Good character is not given to us nor is it handed down. Like building a home, it must be carefully developed piece by piece, creatively through thought, choice, courage and determination. In some cases, it could very well be praised more so than talent and with that inner drive, one can go much further.
Jonathan and Drew Scott, 33 are not just the hosts of the popular real estate and home renovation show, Property Brothers on the W Network and HGTV but they are also twin brothers with a tremendous amount of passion and heart. Recently nominated for the prestigious Rose d’Or award in the lifestyle show category, the brothers are fast becoming TV’s newest sweethearts.
The show follows Drew, the licensed real estate agent and Jonathan, the licensed contractor to find fixer-uppers for homebuyers to turn into beautiful homes without busting their budget but undergoing a major transformation just enough to make it beautiful yet practical. Together they help out families while maintaining a strong heart throughout the process. It’s not easy but the two make it as comfortable for their clients as possible.
I had the pleasure of chatting with the charming brothers one evening last week while they took a break from filming multiple episodes of their show down in Austin, Texas. The dynamic duo had just come off their trip to Orlando, Florida for the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and as a fan of basketball, I had to ask them how it was.
“It was so much fun,” Drew enthuses of the event. “We got to play alongside some of the greats, the retired players and then meet some new folks to play with. Jonathan’s team destroyed my team in the game. However, I almost won a 3-point contest and I did win the Shooting Stars Celebrity challenge so I came home with a trophy!”
“We’re very athletic,” Jonathan chimes in. “[We] haven’t played organized ball since back in high school but we try to get out as much as we can.”
As I’m taking notes and listening to the two, I realize they sound very much alike and a gruelling thought blows into my mind, that this might be one of the hardest interviews I’ve ever conducted unless I come up with a designated plan as to who’s saying what while I’m taking notes. Just then, Drew jokes, “If our voices sound identical, I can have Jonathan speak to you in an old British woman’s voice or something.”
We all laugh and that thought that crept in suddenly fades away. My nerves were getting the best of me and I realize, these two are not just hilarious with quick-wit but they are personable and warm. We’ve only exchanged a few words at this point in the conversation and already, they make me feel welcomed and accepted and it doesn’t seem like a job anymore. I’m talking to two guys on a Thursday night and we’re all just having fun while engaging and learning about each other.
Now at any given point in this conversation, Jonathan did not speak in an old British woman’s voice. He spoke in his own but as someone who spent an hour with them, you hear there is a distinct difference between the two brothers and their tones; both incredibly cordial and warm but only the ear can actually siphon who is who though it also helps when they’re both very accommodating and patient.
As we dive right in, the brothers share with me how Property Brothers came to be and disclose that they never wanted to be starving actors. The two, who have been acting since they were kids, decided early on after high school that they wanted to get into real estate investment. Their plan paid off and the two soon moved to Calgary and started investing into properties, then expanding their company back to Vancouver with Jonathan then heading down to Vegas and expanding their venture into the bright light city, where they now live. In 2004, the two officially founded Scott Real Estate with offices between the three prime locations they traveled between.
The brothers ended up getting back into film and TV, where they started to pitch a few different programs that were about hosting real estate based shows. That’s where Cineflix, the production company that produces Property Brothers comes in:
“They [had] pitched a show idea to us which was originally called ‘My Dream Home’ and it was supposed to be a male and female host but I guess they thought Jonathan had very effeminate hair,” Drew says through a chuckle as Jonathan can be heard laughing in the background. “They liked that – the network liked that and it just expanded from there.”
With good reason, Property Brothers isn’t like any other home design show. The brothers have a natural chemistry a lot of hosts on home renovation shows can’t evenly convey which Jonathan expresses comes naturally to him and his brother, Drew.
“When you spend nine months in a womb with somebody, you really connect,” he laughs. “You understand what each other are thinking. It’s not just [about] being twin brothers or the whole twin thing but when you have a best friend that you can finish each other’s sentences, it’s kind of like that but times ten.”
Jonathan goes onto saying that he and Drew know exactly what each other can do. When Drew shows properties to a client, he understands entirely what his brother is capable of with design and construction without saying a word but of course, the two have naturally creative minds as well and their own expertise in each field.
One thing you’ll notice when you watch the show is the amount of care and concern the two genuinely have for their clients. It’s not something you see on any other show without the hosts overacting and not fully understanding the clients’ needs without stepping down from that host duty attitude. All in all, these two come off very “normal”.
“That proves even for us,” Jonathan tells me. “Before even the show, working with our clients, our real estate company became very successful and we’ve done everything from commercial to residential real estate but the main thing we’ve always said is that we’ve never been desperate for commission. We only work with people who understand that we put them first and that’s in our philosophy, you know?”
