When you’re Ashton Kutcher and your job entails creating a scene that’s believable enough to shake professional entertainers, you have to go big or go home. This is especially true when you’re target is hitmaker Drake, who commonly makes headlines for his beef with fellow hip-hop artists and is not easily rattled.
That’s part of what makes this episode of the MTV show Punk’d so special. Clearly, Kutcher knew what he was up against. It’s the sheer, over-the-top, chaotic moment after chaotic moment, with each one topping the previous in a hilarious string of unthinkable disasters. In fact, the episode was so grandiose that, according to Kutcher, it made it difficult to pull off but worth every bit of effort.
‘Punk’d’ with Drake was a blockbuster from the start
Recently, Kutcher sat down for a Scene Selection segment on Vanity Fair‘s YouTube channel. He relived the episode in all of its glory and gave a play-by-play.
The episode begins with Drake being told he’s going to meet with then-Vice President Joe Biden, as MTV details. A colleague accompanies the rapper. “Secret Service” agents usher the two away via a quintessential blacked-out SUV — very official-looking. The Titanic-sized ruse couldn’t have been staged better — and the leadup is hilarious.
During one scene, the faux Secret Service driver eyes Drake in the rearview through his classic heavily-tinted aviator shades and hilariously remarks, “I have to tell you, sir, I’m a fan of your music. I enjoy your work.” Drake, through a wide grin, replies, “I’ll tell my mom about that. Secret Service likes my music. She’ll be happy to hear it.” From the start, Drake is perfectly baited into what would turn into a seemingly real-life Hollywood disaster flick.
Ashton Kutcher said ‘I’m going big’ for Drake’s ‘Punk’d’ episode
At the time, Justin Bieber had taken the reigns of the show. But Kutcher returned for one last prank. Kutcher claimed if he agreed to one last segment, he told producers, “I’m going big.” Boy, did he ever.
“We basically scripted it the way we wanted it to be,” Kutcher continues. “It had been sitting on the shelf for a while because it was relatively complicated.” During the episode, the Secret Service driver pulls the SUV into a parking garage. An “earthquake” is triggered, shaking the SUV violently with Drake and his friend inside.
“We had to get the car into the parking garage, and then hook it up to a rig so the car shook and made it feel like a real earthquake was happening. And then we had to rig anything in the parking lot that you could see…” Kutcher stated. He explained the painstaking setup while pointing out the angles and elevations using his hands: “That had any capacity of mobility, so that it moved as well, and then timed each one of those hits.”
‘Drake called his mom and jumped on his friend’s lap’
Despite the difficulty, the plan was deployed flawlessly. Drake bought the scene hook, line, and sinker. The Punk’d team made him so afraid that the rapper contacted his mother and jumped into his friend’s lap. Kutcher added, “I feel like when we cut it together, look a lot tougher than it may have gone down.” What did Drake have to say about his “near-death experience?”
“My friend CJ punk’d me the other day with Ashton Kutcher. I thought I was gonna die, man. That’s how severe it was. Punk’d used to be about getting angry, but the new Punk’d is like, ‘Hey man, are you gonna have your life at the end of this?’ I thought I was gonna die, to the point where I was calling my mom,” Drake confessed in an interview with Rap-Up.
We couldn’t think of a better way for Kutcher to wrap up his last episode of the show that helped catapult him to his current level of success — a true Punk’d-style curtain call.