Johnny Knoxville Talks Jackass 3-D, Testicles, and a Cuban Tarzan
MTV was once all about music videos. Slowly, however, the Viacom-owned network began chiseling away at the very foundation with shows like Pimp My Ride and Cribs. But the biggest jackasses at MTV weren't as obnoxious as Xzibit or Mariah Carrey's New York City Penthouse. They were a group of nine dudes that enjoyed having seriously painful fun at each other's expense. Nothing fancy, Jackass was just straight videos of people doing stunts and getting hurt along the way.
The Jackass reality/comedy hybrid of outrageous stunts soon grew from a half-hour MTV show to a multi-million dollar franchise that spawned several spin-offs. Meanwhile, Johnny Knoxville became a household name. To celebrate ten years of deranged and disgusting stunts, we sat down with Knoxville and Jackass co-creator and director, Jeff Tremaine, to talk about Jackass 3-D, trashing jet skis, and mouse-trapped testicles.
New Times: There's heavy competition this year in the 3-D department. If Toy Story and Jackass are both up for best 3-D movie, who wins?
TicketsSun., Dec. 11, 3:00pm
A Whoville Christmas - Maria Verdeja School Arts
TicketsTue., Dec. 13, 7:00pm
Arts Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
TicketsThu., Dec. 15, 10:30am
MGA -Mater Grove Academy Presents: Celebrate the Magic of the Holidays
TicketsFri., Dec. 16, 6:00pm
JTF's Friday Night Live
TicketsFri., Dec. 16, 9:00pm
Oh c'mon, that animated stuff, that's old. We're bringing the new
stuff, the dumbest stuff ever filmed with 3-D cameras.
worked with a 3-D camera crew in addition to your regular crew, are
they off limits when it comes to being pranked or kicked in the nuts on
Knoxville: No one is verbally, but our attacks are really focused on ourselves and the crew we've been with for ten years.
Tremaine: The 3-D guys sort of became fair game after a while. We broke the new guys in pretty good.
Steve-O has been sober for two years now. Was it a collective decision to have a dry set?
On the first two movies, we had a beer sponsor and there was beer around
the set. On this one, Jeff and I, and everyone, talked and we want to
keep Steve-O sober, so we didn't have beer on set. We would go to bars
afterwards, but Steve-O wouldn't go. We wanted to do everything we could
to keep him sober.
Tremaine: When we shoot,
the guys are sober. The guy doing the stunt is always sober, ever since
the beginning. It's not like, "Oh you guys are just drunk and doing this
stupid stuff."In the film's trailer, we see
you jump a jet ski out of a pool and into some privacy hedges. How do
you find someone willing to let you do this at their home?
That was just some dude we found that had a really nice pool. There
were no neighbors, it was a just a big hill on the other side--straight
out of water onto land. Baboom.
did that stunt twice. We did it at Bam's [Margera] parent's house, and
it just wasn't as spectacular as it could've been because the
limitations of the length of the pool. We needed about a 50- to 60-foot
long pool to get the jet ski up to top speed. Our location guy found
Are you only using private sets or are there street pranks as well?
If we do pranks in public, I have to do it as the old man because I get
recognized. But yeah, we've got a lot of good pranks in public in this
How did you hook up with Cuba-born, Florida-based animal guy Manny Puig?
Chris (Pontius) and I were watching TV at my house one night. He and I
are both nature buffs so we had Animal Planet on. We see this dude jump
out of a boat, onto the back of a shark, wrestle the shark, and pick it
up out of the water, and he's wearing a Speedo. We were like, 'look at
that dude, he looks like Tarzan and jumped on a shark and picked it up
out of the water. We've got to find that guy.'
The second time we came
back to Florida to shoot, he heard we were looking for him. That was the
time Steve-O snorted a worm and Manny thought that was funny. We just
became friends instantly. (Laughs) He gives
the guys a sense of security around dangerous animals, which is totally
false because all he's doing is putting them in harm's way.
Knoxville: (Laughs) He designed his own spear now and luckily he always had the spear on set during Jackass 3-D. We could be filming whatever scene, in a hotel or whatever, and he'll just be standing there with a spear. He's Tarzan.What's it like working with animals? You roller-skate with a herd of buffalo in
Jackass 3-D, how'd it work out?
Knoxville: I was trying
to do that in a buffalo herd, but that was about as successful as you
think it would be. You can't really roller-skate in a buffalo herd.
Tremaine: We found a ram that is a just a movie star. It knew exactly what we wanted and always delivered.
Knoxville: Yeah, not a people person, but a movie star.
Your fans are pretty hardcore. What's the craziest stuff people want to do when they see you in person?
Some guy had written out a release form last night (in Miami)
exonerating me from, like, him coming after me legally if I kicked him
in the nuts. I signed it, but I didn't kick him.
Tremaine: We had that one guy, the dick with the hammer. A
guy tried to impress us in a bar on Valentine's Day. We had mousetraps
and were putting them on each other's ears and everything at the bar,
and some guys pushes his way, 'I'll put that on my dick.' We're like,
all right, and he did his dick, his balls. Then the owner of the bar came out with this big hammer.
Knoxville: Right, he goes, "How about this?" and the guy's like, "Yeah I'll do it," and then his girlfriend just left.
Tremaine: He put his dick up there and set the hammer up and then the hammer just kind of fell and bam. It was bad.
Knoxville: What a dummy.
Jackass 3-D opens nationwide on Friday, October 15. See the trailer below.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.