He goes on to tell me that even with their company, they’ve never ever gone over budget on their original scope of work. The duo make sure enough is done to the property so that the buyer is never financially crippled. Jonathan and Drew don’t take any fees for the work done on the show, saying no one is charged. They and the show itself contributes about $10,000 worth of cash and another $15,000 worth of free stuff like appliances or Hunter Douglas products but other costs that are incurred, basically come down to other trades that the show brings in and the materials used.
It only figures with the way families get so emotional at the end of the renovation, they are in genuine tears because it’s their money on the line which makes it all the more real.
“The great thing for us is that we want to educate viewers on how to build their dream home by going with a fixer-upper,” Jonathan says.
What viewers don’t realize is that the pricing showcased on the show of $40,000 to $50,000 for renovation are only for the three or four rooms previewed during the hour. The whole house is actually renovated but because time constraints, to renovate the entire house for the audiences watching in one hour would be too much information. After the viewing parts are fully renovated, the team goes back to the rest of the house to ensure buyers have their dream home.
The timeframe is something audiences do wonder about and I ask the two how long it takes them to build one dream home. Jonathan and Drew tell me every project is different but the scope of work we see, since only three or four rooms are featured take around four to six weeks. If any contractor was doing it outside the show, it would be closer to ten to twelve but the brothers and their team have the advantage of being first priority with every trade and supplier so there isn’t any delay and weeks are not added to the schedule; everything is in real-time.
One thing I imagine would be hard to do is convince homebuyers that an ugly shack has potential to be gorgeous; one’s personal oasis from the stresses of work and life. Jonathan shares with me their tool of the trade: a design software he wishes he had years ago when working with their clients. He adds that a lot of other contractors ask about the software as well but that it’s just not feasible to use on a regular residential construction project. Those computer generated designs cost about $10,000 to put together.
“They generally still don’t believe us until they see this whole 3-D design and then they’re prepared,” he says of the homebuyers. “The company we do it with, they do a phenomenal job of it. It’s so realistic [and] it shows exactly what I see in my head, when I'm doing a design. That’s what finally convinces them.”
A harsh reality many can’t understand is that their needs often times when looking for a home outweigh the practicality and functionality of the space they require with the pricing not being what they imagined. One of the reasons the brothers took the show down south is because the American viewers on HGTV can’t relate to the pricing in Toronto. Drew discloses that a townhome in the city would be $800,000 but that price tag isn’t the same in Austin. It goes for much less than $200,000 which is a steal, telling me that you could get a lot more house for the same price in that case. In terms of the famous idiom, ‘everything is bigger in Texas’, Jonathan agrees, saying that everything is, except the real estate prices.
It’s a truth lots of homebuyers can’t fathom especially with the way Drew showcases it on the show with the fully furnished dream home in the dream location accompanied by the ridiculous out of this world price tag. The duo and their sense of humour decided to create a webisode for HGTV called “Buyers with Clout” complete with showing the exaggerated yet hilarious side of homebuyers and their feelings towards the method Drew pulls on them.
“When I take them to the dream home and I drop the price and it’s way over their budget, they’re distraught. Jonathan thinks it’s mean,” Drew says through a laugh. “But it’s funny to me how many people still want to believe they can afford that and that’s why it’s a harsh truth. I’m just trying to show to them and bring them back down to reality.”
Sometimes the whole stress of buying and renovating results in drama with the homeowners but the two share with me that they always try their best to be there for the families when things come up. Drew goes on to saying that they have always been about the clients and that if something they didn’t see coming occurs, they would try and find a way to save costs admitting that sometimes they bite the bullet and cover some of the expenses themselves.
“Our reputation is very important to us,” he tells me. “We hold ourselves to a high standard and so I find the clients realize, we educate [them] on what the process is, what we’re trying to do – that helps us for the road because we never tell clients, ‘Your renovation budget is $40,000. That’s it. It will never be more.’ We let them know there’s always a good chance something could come up. We build a contingency and we’ll deal with that when it comes along and then it softens the blow if something does happen.”
Jonathan interjects that they’re brutally honest and upfront with them as well. “We don’t want to blow a bunch of sunshine at them and say yes to everything that they want because that wouldn’t be responsible of us.”
Sometimes with renovations, come nightmares. On Property Brothers the two have seen their fair share with the homes from everything like lack of insulation in the walls, leaks, rotting and more. One couple for example, saw Raun and Jasprit in the first season of the show experience their own nightmare when Jonathan discovered rot in the trusses even though they did a home inspection before the renovation even begun. It was an expense that wasn’t in the budget but Drew was able to prove that the previous owner did not disclose the issue to them before selling. Fortunately, the couple were paid for that cost from the previous homeowners and renovations proceeded.
