The Simple Way Ashton Kutcher Convinced Celebrities to Be on ‘Punk’d’

Multihyphenate Ashton Kutcher revealed how he convinced celebrities to appear on MTV’s Punk’d, a show the Iowa native starred in from 2003 to 2007, where he pulled elaborate pranks on celebrities. Find out how Kutcher made money before becoming an actor.

The show got to be so popular, celebrities including the likes of Beyoncé, Hilary Duff, and Frankie Muniz (the first person to be pranked on the show) would occasionally ask, “Am I being Punk’d?” But how did Kutcher convince big names in Hollywood to make fools of themselves on TV? Find out ahead. 

Earlier this year, the 41-year-old currently starring on Netflix’s original series, The Ranch, took a break from filming to appear on Hot Ones, a YouTube series where host, Sean Evans, asks celebrities questions while they eat chicken wings covered in hot sauce. 

How Ashton Kutcher convinced celebrities to go on ‘Punk’d’

Kutcher, who is married to Mila Kunis (they started dating in 2012), his That ‘70s Show co-star, opened up about filming Punk’d, according to BuzzFeed News. Spoiler: Kutcher didn’t spend all of his time sitting in a van like a police officer on a stakeout.

When asked about invading celebrities’ privacy, Kutcher said, “We never aired a single episode that a celebrity didn’t sign a waiver to say, ‘It’s OK to air this.’” 

But how did the father of two get stars to agree to appear on the show? Kutcher said it was common practice for him to show them footage of the prank to get the green light to air it. 

“There were many cases where I was like, ‘Listen, I’ll show you the final cut product — if you don’t like it, if you don’t think it’s funny, we just won’t air it,'” he explained. 

How Ashton Kutcher kept pranks going

Like with anything and especially pranks, things don’t always go as planned. When that happened, Kutcher had two ways of keeping the prank going. First, he would revisit the original plan and bring in a new person to minimize suspicion.

“If a mark caught on to what we were doing, we would hit the eject button and then keep the bit up and try to bring somebody else into the scenario so we didn’t lose the money,” Kutcher said. 

Beyoncé and Ashton Kutcher
Beyoncé and Ashton Kutcher | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Another option was to keep the prank going for so long, the celebrity being pranked would think the situation was real.

“We’d keep it going on for so long that they’d be like, ‘OK, there’s no way I’m being Punk’d‘ and then you’re right back on,” he said.

“A lot of times, somebody would be like, ‘I’m being Punk’d right now, Ashton come out, I’m being Punk’d‘ and I would just be like, ‘OK everybody back off and chill,'” he added.

Unfortunately for Kutcher, those tactics didn’t always work. Sometimes, the pranks were unsuccessful, which, in one case, meant losing $300,000 in one episode.

Halle Berry and Ashton Kutcher
Halle Berry and Ashton Kutcher | L. Cohen/WireImage

“I can’t remember exactly, but I wanna say that there was a special effect that was supposed to go off,” Kutcher remembered. “We couldn’t get it to trigger, and there was no way to do it. So we had to just pull [the plug].”

He has ‘nothing to do with’ new episodes of ‘Punk’d’

MTV Studios announced earlier this year they were bringing the show back, according to Entertainment Weekly. Kutcher took to Twitter to set the record straight about his involvement, or lack thereof, with new episodes of Punk’d

Maybe Kutcher’s punking everyone and will actually have a part in upcoming episodes?

Find out what the actor’s favorite reality TV show is here. Hint: It’s not Punk’d.