Nice to see you, Johnny. We’d always wanted to go to Pennsylvania…
Well, we’re just starting to film Jackass 2 here. We filmed the first stuff last week in Florida, and let me tell you, the boys have come out of the gate swinging. We’re on pace to outdo the first film.
But when we met you last year, you said, “Jackass is done. It’s best to quit while we’re behind.” You lied to us!
And I meant it. At the time I felt that way, but I was travelling with Wildboyz – you know, the Steve-O and Pontius thing – and I went to Indonesia and Argentina with them, and started getting rather excitable, up for anything. Then me, Spike Jonze and Jeff Tremaine the director started talking and the next thing I know I’m apologising to you for saying we’ll never do Jackass again. Fuck!
Isn’t WildboyzIn Russia the one where Pontius tossed off a horse and drank its still-warm semen?
Yeah, that was good old Pontius. That is totally where we’re at these days. The horse semen bit is a pretty good indication. We were sitting down talking about doing Jackass 2, and what we had to do to top the last one and all that, and Tremaine made the good point that we don’t have to top anything, we just have to be funny. That said, it looks like the boys are going a bit harder this time: lots of pain, humiliation and trips to the doctor. And lots of cock. Lots o’ cock.
I guess we’re just pretty cock-happy! Come on, man, like the guy said in The Producers, if you’ve got it, flaunt it! That’s why Pontius has his penis out all the time. He’s got a sweet one. And yeah, I did once describe myself as having a penis like “an egg in a nest”. It looks like a light switch, man. Serious. A fucking light switch.
Are you all demanding trailers and masseurs now you’re so rich?
No, there’s none of that. We’re still staying in the same crappy-ass hotels we stayed in for the first Jackass, and I’m in as bad a shape now as I was then, so you know – nothing changes.
What did you guys get up to last night?
Ah, last night was good. We went down to New York and watched the Yeah Yeah Yeahs gig, and then came back to Pennsylvania and came to a bar here, and you know the rest. It’s like having the band back together. In fact, that’s how I put it to the boys when I asked if they were up for it.
So what’s your ideal evening out?
Well, let’s see. It would involve Scotch, a large amount of amphetamines and a water-based lubricant. And horse semen, of course.
In the new Farrelly Brothers’ film, The Ringer, you’re basically pretending to be mentally-disabled to enter the Special Olympics and win lots of cash. Nice.
No, it’s really not like that at all. Okay, we push the humour pretty far, but all the mean stuff happens to me; we’re not making fun of people with mental disabilities. I know it sounds like it could be a train wreck and I’m going to end up in hell, but it’s actually quite a sweet film. I’m going to hell alright, just not for The Ringer.
Most of the cast of The Ringer are actual Special Olympians – are they good sportsmen?
Well, I screened the movie round at mine for some of the Jackass guys, and they were like, “We could actually do this, take the money and win!”. But you wouldn’t. We did a scene in the film where we run the 100 metres, and I was giving the other guys shit in between takes about how bad I would beat them, and they were giving me shit back. One of the athletes, Ricky, was really getting hot with me. So I said, “Well, if you want to race for real, let’s race for real!” I was going to take it easy on him at first, but as soon as the gun went off he was 20 yards ahead, so I got pissed and started trying. By the end he was 30 yards ahead. I got smoked.
What are your sporting credentials?
Well, let’s see. I came in first and third in a masturbation contest in Newark, New Jersey in 1997. I got round twice while everyone else only did it once. Pretty fast on the reload there.
What’s your favoured term for the mentally handicapped now?
You know, I’m not a politically correct guy at all, but now I’m friends with John Taylor and Eddie Barber – some of the Special Olympics athletes – and it really bugs them when someone says “retarded”. They’re my friends and I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to hurt any of my friends – apart from the Jackass lot. I purposefully try and hurt those motherfuckers. In fact, once you and I are finished here that’s exactly what I’m going to go do.
When we saw you back in London at the premiere of Jackass, you were the only person there with a bodyguard. Are you secretly a wimp?
Well, I get in a lot of fights because people are under the false impression that I’m tough. So they’ll come up and punch me – and if they punch me, it’s on. Shit, I had this situation only two nights ago. I was in this bar in Toronto, two guys ask to take a picture, so they pull out a camera and one guy slaps me in the face. Motherfucker! So I punched him a couple of times, then I went for his friend. You know, I just want to drink.
What’s your take on British people?
I love England, I have a lot of friends in London and I always have a ball. I have absolutely zero problems with the Brits. You guys really know how to drink, and I admire that, because I’m from the South.
Did you know you were named as 90th sexiest man by New Woman magazine in England?
Ha! Women over there love me, eh?
…Although you were beneath Harry Potter.
Ah. Still, not bad for a hillbilly from Tennessee.
So if you absolutely had to sleep with a man, who would it be?
It would be you, my friend! And I’d really pound it to you as well. Ha ha! I’d be on top as well, sorry bro’.
Let’s move on – you were a journalist for a while on Big Brother magazine. What would you do if you were in charge of FHM?
Seems you boys are doing pretty good to me – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! But let’s see, the Penthouse owner Larry Flynt got pictures of JFK’s wife on acid once. The kids really love the nudity, man, so I’d stick with that.
When you were shooting The Dukes Of Hazzard, didn’t you spend the whole time in country legend Willie Nelson’s trailer getting stoned?
Willie Nelson is the coolest guy on the planet. And getting stoned with him is a commitment – it’s the most intense weed I’ve ever smoked. I’m not a huge weed guy, but there’s no way to turn down Willie when he passes the joint. He’s a national hero for us Americans.
Were you allowed to mention wigs around Burt Reynolds?
Ha! No, I didn’t bring that up. Burt’s tough as shit. You’re being a cheeky little monkey, FHM. When I pound you, you’re definitely going on the bottom. Missionary style. That way I can get to make eye-contact, really violate you. Ha ha!
Steady! Is it true you’ve just bought Johnny Cash’s old cabin?
Yes, that’s true. I signed the papers on the Monday, and he died four days later. It’s a little six-room cabin in Tennessee, very woodsy. You can definitely feel his presence.
And apparently when you saw the place you said, “How many crappy movies am I going to have to do to pay for the repairs on this place?” So what’s the crappiest film you’ve done so far?
The crappiest? I’ve done a shitload! Boy, I’ve made some stinkers, but I’m finding my feet now. I’m really proud of the first Jackass, proud of Dirty Shame, I was proud of The Ringer, and we’re all really psyched on the Jackass film we’re shooting now.
Well, it’s good to hear you haven’t gone all Hollywood…
Gone all Hollywood? What the fuck are you talking about? Does it sound like I have? Man, I’ve enjoyed this interview. I’ll see you in the showers when I’m back in London.
Original interview by Chris Mooney in the May 2006 issue of FHM UK magazine