“I’ve seen people who don’t do their due diligence trying to inspect a property and make sure there are no issues and then they get stuck in the end,” Drew says. “This is one of the things we always lecture on. Use those professionals, have the inspectors but don’t just rely on [them]. Educate yourself. Know in your area, the types of homes that you’re looking at [and] what are some of the common problems. You can find this stuff on Google!”
Drew’s advice is if you’re a handy guy and do a lot of the prepared housework to add on with investigating the property before signing on the dotted line. Jonathan mentions that this sort of stuff happens from time to time proving that they’re always on their toes at every moment. It’s understood that a lot goes on behind the scenes but as an audience, we’re not privy to seeing because there’s just not enough time.
With the fact that turning a fixer-upper into a dream home could very well go down the wrong road and become a nightmarish experience, I had to ask which is the better investment at the end of it: a new home or a fixer-upper?
“Well, it’s a really hard toss up,” Drew starts. “Obviously on Property Brothers the main thing we’re trying to say is instead of spending money on an already renovated home, a move-in ready home or a brand new home where you put equity in the property of the seller, we want you to get a fixer-upper, customize the renovation to make it your dream home then at the end of the day, all the equity is in your pocket.”
He goes onto saying on the other side of it that a new home or a fully renovated home, it’s at the buyers’ pocket. If you find a home that suits your wants and needs, go for it but their clients who want to customize their wants and needs to their new home don’t have the money to do it which is why they recommend the fixer-upper. Drew shares that if you’re looking at a brand new home, a lot of the times there is a smaller floor plan but with a fixer-upper, you could go smaller for a smaller price and still have potential to get that big open layout that you wanted initially.
“It’s not your design and your style that is in the new home as well,” Jonathan tells me. “I’m a very collaborative designer. I sit with the families, I talk with them about exactly what they love and [they] get a taste for things that they like. It’s my job as a designer to take them just beyond their comfort zone to something that’s bold and effective but still has a sense of their style and that's what they get when they customize their renovation.”
Drew gives me some tips on how one can add value to their home, saying you don’t have to spend a lot of money whether you want to give your place a fresh feel or staging to sell. Simple things can be done from painting the walls, creating a fresh palette or some light renovation like changing the flooring.
“If you had old tacky carpet or like, linoleum, if you were putting in hardwood – that would look stunning in a house. It would really change the entire look,” he says.
“We even step back with some people. Whether this is a home they want to stay in for a long time or that they’re looking to sell. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and start from right outside your home. From when they first pull up, what’s the first thing they see – the streetscape of your home at night [or] if anything is disrepaired, needs to be fixed up, you step in that front door, what’s the first thing you see there?” Drew asks questioningly. “The more times a buyer goes ‘Ugh, I don’t like that!’ then the more they think certain things – if all this is ugly on the surface, I wonder what’s wrong underneath the wall and then they start thinking. You want to try and eliminate the ‘ick’ factor. You’re better off doing a light renovation throughout the entire home rather than spending $20,000 on a new kitchen or $10,000 on a new master bath and leaving the rest of the house ugly.”
While the brothers are sharing their tips with me, it makes me realize these two are incredibly generous. Even through the phone, I can hear they’re genuinely warm and there’s no built-up facade to who they are. They are deep-down, as simple as apple pie, nice guys. I guess it makes sense that what comes from the heart goes to heart. These two are straightforward and ready to lend a hand.
“Why?” I ask them as there’s a sudden silence on the other side. “Why create these dream homes for people? This is a big job. You tell these people to basically trust you. Why do you want to do that? What are you achieving at the end of this?”
At this point, I'm wondering if the line got cut because I still don’t hear them and those seconds become longer but then Drew breaks silence and simply says the two have always been like that. “I don’t know if it’s the way our parents have raised us [but] we’ve always been great at putting other people in need or deserving ahead of ourselves. Literally, as kids, we would raise funds in elementary school to put a basketball hoop in the back of the school because the school didn’t have the budget for it. There was always something we were trying to do.”
Drew goes on to telling me how him and Jonathan raised money where they took all these deserving underprivileged kids to see an NBA game going onto saying that in the case of the show, they’re always trying to help their clients in the best way possible.
“When we found out this show was pitched to us, [it] would be a great way to reach a wider audience. Our show is in I think 11 or 12 countries now so we have fans in Mexico, Australia and they message us and say, thanks for inspiring us and that really means a lot.”
Jonathan tells me how great of a creative outlet the show is too with regards to all these designs and the way they look for new and interesting things to do but shares that it isn’t all about that. “Our show is not about flipping houses, it’s not about making a quick buck. It’s about putting a family in their dream home that otherwise they never would have been able to achieve and that is very validating that way.”
