Drew and Jonathan Scott are helping celebrities to renovate the homes of people who have touched their lives in the new HGTV series ‘Celebrity IOU.’
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Having Brad Pitt on the debut season of your new TV show is a pretty big get. So big, in fact, it could even be mistaken for a prank, as it was on the premiere episode of Jonathan and Drew Scott’s new HGTV series, “Celebrity IOU” (Mondays, 9 EDT/PDT).
“Jonathan just got a call one day, and the person was like, ‘Hey, this is Brad,'” Drew recalls. “Jonathan’s like, ‘Brad from college or…?’ And he said, ‘No, Brad Pitt.”
It turns out the man who swept this past awards season and charmed us all with his acceptance speeches is a fan of the Scott brothers and their work, which includes renovation shows “Property Brothers” and “Property Brothers: Forever Home.” In the newest television project, stars – including Melissa McCarthy, Viola Davis, Rebel Wilson, Michael Buble and Jeremy Renner – are able to pay back those who have greatly affected their lives.
And the stars didn’t put on a show when it came to getting down and dirty. Drew says the famous faces wanted to be “hands-on.”
“They all wanted to use the power tools, they all wanted to smash through walls,” he says. “Nobody was just saying, ‘Oh, go renovate it for this person.'”
With his safety glasses and newsboy cap on, Pitt helps demo a ceiling and break through a wall to help give his longtime makeup artist Jean Ann Black a multi-use guest house/workspace in just three weeks.
“I love the sounds of a construction site,” Pitt says in the premiere. “If I’m not building I’m dying, I figure.”
He says the two are “like brother and sister,” and there are no ifs, ands or buts about it – they are close. He reveals on “Celebrity IOU” that while filming “Legends of the Fall” (released in 1994), she had to touch up his tuchus from “bad tan lines.”
He says the two first teamed up in the early ’90s, and that she’s meant so much to him over the years.
“Even if I tank a scene, she’s always right there telling me, ‘Hey, it’s all right. It’s good,'” he shares. “She’s just been that person I value so much in my life, and just always there – not just for me, for anyone.”
Repaying the favor in his own way, the movie star “knew what material would work best” for Black, Johnathan says, and provided helpful solutions to transform the space into what she needed. Pitt was also a delight on set.
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“Brad was such a gentleman, and he was so easy to work with and to talk to,” Jonathan says. “It was remarkable, too, because – I’ve never had this before with any celebrity I’ve ever met, but when he came in, the very first time, he took the time to meet everybody and he remembered every single crew member’s name, both the production crew and construction crew.
“And then, even in subsequent days when he would come back and film, or for the reveal, he remembered everybody’s name and took that time to show his appreciation,” Jonathan continues. “He was through and through a true gentleman.”
The renovation impresses Pitt: “Wow! This is hilarious,” he says in disbelief of the transformed “dump.” “This is just amazing. Oh my God, she’s gonna lose her mind.”
And she does. “This is insane!” Black exclaims, taking in the remodel. “It’s just so stunning! I know Brad’s generosity – and it’s huge. But for him to do this, it’s really more than I could’ve ever thought would happen, honestly.”
Buble is another celebrity giving back. The singer, who wanted to renovate an entire house for his late grandfather’s caretaker, also impressed and even surprised himself, Jonathan says. “Michael Buble told us from the very beginning, he’s like, ‘I am so not handy’ … and when he got in there, he was great.”
Speaking of great, Jonathan gives his endorsement of another celebrity who could be in the running should there be a follow-up season to “Celebrity IOU”: his girlfriend, actress/singer Zooey Deschanel. USA TODAY confirmed the two were an item in September.
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“Let me just say, she is one of the kindest, sweetest, caring people I have ever met in my life, and so you’ll just have to wait what happens for a Season 2,” he says. “But I can tell you that she has all of the attributes of what we were looking for in these celebrities who want to give selflessly to somebody else in their life.”
And Jonathan predicts once viewers tune in, they are going to want more of the feel-good program.
“People are gonna watch this show, they’re gonna see how much heart there is in this show,” he says. “We’re gonna make you laugh, we’re gonna make you cry, and I think people are definitely going to want to see another season of this show, and … we’ve had no shortage of people who want to be a part of it.”
Melissa McCarthy appears on the April 20 episode, renovating the home of her aunt and uncle Connie and Jim, who were longtime members of the Chicago Police Department.
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