Austin Butler’s Must-Watch Movies and TV Shows Beyond Masters Of The Air

Before he was Elvis Presley and Gale Cleven, actor Austin Butler played an Elven hero and a heartthrob in many a teen drama.

Austin Butler in "Masters of the Air," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg-produced World War II series Masters of the Air has something that its predecessors (Band of Brothers, The Pacific) did not: a bona fide movie star in the lead role. Thanks to his award-winning role as the King himself in 2022’s Elvis, Austin Butler has burst onto the scene as a major acting force. And he brings that gravitas with him to portray Gale “Buck” Cleven in the nine-episode Apple TV+ series about WWII bomber pilots.

Cleven is the perfect role for the brooding Butler – a quiet, confident figure that the rest of his crew looks up to. Cleven also serves as the culmination of years of work for the actor just as much as the Elvis Presley gig did. As a teen, Butler made the Disney and Nickelodeon TV show circuit via a mix of one-off and recurring roles on Zoey 101, Hannah Montana, iCarly, Wizards of Waverly Place, and other shows that his fellow Millennials grew up on. But it was on a bevy of teen dramas where he began to really get a foothold, with his career taking off in the 2010s, including where he played a far more nefarious historical figure a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Here are all the big Austin Butler roles you should be aware of.

Austin Butler in Life Unexpected

Life Unexpected (2010)

No doubt trying to recreate the success of series like Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill, this 2010 teen drama saw 16-year-old Lux (Britt Robertson), who grew up in the foster system, track down her birth parents (Shiri Appleby and Kristoffer Polaha), only for a judge to deem that all three must live together as a quasi-family. This high-concept premise needed a grounding in familiar teen fare, which is where 19-year-old Butler’s love interest Jones Mager comes in: a high school quarterback who Lux initially deems too “Abercrombie” for her lifestyle, but who winds up being the stabilizing influence she needs.


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