He goes onto saying that at the end of the renovation how the families throw their arms around them and give them hugs, saying thank you. It’s a sweet moment for everyone who bears witness of the incident and to hear about it is heartwarming. I then mention the time Jonathan was holding back tears at one of the reveals when the new owners came in at the end.
“What?” Jonathan asks me through a chuckle. “Contractors don’t cry.”
“Oh, I forgot! You pick up heavy machinery, wear plaid and stuff. Of course, you don’t cry,” I respond sarcastically.
The two laugh as Drew begins to tell me it’s all true though. “We are emotionally invested. Jonathan and I have become a part of these families and I love that because if you can give somebody something that can bring tears to their eyes, they’re so happy, it brings tears to our eyes.”
The two have huge hearts and only when you can look into your heart, the rest of every vision and goal becomes clear. Jonathan and Drew discussed with me their philanthropic efforts which are a huge part of their life. As someone who has been familiar with causes and what the value of helping others means for this world’s future from these last four years, I’m eager to hear about their interests with Artists for Peace and Justice, an organization founded by director and screenwriter Paul Haggis.
Established in 2009, APJ encourages peace and social justice, addressing issues of poverty and freedom from political subjugation in communities throughout the world. Their immediate goal is to build schools in the poorest areas of Haiti, providing education, hot meals, clean drinking water and regular medical treatment to children living in dire conditions.
The Scotts who work with and raise money for the organization are expected to visit Haiti for the first time and take part in projects later this year. Drew tells me some of the things APJ has done so far.
“It’s a great cause. We just finished building a school in Haiti and we’re helping to rebuild the communities in Haiti for all these well-deserving families and children. We’re helping people get into a livable state again and improving education so there are always different avenues that really warm our heart and help us get back to people.”
The efforts the two make is admirable and inspiring. Sure, a lot of people in the industry give back with a foundation and organization but these two and their helpful instincts come off largely innate of them.
“You come off so heroic doing all this work, making these houses, helping others,” I say with a smile. “Are you two wearing superhero capes while doing all of this?”
“Capes are overrated, you know?” Jonathan quips.
Drew can be heard laughing and chimes in. “Yeah, you know, I’ll sleep when I retire.”
It might as well be true. The two are always so busy and on the go, sharing with me what their schedule is like and the future projects they’ll be covering. Both twins had a production company they owned with their older brother, JD called Dividian Production Group which has now evolved into the current company, Scott Brothers Entertainment. They are prepping for Drew’s directorial debut, a romantic comedy that is set to start filming next year. The script is something he has been working on for a few years while he and his brothers worked on shorts and different projects for others and their feature films.
I ask the two if they miss the world of TV and film. Drew tells me, as huge a deal Property Brothers is and how passionate they are about that project, acting is something he definitely misses. “I haven’t done any acting since just before we started filming the full season one, so it’ll come around though and especially too, there are a lot of films or big shows who want to have host types so [we’ll] play ourselves in a feature or something.”
Jonathan tells me how they got approached by a few other major shows but one thing that he misses most is performing on stage as he is an illusionist in Vegas. “I haven’t done it in a while. That’s probably my biggest passion – performing live and feeling that energy off a live audience. That is the kind of energy we get when we lecture all over.”
He tells me how the show in Vegas looks like: complete with levitations, pyrotechnics and break-dancing. “I don’t like it when illusionists just walk right on stage with a box, you know? Something happens and then ‘tada’!” he expresses louder. “They walk away. My stuff is all done to a story. It’s a whole experience as opposed to a trick.”
“Have you ever tried any of your illusions on Drew?” I jokingly ask. “Ever make him disappear and end up in, like Morocco?”
“He’s already achieved that,” Drew says as we all laugh.
“I’ve had a lot of people request for Drew to disappear,” Jonathan says.
As I'm giggling through my questions, I ask Jonathan about how his passion for illusions began. He discloses that he and Drew as kids were apprentice clowns, telling me that he was serious and not joking. Of course though I still laughed.
After their father told them to get a job, the two ventured out at the tender age of seven but before becoming apprentice clowns, the pair created their own business called JAM Enterprises which stood for Jon, Andrew and Mom. It sounds incredibly adorable and for good reason – it was. The two made something out of nothing: hangers that had woven fabric around it with little rosettes. They ended up conducting business with a woman who owned a chain of American paraphernalia stores in Japan. She ended up buying thousands of them and they were making a killing. Impressive for kids in grade two!
