Austin Butler has never had a real job “other than acting.”

“The first time I was ever paid as an actor was Hannah Montana,” he told Elle in a video posted on Thursday, February 22, before describing his guest appearance.

“There’s an episode where [Miley Cyrus’ character] gets set up on a blind date,” he explained to Dune Part Two costar Timothée Chalamet. “I’m there and at first she’s excited and then we’re watching a horror film and I’m terrified during the film and screaming and losing my mind so it turns out to be a bad blind date.”

Butler starred in two episodes of Hannah Montana. His second appearance playing Derek Hanson, Hannah’s blind date in Season 2 Episode 7, was in an episode titled “My Best Friend’s Boyfriend.”

The Golden Globe winner starred in multiple Nickelodeon and Disney Channel when he was younger, including appearances in Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, playing Jake in an iCarly episode called “iLike Jake,” along with small roles in Wizards of Waverly Place, Jonas and Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. He’s also well known for playing Zoey’s boyfriend James Garrett in Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101.

“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,” he continued. “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 Butler

Austin Butler arrives at the world premiere of “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh!”
Charley Gallay/WireImage

He spoke to GQ in June 2022 about how most of his guest-starring roles involved heartthrob-type characters in which he was mostly introduced walking through doorways while girls turned their heads and swooned.

“I wanted to do a part like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape or The Basketball Diaries,” he told the outlet at the time. “I was watching Raging Bull, and those types of films, and going, ‘I don’t want to be just a guy who walks in slo-mo through a door.’”

However, Butler explained that he didn’t necessarily think he was ready for those kinds of roles at the time.

“There’s that one [Ira Glass] quote, where he talks about how there’s this gap between where your skill is and where your taste is,” he said, explaining that he was firmly in the middle of that gap and mostly taking jobs to pay the bills.