The A-listers made cameo appearances on the FXX comedy along with Rachel McAdams as the star-studded third season concluded Thursday.
The A-listers made surprise cameos in Wednesday's season three finale of Dave on FXX, joining a long list of celebrity guests to appear on Dave Burd's -- aka Lil Dicky -- comedy series. Rachel McAdams was also featured in the finale, continuing an ongoing story arc that has seen her guest as herself in three episodes this season.
Playing a fictionalized version of himself, Pitt's role marks his first return to a scripted TV series since a singular episode of Friends in 2001. For his part, Drake last appeared in one episode of The Egos in 2018 and, before that, as a star of DeGrassi: The Next Generation from 2001 to 2009.
"People keep asking 'How did you pull it off?' It really speaks to the greatness of the show that all three of them just independently are huge fans of the show," Burd told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview, revealing that he wrote the stars into his series before they had even agreed to sign on.
"With all of them, my writers room was like, 'This is kind of crazy that you’re putting all your eggs in these baskets because what if they say no?' These people don’t even do TV. Drake hasn’t done TV since Degrassi," Burd said.
"The reason we got them is because they loved the first two seasons of the show. I had never met Rachel or Brad before. I had heard that both of them like the show through the grapevine. It was a little reckless to anchor an entire three episode arc with Rachel McAdams and an entire finale on Brad Pitt, but for the themes that we’re talking about there is no one better," he continued. "What better representation of like hopeless romanticism and love is there than Rachel McAdams, who was like my generation’s dream woman and who has been in films that have totally defined my interpretation of what love is supposed to be? Same with Brad Pitt. What better person to teach you a lesson about fame and validation than like the star of all stars, Brad Pitt? Drake is like the top of the mountain top musically and as a rapper. I had met Drake and he pulled me aside and told me the show is one of the more important shows of our generation, and I knew he was a fan."
Burd noted that his series "can have a tendency to get overlooked," but says: "Once you sit down and watch, it’s kind of objectively a great show. These are like the biggest stars of our time validating our show. There’s a lot of pride in the people that make this show and everyone on set had such a sense of purpose the days that these people were on set. Everyone who makes the show loves cinema and storytelling. We’re at the top of our craft when these people are joining in and being like what you guys are doing is worth our talent and our time. For Brad to be getting direction from me and trusting me like the way I know he trusts like [Quentin] Tarantino and the Coen brothers was incredibly rewarding and something that I’ll never forget."
The 35-year-old rapper-turned-showrunner told Rolling Stone that he "sent a real impassioned email" to Pitt when asking him to appear on the series.
"I drafted it for days. Then I got a response back, from an email that I had never known. I don’t even know if I want to share the email that he sent me. But it was so incredible. It made me think, like, Is this real?" Burd said. "It was also kind of mind-blowing that it took him walking on set, and me seeing Brad Pitt in real life, to believe that this was actually happening."
Other celebrity cameos this season have included Rick Ross, Killer Mike, Usher, Demi Lovato, and, in a Met Gala-focused episode, Jack Harlow, Don Cheadle, Megan Fox, Machine Gun Kelly, Travis Barker, David Dobrik and Emma Chamberlain, along with McAdams.
"If you’re at the Met Gala, you want it to feel realistic. You’re going to have to have X amount of people come for that," Burd told Rolling Stone. "But the thing that I like about the show is that the guest stars come and it’s not splashy, like, 'Here’s a famous person!' They’re more than just cameos in a random scene. A lot of the guest stars that we have, from Rachel to Brad to even Drake, they play really important roles."
Dave airs on FXX and is now streaming all episodes on Hulu.