“It was a lot of work,” Jonathan admits but their passion for trying new things found them the clown gig. “We did that for parties and events and then for a number of years, we decided that we – well, I didn’t want to put on the make-up. I wanted to do a little bit more magic and then Drew started getting into basketball and yeah, it just evolved from there. I won a lot of awards too [and] I was third best illusionist in North America.”
At that time, Drew did get into basketball, playing at a college level but later injured himself so he never got a chance to play in season. He divulges though that it was a lot of fun for him. Since the two have been in Austin, Drew has popped over and watched a couple of games from the University of Texas’ Longhorns as he is more of a college team supporter.
The two don’t get much of a break as they are shooting continuously. The Thursday night I spoke to them, they were doing two shows but Jonathan tells me they were working on five episodes in that given week, doing about three to five houses at a time. It’s a lot for two guys to handle and one wonders when do they get a break.
“We film ten and a half months a year,” Drew reveals. “We only get six weeks off in and around August and then we’re straight back at it. We have a few hiatuses in the middle and we get Christmas off but Jonathan and I like what we do, so we don’t mind working a lot.”
You can’t help but smile at the frank passion these two have about their work and that transitions into garnering in audiences. Property Brothers has been the number one show in both Canada and the United States for quite some time now, bringing in big numbers for the networks.
“The main thing was, in both Canada and the States, by the third week of us airing we were the number one show of the night and beyond that, we’ve climbed so high in the overall ratings that they’ve said they’ve never ever seen a show do that before,” Jonathan tells me.
I had to ask them about the W Network, which in Canada is a specialty channel featuring information and entertainment for women. It’s a great demographic but at the same time, women find these two to be absolute heartthrobs. ET Canada added them to the Hottest Bachelor list last year, an honour the two are modest about.
“I don’t mind that,” Drew laughs. “I like that we inspire people and if they’re calling us heartthrobs, that’s very kind of them. We actually get out and lecture a lot. It’s really great! It means we’re affecting people. We’re affecting change in their life and hopefully inspiring them.”
“Either that or it means the status of heartthrob has really lowered its standards,” Jonathan jokes.
Specialty networks like W or HGTV try to increase their male viewership and Property Brothers has fast become one of the most male viewed shows in Canada and the US for that genre. It’s a mark of distinction Jonathan tells me he’s impressed and humbled about.
Since the duo are in the States, it’s no secret the housing market is not in good shape and quite weak at the moment forcing homeowners to sell and rent. I asked Drew how does homeownership fare and whether it’s a good investment with the way the market is and he doesn’t hesitate to answer.
“See, this is the thing: the market is down, so it is a good time to get in, right? It’s been harder for people to qualify because the way the economy is over here in the States. However, look at Austin for example: the market has been strengthening so things are actually turning over,” he tells me, going onto saying how the property value is increasing and it’s good for everyone.
“The thing I like around here is that it’s far more affordable for the average American compared to Canada, in Vancouver which is ridiculously expensive or even Toronto,” Drew stresses.
Jonathan shares his two cents on the subject, saying how we must keep in mind every part of the country or even within a city, there are different economies and markets. “There’s this huge gap that’s developed between renters and home ownership and it’s almost unattainable. In Toronto, a lot of people can’t afford a million dollars for a home and they are forced to rent but now the market is corrected especially here in Austin. The prices are still far down and finding these homes is actually cheaper than people right now renting.”
Though he says that this is not an economy for flipping, Jonathan warns me that it’s not suitable to buy a house with the intent of flipping and selling.
“You want something you can hold on to for three to five years,” he advises. “But it all comes down to the numbers. You can over-renovate to the point where you don’t get the money back and we never want someone to do that.”
Drew emphasizes how important it is to educate yourself as your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make in your life, recommending you know and research your market.
I ask the two if there’s ever a time when they need to re-evaluate their renovation process while renovating as issues can pop up at any given time. Drew gives me a hypothetical, stating if the contingency is eaten up that the team, consisting of him, his brother and the design team begin looking at conceptions to figure out where to go next.
“Maybe now instead of the new hardwood we were going to put in, maybe we can put in a nice laminate that looks like hardwood but it saves us $1,000,” he says.
Jonathan calls it an ever-evolving process, stating that no renovation ever done is flawless. “Something always pops up, something changes, you know? Maybe there’s a delay on one product you wanted and you have to go to plan B so it’s ever-evolving that way.”
He goes onto saying that he wants homeowners to understand and speak up about the changes that they have to make before it’s too late otherwise they won’t be happy with the final product. Ultimately, Jonathan says it’s their dream home and he respects communication throughout the whole process. If they want a change, they should be able to tell him.
