Photos of Austin Butler kissing a bikini-clad Vanessa Hudgens during a Hawaiian getaway hit the Internet in January, and while Austin understands that being pursued by paparazzi is par for the celebrity course, the “Switched at Birth” star is still uncomfortable with the invasion of privacy.
“I’m a very private person… and I’m still very shy — it’s such a personal thing,” the 20-year-old actor told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman during an interview on the “Switched at Birth” set on Tuesday, when asked about the steamy pics with girlfriend Vanessa. “It’s something that is sort of unavoidable.
“It goes with the territory, so I can’t complain, but it’s such an invasion,” he added.
The actor, who reportedly began dating the “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” beauty in September, said he and Vanessa were not aware their intimate beachfront moments were being photographed.
“We were at a private hotel, so you don’t think that that’s going to be there, and then it ends up happening,” he said. “Sometimes, during the day you’ll actually see [the photographers], but then there’s other times where they’re so far away that you don’t even know [they’re there].”
Though the photos were upsetting, Austin said the paparazzi shots will not have an effect on his PDA patterns.
“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. You can’t go out, you can’t hold hands with your girlfriend, you can’t do any of these things,” he explained. “So, I’m trying to find the balance. It’s just staying happy and staying present and not worrying about what other people think.”
As for Austin’s turn as Wilke on “Switched at Birth,” the blond will soon get to enjoy a milestone on the ABC Family series that he missed out on during his teen years – prom.
“I’ve never actually been to prom,” he told Laura. “I was home schooled starting in seventh grade. I had a girlfriend at the time so I went to Winter Formal and Homecoming and those dances, but she wasn’t a senior and we broke up before prom, so I never actually got to go to prom.”
“Switched at Birth” airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC Family.