Please welcome Professor Olivia Wilde to the class.
The actress treated students in a Made in NY production-assistants training program to what might be the best April Fools’ Day “prank” ever.
Wilde shared stories from her personal journey in the movie business, including her unglamorous start as a production assistant.
“There is no worse PA than me. I was the worst,” Wilde told the class. “I mean, one of my only jobs was to get lunch, and I would screw that up every day.”
“Then I learned a really important lesson: as long as you get the boss’s lunch right, no one else matters,” she continued. “So, I would get one lunch correct, and everyone else’s order I would sort of not quite get it down.”
The new mom also recalled meeting her future costars – with coffee in hand.
“I was the one with the clipboard, I was the one getting coffee,” she said. “It’s funny because now I’ve worked with a lot of actors who I brought coffee to, and you can always judge someone’s character by how they treated you when you were a PA.”
Wilde went on to discuss why starting out as a PA makes a person a better overall contributor on set.
“Anyone who didn’t start from the ground up and didn’t understand what it takes to make a production work, isn’t going to be that great at their job,” she said. “And they certainly are not going to truly respect every person and every part of the process.”
So why did the star decide to return to the classroom?
“I agreed to do it because I thought it was a great concept,” Wilde told PEOPLE. “I really love creative advertising, and I think when a big company like Chevy decided to take this approach and create a special experience for people, not only do I think that’s smart advertising but I just admire it as a way to give back.”
“Sometimes we forget the value of just making one person’s day,” she continued. “I thought this was a chance to maybe give a handful of people a special moment. And actually what it turned out being is a special day for me.”
The students agreed it was definitely a day made.
“I was shocked! She peeked her head in the door and I was like ‘Okay, she’s really here, let me keep my composure,'” one student told PEOPLE. “It was the best April Fools’ prank – this is really huge!”