With the third — and arguably most intense — Jackass hitting home video this week, CraveOnline spoke with the veteran Steve-O whose performances in Jackass 3D include the unforgettable "Poo Cocktail Supreme" in which Steve-O is launched via bungee, strapped inside a fully-loaded port-a-port. In 3D, no less!
A member of the Jackass team from the beginning, Steve-O talks about his favorite moments from the latest film, working with top-of-the-line 3D cameras and why he thinks that this could be the end of the line for Jackass on the big screen.
CraveOnline: When was the decision first made to go the 3D route for the third film?
Steve-O: I don’t really know, man. I’m a little bit far removed from all that.
Crave: Do you remember your first impression when you heard about filming in 3D?
Steve-O: I remember, way back, the idea of shooting in 3D. They were talking about that and doing number three in 3D pretty shortly after number two came out. Then, for various reasons that I’m not necessarily all aware of, they just threw it out as an idea. I guess the question was, "Why shoot it in 3D?" These movie studios, they really like revenue, you know? So just the fact that they can charge more for 3D movies means that they make more money. Certainly the pressure came from the studio. They really wanted 3D because 3D movies make more money. We were concerned — me, Knoxville and Tremaine — that 3D would slow us down and mess up our sort of "run and gun" shooting style. So what we did was we didn’t say yes or no. We said, "We’re gonna do a camera test." And then we found that we were actually able to carry on as usual with these 3D cameras. It’s just fun, man. I really believe that "Jackass" is what 3D was made for.
Crave: Do you feel any different doing these stunts around millions of dollars in camera equipment?
Steve-O: It’s definitely hilarious, yeah. I’m not sure if it’s multi-million, but there’s certainly a camera that cost a million dollars. That Phantom one that shoots 1,000 frames per second. We had, custom-built for us, the world’s first 3D Phantom camera. So here we are with this million dollar camera and the very first thing that we shoot is Weiner Baseball. That’s where you throw these ping-pong balls and swing your penis to try and hit it.
Crave: Oh, I know how to play weiner baseball.
Steve-O: (Laughs) Are you calling from Canada?
Crave: Did you have a personal favorite stunt in this one?
Steve-O: I don’t know, man. It’s really tough to prioritize them. It’s all such ridiculous stuff. All the stuff Knoxville does it always so gnarly. I’m a real Knoxville fan. Ryan Dunn was crazy this movie, too. All the stuff is the hardest to watch when you’re there. I hate seeing my friends getting into the bull ring. I hate when there’s a real potential for someone to be paralyzed. It’s difficult. It’s difficult to be there and to watch your friends do this. But that being said, the stuff that’s the hardest to watch when it happens and you know everyone’s okay, winds up the gnarliest, most dangerous shit to watch. It’s the best part of the movies. My favorite parts are the parts that are the hardest to watch in person.
Crave: Where you very in on the snake practical joke in this one?
Steve-O: I wasn’t. Even in the second movie, there was the bit with the cobra and I didn’t want anything to do with that because I think that de-venomizing snakes like that is just — it doesn’t make me feel good, man. It’s really cruel, I think. I don’t want anything to do with a devenomized snake.
Crave: Are you looking forward to a fourth one or are you going to let it be for awhile?
Steve-O: It’s not my call to say "go". I think there’s a strong argument for quitting while we’re ahead and there’s also a practical argument for us doing what we love. Everybody loves to make money. We’ll see which argument prevails. I haven’t gotten a call suggesting that we make another movie. I’d certainly like to see the peripheral cast get treated better in the future. I would be inclined to be prepared to walk away from it if not. But my initial answer would have to be "No."
Crave: Do you find that, in your everyday life, you notice objects or scenarios and think, "That would be perfect for ‘Jackass’"?
Steve-O: That’s how the best ideas come about, for sure.
Crave: When you guys finally get together between films, do you have a big backlog of ideas?
Steve-O: Sure. Yeah. I’ll have a dream and in the dream something will be happpening. That’s how turning my face into a dartboard came about. You’ll just notice stuff as you go about your day. You might dream about something at night. Then we’ll also have creative meetings where we get together and just bounce ideas off one another. One guy will have half an idea and then will go, "Okay, we’ll do that and then we’ll add this." It’s a collaborative effort.
Crave: What’s the veto process when a stunt comes up that just seems too extreme?
Steve-O: Well, whoever comes up with an idea has dibs on it. If it’s something that I came up with, it’s mine. Put then there’s ideas that some people come up with for other people and there’s ideas floating around. If nobody claims it, it’ll trickle down and if it keeps trickling down, it’ll wind up with Danger Aaron. Danger Aaron is the last house on the block.
Crave: You also have a book coming out, as well?
Steve-O: Yep! It’s called "Professional Idiot: A Memoir". It comes out on June 7th.
Jackass 3D hit DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow, March 8th.