Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler ~literally~ crossed paths at an Oscars afterparty on Sunday, and it looked every bit as awkward as you’d maybe expect.
If you’re in need of a reminder, the two actors started dating way back in 2011, firmly solidifying themselves as a fan-favorite power couple in the nine years they were together.
As I’m sure you’ll know, Austin’s career has seen a major boost in the past year due to his widely acclaimed portrayal of Elvis Presley — a role he’s previously credited Vanessa for encouraging him to take on during their relationship.
When Austin was cast in the part in July 2019, Vanessa publicly celebrated the career milestone. However, they wound up calling it quits just six months later in January 2020.
This was around the time that Elvis started production in Australia, and there are numerous reports to suggest that the demands of the movie may have contributed to their split.
Now, fast forward a couple of years, and Austin is the man of the moment off the back of Elvis’s major success and is dating model Kaia Gerber.
Meanwhile, Vanessa is newly engaged to her partner, MLB player Cole Tucker, and — aside from poking fun at her ex’s lingering Southern drawl back in January after he was called out for failing to properly credit her for helping him land the role — has stayed fairly quiet on Austin’s career moves.
And so, with all of this context in mind, fans couldn’t help but get excited about the possibility of a full-circle reunion between the exes at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday, where Austin was nominated for Best Actor and Vanessa was in attendance as a red carpet host for ABC’s pre-show.
Unfortunately — and perhaps even intentionally — Austin wasn’t interviewed by Vanessa on the red carpet, instead speaking with her cohost, Ashley Graham, meaning fans began to lose hope that they’d see them cross paths.
However, prayers were eventually answered on Monday morning, when a photograph emerged online showing Austin and Vanessa standing near one another outside the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty later that night.
Based on the smile on Austin’s face as Vanessa stood off to the side in front of him, it initially appeared as if the two had at least acknowledged one another. But, a few hours later, a video of the moment surfaced online, revealing that things didn’t unfold quite as cordially as we’d first thought.
In the video obtained by Entertainment Tonight, it’s pretty evident that the two didn’t interact at all, with Vanessa simply brushing past while Austin was waving to fans.
As she approaches him, you can see that Vanessa’s eyes dart up toward Austin for a split second, but she quickly puts her head down and keeps her focus glued to her phone while she walks on — likely in an effort not to be spotted.
Of course, no one can say for sure whether she was actually ignoring him — although it’s probably fair to say she was at least aware of his presence, particularly given the fact that crowds of fans can be heard chanting his name from across the street.
In a vertically cropped version of the video, which has been widely circulated online, it looks as if Austin notices Vanessa after she’s walked past. However, numerous fans have shared the uncropped version, in which you can see that Austin is actually greeting someone else.
Of course, it didn’t take long for the footage to stir up a frenzy online, with fans coming to Twitter in droves to react.
One of the overwhelming sentiments in response to the video was how sad it was to see that the exes — who were believed to have parted on good terms — didn’t even acknowledge one another.
“To date someone for a decade to then act like this is so crazy and depressing omg,” one person tweeted, garnering more than 42,000 likes. “Like pretending to be strangers with someone you were friends with in high school is fine but omg like you two spent your entire 20s with eachother that’s crazy.”
They added: “This is not me saying this is wrong I’d do this in this exact situation too (and do) it’s just pretty sad in this circumstance.”
“crazy how you can be with someone for a decade and then y’all are complete strangers,” wrote another person in agreement.
And they weren’t the only ones to echo this opinion, with one user adding that “we all know that feeling” of an awkward run-in with an ex or old friend.
With that in mind, avoiding an ex in public isn’t exactly an unusual thing to do — particularly when you’ve both got new partners — so, plenty of people chimed in to say they’d probably have taken a similar approach.
“she’s so me, she so real for this. Except I wouldn’t have even looked,” commented one user.
Obviously, it all goes without saying that we’ll never really know what the context of the situation is, with one fan highlighting that they are just “adults acting like adults.”
Although, it definitely seems Vanessa wants no part in the drama, pointedly reposting a clip from the Oscars broadcast where Malala Yousafzai responded to a question about Harry Styles and Chris Pine by telling the host, Jimmy Kimmel, that she only talks about “peace.”
“Let’s all be on the ‘I only talk about peace’ train. Ok?” Vanessa urged her followers on Instagram on Monday.
And with that, I think it’s safe to say that the case is closed.