Anticipation for Sofia Coppola’s take on the true story of teens robbing Tinseltown has been at a fever pitch for months now, but did you know the Bling Ring’s hijinks have already seen the screen? And on Lifetime, no less?
It’s true! The same-named TV movie, starring “Carrie Diaries” actor Austin Butler, debuted in 2011, hitting essentially the same beats as the upcoming film: rob, rinse and repeat.
Austin played a character named Zach Garvey, the small-screen version of bandit Nick Prugo. We recently spoke with Austin about his time in the Bling Ring, including his brush with the real-life boy he portrayed.
“It was cool, because getting to play a real person who was young at the time—it was wild because he reached out to me [during filming], and I didn’t know what to do, really, because I thought it might be too close to home,” Austin recalled. “I mean, they came to friends of mine house. It was kind of wild.”
That’s not to say, however, that the 21-year-old didn’t contemplate a meet-up…at least for a minute or two.
“Me, being an actor, I thought, ’Yeah, I’ll go to coffee with him, and we’ll talk about it.’ And then my agent was like, ’Don’t do that. That’s not smart. You don’t want to get that involved.'”
Austin will once again find himself tangled up with the Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch—but just as a viewer, this time.
“I’m excited to see their version,” Austin enthused.
The film, starring Emma Watson and Leslie Mann, opens in limited release tomorrow.
Have you seen the Lifetime version of “The Bling Ring”? Do you plan to see Sofia Coppola’s take this weekend? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!