As he recalled how celebs would be “terribly mad” at him, Novak also thanked Ashton Kutcher for changing his life with the MTV show.
While appearing on “Punk’d” was BJ Novak’s first big role in Hollywood, it’s not a gig that won him many friends among the celebrities pranked.
The actor was on “Late Night with Stephen Colbert” on Thursday, where he opened up about casting Ashton Kutcher in his directorial film debut, “Vengeance” — the first time they worked together since those early 2000s days at MTV.
“That was my first job, on camera. He changed my life with that show,” Novak said of getting the “Punk’d” gig. “I was doing open mics at the time and I was like a dorky, khakis wearing kid and he was like the coolest person in the world. He wore a trucker hat and everyone in America wore a trucker hat. He was a trend setter and I wasn’t, in that moment, really getting anywhere or feeling like a cool kid.”
Novak recalled getting random calls “from a burner phone” back in the day, as Kutcher threw last-minute pranks his way for various celebs.
“It’s Ashton Kutcher, like, ‘I need you to be at the Van Nuys DMV tomorrow and know everything about the California Driving Code. Hilary Duff is taking her drivers test and you’re the instructor,'” Novak said, adding that the Celebrities would always get “terribly mad” at him — but never Ashton — after the hidden camera reveals.
“I’m meeting all these celebrities for the first time, right? It’s thrilling for me. I’m meeting Missy Elliott, I’m meeting Usher, [but] it’s the worst day of their life,” he said with a laugh, before diving deeper into his Usher interaction.
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“I got to meet Usher but my job was, I was a store owner on Melrose and his little brother had been busted for shoplifting — he was in on it with us — and the only way I would let the brother go is if he recorded a rap jingle for my store, which I rapped for him,” Novak recalled.
“And he was like, ‘First of all, I’m not a rapper. Second of all, why does it refer to ice?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, we wanted Vanilla Ice,’ he continued, as Colbert cracked up.
“He’s furious and then Ashton comes out, and he’s like, ‘Bro!’ And [Usher] gets like a huge hug. And I’m like…” Novak said, as he held out his arms. “And he’s like, ‘No, no, no, no.’ Like, your first impression of someone sticks, you know.”
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Novak said he hasn’t run into Usher since that fateful day — and joked, unlike Ashton, the singer probably won’t “be in my next movie.”
Speaking with EXTRA earlier this week, Kutcher said he actually experienced a bit of a friend fallout from “Punk’d too” when it initially aired. “For a long time, I would go out and like nobody would want to hang out,” he told the outlet. “They were like, ‘I am not messing with him.’ It’s nice to have friends.”
“Vengeance” is in theaters now.