, per Interview magazine, while saving the wardrobe department a few bucks. "Honestly, the boots I'm wearing now were in the film," Butler told Esquire. "I wore them to the audition."

How the star prepared for his Broadway debut

In April 2022, Austin Butler told Vogue that there was a period of time he actually considered quitting acting and becoming a director, which could have been a lucrative move if he proved to be proficient at the job; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Bay's "Transformers" pay was around $80 million, and even directors with little experience can make a cool $500,000 for one film. Butler was so serious about making this career switch that he purchased a pricey camera, but then his agent contacted him about an opportunity to fulfill one of his dreams: appearing on Broadway.

During his "In Conversation" Q&A, Butler revealed that his agent wasn't actually keen on the idea of him doing a play, but it was something the actor had expressed an interest in before. He eventually landed one of the lead roles in the 2018 revival of "The Iceman Cometh," and to make sure that he didn't freeze up and forget his lines when he took to the stage for the first time, Butler whipped out his wallet. "I actually paid somebody to read the scenes with me every day from November through January, when we started rehearsing. I had the whole play in my mind," he told Broadway Buzz. The Actor's Company charges $45 per hour for this service, but it can be worth the investment if you land a principal role in a Broadway production. Back in 2000, New York Magazine reported that some lead actors were earning around $12,000 a week.

Austin Butler became the face of a luxury fashion brand

Austin Butler isn't as prolific as some celebs when it comes to partnerships with brands, but he did land one big promotional gig when he became one of the famous faces of Prada's spring 2020 menswear campaign, per WWD. While what he got paid for his foray into the fashion world has not been disclosed, The Sun reported that Rita Ora signed a deal with Prada worth over $6 million in 2022.

Butler built on his relationship with the luxury brand by rocking an all-black Prada ensemble at the 2022 Met Gala, where tickets cost $35,000 per person, per The New York Times. He also turned the event into a promotional opportunity by posing on the red carpet with Priscilla Presley and members of the "Elvis" cast, as reported by British Vogue. Prada designed the biopic's costumes, so there was some real style synergy going on there.

Butler also generated buzz by packing on the PDA with girlfriend Kaia Gerber and debuting an accessory that didn't glitter like one of Elvis' chunky bejeweled rings: a Southern drawl that made him sound uncannily like The King. "For a year before we started shooting, I was doing voice coaching," Butler told The Hollywood Reporter. According to Expertise, some voice coaches can charge over $300 per session, so if he wanted to get some bang for his buck, a little less conversation was not the way to go.

His famous church expects tithing

By catering to a younger crowd with live performances of contemporary Christian music that made its religious services feel more like rock concerts, the Hillsong Church became an unlikely Hollywood hotspot. In a 2015 interview with The New York Times, Vanessa Hudgens explained what attracted her to the controversial megachurch, which was founded in Australia before spreading to locations across the globe. "It feels like Arcade Fire — it's epic like that," she said. The devout Coachella attendee also revealed that she had then-boyfriend Austin Butler to thank for introducing her to the flashy new way to worship. Hillsong Church's other famous members have included Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Hailey Bieber, per Vanity Fair.

According to The Daily Beast, congregants are expected to tithe 10% of their earnings, so the amount of money Hillsong Church can rake in from its wealthiest members is significant. For example, Celebrity Net Worth estimates that JBiebs' yearly salary is around $80 million, which would equal an $800,000 gift to the church. But in the wake of former pastor Carl Lentz' cheating scandal, Hillsong lost access to the pop star's cash in 2021.

We don't know how much Butler donated to the church, if he did at all, but we do know that he's been generous with his time. According to a press release, for example, he was one of the celebrities who attended The Four Diamonds Fund's annual Hollywood Dance Marathon in 2012. The event raised more than $37,000 to fight pediatric cancer. 

Austin Butler's cheap trick to play guitar for hours on end

Austin Butler fell in love with making music years before he began thrusting his hips and curling his lips to resurrect Elvis Presley on camera. In 2019, he told Schön! magazine that it all started when he received a Costco guitar as a birthday gift. "My fingers would split open, and I would put superglue in the holes in my fingers. I would just play all day long," he recalled. During his "In Conversation" appearance, Butler quipped that his parents occasionally forced him to stop playing and commanded him to spend time with other kids as a form of punishment.

Becoming so well-acquainted with the instrument helped Butler look like a natural while strumming a guitar in the 2022 Presley biopic. To win the role as the rock 'n roll icon, Butler had to beat out some big stars, including Harry Styles and Miles Teller, per The Hollywood Reporter. The cinematic spectacle reportedly cost around $200 million to make, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. And while what Butler got paid for his role hasn't been disclosed, as of this writing, he's made it clear that he doesn't have to have a king's material wealth to feel like one. 

"I've thought about, what if I just move to Costa Rica and played [music] in tiny dive bars?" he mused to Wonderland back in 2013. "And that sounds awesome. I think I could be happy doing that. I think I could find happiness no matter what I'm doing."