“We appreciate people’s situations because this is their dream home and what they want,” Drew adds in. “A lot of times when people come in and ask for things, they don’t understand the process [or] the costs involved. I think once we educate them, a lot of times they realize, ‘Okay, well that’s not realistic.’”
At this point in time, I decide to kick it up a notch with the guys and pull out my rapid fire questions where I could learn some humorous and interesting things about both Drew and Jonathan Scott. Though we don’t go as quickly as we assume we will, it feels like we actually just talk more and learn about each other while having fun.
I learn that both of them enjoy sushi, with Drew telling me that they love all sorts of cultural dishes but since they are from Vancouver, the sushi there is great and is their favourite.
After talking with the two for the last forty-five minutes, I kind of knew who these two would prefer if they had to pick between Superman and Batman. Both Drew and Jonathan picked Batman and it is no surprise to me. Batman’s character is more of a modern day bona fide hero who builds himself from merely who he is. Something the brothers have been constantly doing through their years.
“He’s not someone with super powers. He’s just a real man who’s doing extraordinary things,” Drew tells me.
“So who are your heroes?” I ask.
“Yeah, I know it’s probably generic to also say, but our parents. They were a big influence for us [and] they really encouraged our outgoing and creative nature. I think that’s what turned us into the young men that we are,” he says.
Jonathan adds that’s where the two learned to have a passion for everything they do today. “They encouraged us to do anything we wanted to set our minds to.”
As I’m hearing these answers, I can’t help but smile and it’s not a normal smile. It’s an ear-to-ear smile. As a writer and reporter, I am not supposed to have any sort of emotional stance but in today’s modern society, you don’t see much admiration and affection for family especially from those in the limelight of celebrity. We’re in a culture where family is too mushy-gushy but they are the spine of our being and not everyone realizes it. Everyone talks about family values but no one starts valuing families. Drew and Jonathan are very different than most on TV and still come off grounded.
I ask the two whether they like cats or dogs and hilariously enough, in unison, they both answer dogs. However, when I inquire about their favourite travel destination, the two have very separate answers. Drew tells me of his love for Greece as he had a place in Mykonos and because they are Scottish, he loves Scotland while Jonathan reveals to me that his two favourite places in the world are Bora Bora for its absolute beauty and Florence for the architecture and history.
“Do you two have a favourite drink?” I ask.
“We don’t drink very much but raspberry vodka on ice,” Jonathan shares.
“Make fun of me if you like,” Drew starts off as I can hear him answer through a smile. “Water! I’m a health nut and I’m very very healthy and the average American doesn’t drink enough water!”
I begin to laugh and tell him it’s okay. “I actually agree with you. I’m a big water drinker too. I try to get my daily water intake – you know, Dr. Oz says to drink more than eight glasses of water a day so I can understand that.”
“And you know what? That’s the minimum,” Drew tells me.
“The minimum? You drink more than that?”
“I drink twenty glasses a day.”
“Are you two having a little water moment?” Jonathan interrupts as we both begin to laugh.
“I'm not sure,” I laugh while flipping through my questions to find something else to ask. “Maybe...”
I decide to ask them what’s on their iPod and Jonathan tells me he has a good mix on there, from everything to Muse and Adele to U2 and Mika while Drew has a mix between upbeat like hip-hop along with Top 40 stuff and classical music, calling it the “perfect blend”.
When I ask the two what their favourite colours are, I quickly joke to Jonathan that he can’t say plaid as he’s known for wearing a lot of it on the show. Drew laughs as his brother answers his favourite colour isn’t plaid but he does like either blue or silver.
“Do you two like sweet or spicy?” I ask.
“Sweet. I can’t actually do spicy,” Jonathan says.
“I’m not much of either. I’ll do a mild spice but too spicy isn’t good for the body and too sweet is not good either,” Drew answers.
“He’s like, sweet enough,” Jonathan tells me jokingly of his brother.
It’s known that siblings pull pranks on each other and on unsuspecting friends or family. I ask the two what’s the funniest prank they pulled on someone they knew and Jonathan shares with me a story of how him and Drew told a friend of theirs (an acquaintance, Drew corrects him) that she had won Publishers’ Clearing House.
“She would play every lottery and she would get those scratch tickets and everything for $2 and say how she was going to win the jackpot and never talk to any of us. She was always being like that so we then got a white van...” Jonathan pauses and begins to laugh.
“And we got all the balloons, we did this whole thing up. Put up signs on the side of the van and as we were turning the corner to pull this prank on her, we didn’t realize she had called all her family and close friends and they were all standing on the porch and we were like, ‘Oh crap!’, so we just screeched away.”
