Johnny Knoxville Relives the Craziest Stunts of His Career
Daredevil extraordinaire Johnny Knoxville is back on the silver screen, courting danger in the new comedy Action Point.
The Jackass and Bad Grandpa star dropped by the Heat Vision Breakdown studio to discuss his latest role and take a stroll down memory lane to relive some of the craziest stunts from his career.
This Week In Heat Vision breakdown
The first segment Knoxville ever filmed for what would eventually become the hit MTV show Jackass was a "self-defense test" in which the star was tased, pepper-sprayed and, ultimately, shot with a gun for Big Brother magazine. "My friend, beautiful Jason, was supposed to shoot me while I wore a bulletproof vest, but we got out there and he no longer wanted to shoot me, so I had to shoot myself," Knoxville said. "As I was doing it, someone pulled up behind me — I think they were high on speed — and they wanted to know where the recycling center was. I had this gun and had to hide it behind my back."
Speaking on his more traditional acting roles, Knoxville recalled an anecdote involving Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld, who gave the star his first big movie role in 2002's Big Trouble. "I showed up with a broken ankle, and I was nervous about that," he said.
He needn't have worried, as the director took a liking to Knoxville and offered him a role in Men in Black II — and he also proposed a sketch for Jackass. "He told me, 'Johnny, I've got this blackhead, and I can pop it. I want to be on your show,' " Knoxville explained. "I was just thinking, 'I can't do that to him. I can't have him on our crappy show.' " The director got his way, however, and the bit made it to air. "It was disgusting," Knoxville noted.
Recalling another classic stunt from Jackass Number Two, Knoxville explained the "Riot Control Test," which saw him, Bam Margera and Ryan Dunn shot by an explosive, rubber-bullet riot-control apparatus. "It was such a concussive, loud sound that most of the guys got anxiety just from hearing it," the star said.
Knoxville eventually convinced his co-stars to do the bit with him, after much consternation. "It was a sweet moment, I thought, especially sweet when Bam started crying," Knoxville said.
The actor and stuntman isn't showing signs of slowing down, as in his new film, he also insisted on doing his own stunts — a decision that led to multiple concussions and several broken bones. In one particular scene, Knoxville is launched from a catapult into the side of a barn. "That one I didn't break anything," he said. "It scalped me ... for what could have happened, I think it worked out wonderfully."
Action Point is in theaters now.
by Graeme McMillan