A chat with LIFE UNEXPECTED’s Austin Butler

Austin Butler shooting an ep of LIFE UNEXPECTED

In LIFE UNEXPECTED’s first season, we were introduced to Lux’s new friend Jones (Austin Butler) – the pretty boy quarterback that Lux clearly likes, but doesn’t feel worthy of.  That hasn’t stopped Jones from carrying one hell of a torch for our girl Lux, but boyfriends and non-starter relationships have gotten in the way.  With Bug out of the way, Jones has finally laid it all on the line for Lux that he wants more, but she’s still not ready.  Tonight, Jones is back on LUX’s Coast-to-Coast crossover event episode, and there are some surprising twists that I didn’t see coming.

I had a chance to chat with Austin Butler, Jones himself, about what’s coming up for our friends in Portland, what he’d love to see for Jones, and what else he watches when he gets some downtime!

I love LIFE UNEXPECTED!  What’s coming up for Jones, next time we see him, what’s going on with his character?
Emotionally, in his mind, Jones and Lux belong together, but in the real world, there’s a lot about Lux that keeps that from happening.  He tries to be really patient with her, but it’s hard, because he doesn’t want to wait around forever.  That’s kind of where he’s at right now.

How many episodes have you shot for this season so far?
I think I shot, let’s see…I think like 3 or 4.  It’s funny, I don’t know [laughs].  I’m going up to shoot the 4th one, or the 5th one, this week (editor’s note: last week is when we chatted).

It sounds like the Jones character, while he’s still there pining for friends, he is still going to kind of be one of her only friends.  Do we get to see them explore that friendship more, even though he clearly wants more?
I hope that we do.  So far, nothing in what I’ve done has seen that.  I shouldn’t say that.  They have spent time together, and that sort of thing.  You will see them spend time together, but it is muddled because he does have those feelings, and who knows what’s going on inside the crazy mind of Lux.  So it could be explored, for sure [laughs].

As a viewer, as a member of the cast, what would you love to see happen with Jones, either with Lux or in general?
For one thing, I’d love to see Jones not be perfect.  I’d like to see some of his back story, or some of the stuff that he does.  I’d like Lux to see that.  I’d like her to see that he’s not perfect.  Right now, I think she just looks at him as the high school quarterback, who is like the popular guy at school, and she doesn’t see herself as girlfriend material for someone like that.  I’d like to see her see his imperfections.  He’d be more relateable to her, I think.

I think that’s true – a lot of questions people had when I put out a call for questions is whether we’d ever see Jones be anything other than this perfect quarterback – is there more to it than that.
Really?  I’m glad you say that.  That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling.  The writers are amazing.  I know they can do so many great things.  I know they have a lot on their plate, there are so many storylines going on.  But I would love to see that.  Either him being a great athlete or great athlete mixed with the whole relatability.

What do you think now is a good time for new viewers or maybe old viewers who fell off the bandwagon to jump back on?
Oh my gosh, this year.  I was talking with Kris Polaha the other day, and we were both talking about crazy it is, how different the show is this year.  Different in a great way.  Just so much more is going on, and there are so many twists, and it’s bigger and more mysterious and sexier.  It’s a good show.  I love it.  Yet, still, it has the same quality as the pilot, which was the thing, when I watched the pilot, when I got the show, I had like tears in my eyes, I had chills.  It was such a good show.  It has that, but now it has the sexiness and the mystery and the crazy twists and all that.  It’s a good show.

Like you said, it brought tears to your eyes.  When I watched the pilot, the first thing I thought was that it was classic old school WB like DAWSON’S CREEK, FELICITY.  I think that like you said, it’s new, but it’s maintaining the heartwarming idea.
Yeah!  It’s so important because a lot on TV isn’t that.  I feel like LIFE UNEXPECTED has that, which is really cool.

What else do you have coming up besides LIFE UNEXPECTED?
Well, let’s see.  As far as the future, I have, there are things that aren’t for sure, that I don’t want to jinx, but I’m hoping will come through and that sort of thing.  I did this movie with Ashley Tisdale, which is cool because she’s another CW girl, and we knew each other from before.  I did that with her, and that will be coming out in a little while. It’s a Disney thing.  It’s called SHARPAY’S FABULOUS ADVENTURE.  It’s her character from HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL brought to the real world.

Do you get a chance to watch a lot of TV?
Um yes?

Yes? [laughs]
[laughs] It’s a question mark! I do, but a lot of it is DVD TV.  Well, I watched DEXTER on DVD, and then once I finished that, then I had to buy Showtime, and so now I’ve been Tivoing that.  I watched DEXTER and I watch THE OFFICE. So yeah, I do [laughs again].

I’m a big TV on DVD fan.  I’m going back to all of these shows that I didn’t used to watch which is a ridiculous plan during the fall season.  Is there a show that you never got a chance to enjoy that you’re going back to now and you regret missing out on?
Oh man, I have certain shows like that. EXTRAS.  The British show with Ricky Gervais.  It only went for three seasons or something like that.  ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, which is such a great show, but it only went for three seasons.  What else, ROME is another really good one.

LIFE UNEXPECTED has both a drama and comedy aspect to it – do you see yourself leaning towards one more than the other when looking for new roles?
I’ve done more comedy, and now I kind of want to break into doing more drama.  I love trying to challenge myself now, I’m looking for something that will challenge me a little bit, and stuff that is meatier.  I think I’m looking for more drama, but I’m not against comedy at all.  I love comedy and it’s so much fun to do.  It’s just, you can laugh all day long, which is great.  I definitely want to try some serious drama stuff.

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