“I actually – let me tell you,” Drew begins. “I actually use to pretend I was Jonathan in high school and there was this girl that he liked and so I would go up in front of her – we looked really alike in high school [but] I was a lot thinner. Anyway, I would act like the biggest dork in front of her and then I’d be like, ‘Oh I’m Jonathan, by the way’ and then I’d walk away. He wondered why women wouldn’t talk to him in high school.”
“Do you still do that today? Is that why your brother’s single?” I laugh.
“Yeah,” Drew answers as the two of them begin laughing.
I decide to ask if the two are romantics at heart. Drew tells me they are both romantic types and that they’re very similar but they’re different.
“My mum raised us to be gentlemen and do all things women say they would like to see a man do,” Jonathan says. “But on the flipside, we’re both very creative so whenever we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or something like that, we never want to do something boring like grab a Hallmark card and give her that. We always have some sort of adventurous evening and it’s fun to pine over somebody a little bit.”
I ask the two what are their turn-ons and turn-offs. Jonathan shares with me that he appreciates a good sense of humour and intellectual conversation but cannot stand materialistic behaviour or pettiness. Drew tells me his turn-on is positivity and turn-off is the Debbie Downer in a group, someone with a negative vibe.
“I don’t like that,” Drew says. “We’re always positive. We do like to be around a positive group of people.”
From what I’ve learned in my years from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, romancing goes with dancing! I have to ask the two if they have a favourite dance move.
“Moonwalk, I’d say,” Drew tells me. “I like The Moonwalk. I’m not great at certain moves. I do a little bit of break-dancing. It’s funny, I’ve actually done some hip-hop classes because I love hip-hop and for me, 6’5” in a class full of little coordinated five-footers, it’s fun but yes, The Moonwalk.”
“How about The Sprinkler?” I suggest. “That's a good dance move.”
“I’ve been doing The Sprinkler for years now,” Jonathan says.
“No but The Shopping Cart and Reviewing the Shopping List – that’s a very effective one.”
When I ask the two if they’re more of a morning or night person, Jonathan is quick to respond night but Drew tells me he likes the idea of waking up early in the morning. Really, who doesn’t?
The two share with me the best pick-up lines they’ve ever heard as I believe they are sane and classy enough to never use one on a prospective female since they always come off corny and cliché.
“So this was one that someone actually said to me,” Drew starts. “They come up and they said, ‘Hey, you know, if your brother isn’t single, I’d love to go out with you because second best is better than the rest!’”
Jonathan is trying to think of one but Drew tells me another one which is, well just as hysterically terrible.
“Because we’re twins as well, somebody said to us, if you’re wanting a double date, I’d love to be the baloney in that twin sandwich or something like that,” he laughs as I cringe through giggles while Jonathan can be heard laughing in the background.
The brothers share with me their favourite movies upon asking what they like and though it’s hard for Drew to narrow it down at first, he warms up by telling me he loves The Shawshank Redemption, Meet Joe Black, Life is Beautiful and Love, Actually.
“I like different movies for different things – I love action, drama, romantic comedy but anything from like, Love, Actually, Inception, Superbad. Those kinds of movies.”
Jonathan shares he and Drew are similar on that plane, expressing he’s into anything from hard core action to romantic comedy. “I like good writing and being in the film and TV industry, I hate it when I see something that’s poorly acted or written.”
“It’s really hard,” Drew adds. “I think that’s the reason I feel I'm a strong director because I started as an actor. I’m a well-trained actor and I think that helps me relate to actors when I’m directing them.”
That brings me to the subject of pet peeves and Jonathan laughs, telling me his biggest pet peeve is when people have the toilet roll on backwards while Drew says someone wasting his time and saying something dumb.
I learn that the two would like to try something crazy and out of the norm one of these days. Jonathan would love to skydive and though Drew tells me he likes the idea of extreme sports despite what the insurers of the show think, he would love to try out hang-gliding or take part in the Virgin Galactic where travellers can visit the moon.
“What is the one thing that others would be shocked to know about you both?” I ask.
Jonathan thinks for a moment. “Did you know we played the bagpipes?”
I hesitate to answer but decide to be truthful. “I kind of figured because you’re both Scottish and yes, that’s cliché but I was right, I guess.”
They both laugh and Jonathan continues. “Drew and I are 2nd degree black belts in karate. National champions. Did you know that?”
“Nope,” I answer zestfully.
“If you’re a sports fan, when I played basketball back in the day, I had a 43-inch vertical – that's bigger than most NBA players,” Drew tells me, going onto saying he crushed his head once on a ten foot rim.
“The funny thing is when people follow us for a day or so and just doing our thing, they think we should be 90 years old with the amount of stuff that we’ve done and we’ve done a lot of stuff,” Jonathan reveals.
