On Drew and Jonathan Scott’s latest show Celebrity IOU, charity begins at home. Specifically, it begins at a home renovation site, with a heartwarming story and some serious star power.
In each episode, celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Melissa McCarthy and Michael Bublé team up with the tool-toting twosome to revamp spaces for mentors, friends and family members who have had a major impact on their lives.
The show has been renewed for a second season, set to air early next year, and has attracted 18.9 million viewers in the U.S. since it premiered in April. The Scott brothers spoke with Postmedia about the series.
Q: What sets Celebrity IOU apart from your other shows?
Drew Scott: Celebrity IOU landed at a particularly interesting time in everyone’s life, that’s for sure. This show has been in the making since 2015, when we first pitched the idea to Viola Davis at the Emmys. She immediately got on board and that’s when we knew we had something special on our hands. From that moment on, word spread quickly and we signed a total of six big celebrities with six even bigger hearts.
Jonathan Scott: It was such an honour to be able to play a part in these huge acts of kindness. There were a lot of tears of joy shed on set.
Q: Any specific renovations that stood out?
Jonathan: Every renovation had its own special story, but we really enjoyed watching Melissa McCarthy’s uncle and aunt come into their renovated home and just be completely blown away. Both were retired police officers, and her uncle still deals with injuries he sustained on the job. Watching both of them overwhelmed with gratitude after they had given so much to their community was really special to us.
“Projects like this — where good things happen to truly good people — don’t just come and go. There’s a lot more life-changing work to be done.”
Drew: As far as drama … we lifted an enormous prefabricated pool over a house for Rebel Wilson’s episode with a giant crane, which was definitely a first for both of us. We had to get it over a house, past electrical wires and into a hole that had almost no space on any side. It was the most complicated and heart-stopping game of Tetris ever.
Q: Did any of the celebrities particularly impress you with their knowledge of home design?
Jonathan: We really enjoyed working with everyone, and we were surprised by how many big-name celebrities have been involved in renovations and property management before. Jeremy Renner has done something like 25 houses, and he came with designs, drawings, everything. By the end of Rebel Wilson’s episode, she was basically lobbying us to join the show.
Q: What’s the most satisfying part of transforming peoples’ homes?
Drew: The big reveal is what does it for us. We love watching a homeowner walk in and see a place they’ve known for years totally transformed into a home that works better for their lives. Lots of people dream about what they would change about their home. We get to help those dreams come true and improve their lives in the process.
Q: What does the idea of “home” mean to you?
Jonathan: We say all the time that it all starts at home — meaning that every good thing comes from a sense of belonging, with people you love. That’s what makes home, no matter where you are.
Q: Have more celebrities already approached you to participate in a second season?
Drew: Let’s just say that projects like this — where good things happen to truly good people — don’t just come and go. There’s a lot more life-changing work to be done.
Q: How are both of you coping with the home lockdown orders? What are you doing to fill your time?
Jonathan: We are spending the most time apart in our adult lives, so it feels strange, but we also know we’re lucky to spend time with people we love.
Drew: We’re working on a new home furniture and accessories line, doing a lot of puzzles and checking in on friends and family. I’m loving my weekly guitar lessons with Dad.
Celebrity IOU airs Mondays on HGTV.