The Movie’ stunt that was too extreme for him to perform

The Movie' stunt that was too extreme for him to perform

Twenty years ago, Johnny Knoxville and the rest of his Jackasses made an explosive big-screen debut with the arrival of their first feature film. And we mean literally explosive. Released in theaters on Oct. 25, 2002, Jackass: The Movie kicks off with the entire cast of the MTV series hurtling down a steep hill in a giant shopping cart, with smoke bombs going off all around them. It’s a sequence straight out of a $30 million action movie, rather than the measly $5 million that Paramount spent on the reality-show–based film.

“That was the only time we ever felt like we were making a movie for sure,” Jackass star, Stephen “Steve-O” Glover, told Yahoo Entertainment during a recent conversation about his new memoir, A Hard Kick in the Nuts. “The whole process of making the first Jackass movie felt largely like the way we made the TV show — it was kind of slap-dash. Once we all laughed, we knew that we got it.” (Watch our video interview above.)

In fact, as Steve-O reveals, the opening sequence was the last thing they filmed for the movie. All of the other stunts — including “Alligator Tightrope” and “Wasabi Snooters” — were shot in the on-the-fly manner of the TV show. The giant shopping cart run was overseen by writer/director Spike Jonze, a longtime behind the scenes creative force on Jackass. “We rolled down that hill for two or three days,” Steve-O recalls. “Our attention span for filming Jackass in the early days was every bit as short as the attention span of our audience. It was very difficult for us to get into that repetition.”

The cast of Jackass: The Movie in the film’s explosive opening stunt. (Photo: Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection)

Speaking of difficulty, Steve-O found one of the movie’s stunts so onerous, he flat-out refused to do it. That would be “Toy Car Up the Butt,” which would have required him to do exactly what the name implies. It’s the first time that he ever backed out of a stunt, which he now says was “epic in its own way.”

With Steve-O out, Ryan Dunn stepped in and shoved a condom-covered toy car up his rectum, before heading off to a very confused doctor for an X-ray. “I got all this great footage backing out of it,” he remembers. “And the way it played out for Ryan, there was nothing that could be changed to make it any better. That was the most iconic, incredible thing we ever filmed.” (Dunn died in a car accident in 2011.)

Out of gratitude for his service, Steve-O planned to pay tribute to Dunn in Jackass Foreverthe long-awaited fourth Jackass feature that premiered in theaters earlier this year. “I thought about backing out of the stunt, and how Ryan wasn’t here to film the fourth movie,” he says. “I spoke up saying that Ryan stepped in to put the toy because his butt when I backed out. And now that Ryan’s not here, I wanna step up and just take it to a whole other level — put something up my butt that’s just unbelievably epic.”

But despite his passion for the idea of ​​an anal tribute, Steve-O says that he was ultimately overruled by the rest of the Jackass gang. “Because I said that, I virtually disqualified myself from being able to do it,” he says, laughing. “That’s the way to get out of a Jackass stunt: by expressing that you want to do it. It takes all the fun out of it for the director.”

Video produced by Olivia Schneider and edited by Yelizaveta Katsnelson

Jackass: The Movie is currently streaming on Paramount+

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