“You guys are 50 years old, right? 52 or 51?” I jokingly ask.
“I use Oil of Olay, twice a day. It’s very useful for my skin,” Drew says as we all begin laughing.
One thing the pair can’t get enough of is education and knowledge. Jonathan admits he’s a knowledge-aholic and loves learning about everything and anything whether it be through the work they do or traveling, something he says both of them adore. Both brothers love what they do and are addicted to what they do, whether it’s production, acting, directing, Jonathan’s magic and philanthropic efforts. Drew tells me that they are always reaching for something higher and better that they can contribute.
If the Scott brothers were ever stranded on a desert island, Drew reveals he’d require his sanity, a nice contractor so he could build him a nice home and of course, drinkable water while Jonathan shares he would need water, his iPhone and laughs but says cell phone service.
Upon asking if they believe in the paranormal, they both admit they do with Drew adding that there’s something out there that we don’t understand.
The two work on a show about finding that perfect home and customizing to what one wants most. When I ask the two what their dream homes would be like, they don’t hesitate at all.
“Ultimately, I’d love to have a castle back in Scotland,” Jonathan says. “As far as my style goes, I’d say I’m elegantly eclectic. I like to have a lot of conversational pieces in my home so that people are looking at interesting things and it sparks a story from my travel.”
Drew reveals to me he looks forward to having a really nice ocean front property one day. He describes to me what the place would look like, saying, “[An] indoor, elegant glass sliding wall that can lead right outdoor to a living space that walks right onto the beach. The place in Mykonos, the big thing there in the compound was just having part of that yard that faced the ocean and then you could see the sunset every night.”
As we near the end of our interview, I tell the two that I have an idea for their show, just to kick it up a notch. Knowing these two appreciate ideas, I don’t dither and tell them immediately what I’m thinking.
“Property Brothers: Fight Club,” I say cheerfully.
The two laugh about it and admit it’s a funny idea.
“Drew plays dirty,” Jonathan tells me. “If you’ve seen the webisodes on W Network.com there’s one of Drew and I arm-wrestling and he beats me but he beats me because he slaps me in the face and I lose concentration.”
“When we use to compete in karate, we were national champions,” Drew tells me enthusiastically. “It usually came down to Jonathan and I and it was like, someone fighting a mirror because we knew each other’s moves and we would move in sync so that would be the longest Fight Club fight you’ve ever seen.”
The two are fun-loving guys full of spirit and exude a great awareness and appreciation for what this all is they have built for themselves. With so many things they are grateful for, they have many highlights to their life right now which are truly rewarding, whether it be helping others on their show, their efforts with Artists for Peace and Justice or the NBA game.
“Jonathan and I live every day, like it’s the last kind of thing. We love to try new things [and] we’re never shy about it,” Drew tells me.
“The big thing for Drew and I is that we don’t set singular goals all the time. We set a plethora of goals and we’re constantly trying a few things. We really do embrace the philosophy of living everyday and we’ve accomplished a lot of other things,” Jonathan says.
Drew goes on to telling me that the key to unlocking your true potential is a continuous effort. “If we reach a goal, we have to set a higher one.”
In terms of what’s next for the Property Brothers, they say there’s a lot going on in the next few months and that their fans should stay tuned. They have new show ideas floating around which should be announced soon and with the ratings being what they are currently, the networks want to create a few specials revolving around the two.
A thing that’s admirable of the two is the way they are with their fans. Interacting with them is a big deal for both Drew and Jonathan, revealing they are the ones answering their fans’ questions and not some representative doing the work for them. They tell me they enjoy talking to their fans as it makes people realize they’re just human too and they aren’t playing some role for TV. Jonathan admits to me he is who he says he is and one of the main reasons they enjoy doing the show so much is because they get to be themselves while educating and just having fun while enjoying their job.
“We take the job seriously but not ourselves and we try our best to relate to the homeowners so they can understand that design can be fun and real estate can be fun,” Jonathan tells me through a smile.
What’s interesting to see with these two is that they never intended to be just men of success but rather, become men of value and it holds true to their attitudes. If character is built through the choices and experiences people grow through while meeting life honestly and courageously, then it’s evident with these two who have become strong, solid characters in the life they’ve created for themselves and those they affect.
Property Brothers airs on W Network (Canada) and HGTV (US) as well as a few other networks around the world. Check your local listings! Be sure to watch the hilarious and informative webisodes created by the brothers at the respective network sites.
If you want to connect with the Scott brothers and ask them a question or comment, you can connect with them at:
- Twitter’s Follow Friday: Causes You Should Follow
- The Art of Acting with Rebecca Kopec
- Stacey Vuduris: Designing Woman