Vanessa Hudgens Credits Austin Butler Breakup With Leading Her to Husband Cole Tucker

Hudgens opened up about the subject while on the 'She Pivots' podcast.

Life is like baseball, in that every day there's an at-bat. Sometimes you strike out. Sometimes you hit a single and sometimes you hit a home run. But in Vanessa Hudgens' case, there's no doubt she felt the thrill of hitting a grand slam when she met the man of her dreams in Cole Tucker. An exhilarating flush of emotions she never would have experienced if not for a breakup.

The 35-year-old actress opened up about life a bit while on the latest episode of Emily Tisch Sussman's She Pivots podcast. While discussing one of Hudgens' business ventures, Sussman asked the High School Musical star if there was anything in her life that, at the time, she saw as a real negative but now sees it as something that launched her into the success she is now. And that's when Hudgens, who at first chuckled, offered that her last breakup -- in 2020 from Austin Butler -- led her down a blissful path.

"I feel like so much of my character was built from my breakups. Also, the tenacity I have is from starting in my career at such an early age and dealing with so much rejection that you really have to build a really strong backbone in order to keep doing it when everyone's telling you no," she said. "That builds a lot of character. But, yeah, I feel like my last breakup has really catapulted me into a very, very special place, obviously. [It] pushed me to the right person, which I'm so grateful for because he's just the most supportive, real, understanding human being that I've ever met."

The Elvis star, 32, and Hudgens, 35, dated from 2011 until their split in 2020. Hudgens and Tucker, a minor league shortstop with the Seattle Mariners organization, were first publicly linked in 2020, months after her breakup from Butler. The actress and pro baseball player would become engaged at the end of 2022, and they tied the knot in December 2023 in Tulum, Mexico. 

Ahead of her nuptials, Hudgens and her girls had a spooky chic bachelorette party in Aspen, Colorado, a momentous occasion that turned sour when Hudgens was forced to shut down rumors that she was pregnant. The insane rumor came about after Hudgens posted pics from the outing, which then led fans to speculate. Hudgens at the time responded to the rumors with an eyeroll emoji. And on the podcast, Hudgens again opened up about being in public relationships and how she deals with it.

"I feel like I literally just had a run-in with the public taking control over their opinion of me in a way that was disrespectful. I went out on my bachelorette and I posted video of me and there are all these comments that are like, 'Oh my god. You're pregnant,'" she said. "And I'm like, that is so rude. I'm sorry, I don't wear Spanx every day and I'm a real woman and have a real body."

In what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of her life, Hudgens said, turned into her thinking, "You guys are just gonna make me feel fat. Great. Thanks."