The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the Jackass and Bad Grandpa star to talk about his new film, for which he did all his own stunts. The movie is based on the real-life “world’s most dangerous amusement park,” Action Park, which operated in Vernon, New Jersey, from 1976-1996.
Knoxville, 47, who has made a career out of bone-crushing, death-defying stunts, spoke about how long he thinks he can continue to push the limits in his films. “You can only take so many chances,” he said. “I’ve been really lucky — if you consider all the injuries on my last film ‘lucky.’ But I think I still have a few left in me.”
Asked why he decided to do real stunts in Action Point, of which he is a producer, Knoxville said, “I didn’t want any cutting on the action. There are a lot of summer movies that have wires and CG effects. There’s none of that here. It’s bone on ground.”
That’s a tall, and painful, order to ask for, but Knoxville said his crew of stunt workers were “thrilled by it.”
“A lot of the actors … did a lot of stunts. Everyone stepped it up,” said the star.
Of course, doing such dangerous stunts as launching yourself out of a catapult and getting blasted by a firehose down a waterslide aren’t the safest choices in the world, and Knoxville racked up a laundry list of injuries during production. “I had four concussions, broke my hand, busted my meniscus, whiplash, stitches,” he explained. “On one of the stunts, unbeknownst to me at the time, I had powdered my orbital lamina bone in my face. They said it didn’t break on impact, it just disappeared.”
If that sounds bad, it gets worse (warning: the next tidbit is not for the squeamish). “I got back from the emergency room … and when I blew my nose my eye popped out of its socket,” Knoxville said.
When asked why he would put himself through such punishment, especially at this stage in his career, hw responded bluntly, “It’s just what I do.”
Knoxville continued, “[Action Point] just seemed like a great world and excellent opportunity to do stunts. It just made sense.”
It has been nearly a decade since the last Jackass film was in theaters, but Knoxville isn’t opposed to the idea of returning to the long-running stunt-and-prank franchise. “We don’t have any plans for [another] one right now, but there possibly could be,” he said. “It’s a funny thing about Jackass films — for the second and third [installments], we had no plans to do them, but then just a feeling arose.”
Action Point is in theaters now.