INT: Johnny Knoxville
-- this set visit took place in January 2005 --
Visit / Seann William Scott / Johnny Knoxville /
Jay Chandrasekhar / Jessica Simpson
Johnny Knoxville walked into the room, very nonchalantly placed a magazine on the table and sat down. Curious, we took a closer look and noticed it was a copy of “Big Black Butt” magazine. By the end of the interview, he was tearing pages out of the magazine and signing them to each one of us “Hugs and Kisses, Johnny Knoxville”. And, with that, here’s the interview.
the best article in the magazine so far?
apparently, sexy red has the world's largest ass with the world's
smallest waist. She's claiming a 23 inch waist and I'm calling
you have somebody pick that up for you or did you pick it up on the
no, I was just, yeah, I stopped at the liquor store and they had
“Big Black Butt” and you can't afford not to buy it.
just drive through the liquor store?
No, no, no. There is drive through liquor. I think there's places you can get...
drive through. And they just put a piece of tape on it and then
that's considered not an open container. I love
been drinking any of the moonshine up here?
I'm having some shipped in from Tennessee this week, though. I can'
I don't know what county it's coming out of, actually, maybe Cocke.
But (yells out loud "Coooooooocke!!") that's always good
to yell out in the middle of restaurants. My buddy gets it...
there a Cocke County, Louisiana? Seriously?
it's Tennessee...Cocke County, Tennessee. My friend sent me a...it's
a Cocke County and their
mascot is...they're the Cocke County Fighting Cocks.
Duke, Bo Duke, how did you get into this one? Did Seann really
actually get you interested in the project?
didn't know Seann before this. I think he's hilarious. I'm a huge
fan of Seann's but I didn't know him before this. No, actually, it
was just through a phone call and it was 'what do you think about
Dukes?' Could be good. So I met with everybody and talked and I was
trying to see what they had in mind. I'd never seen Starship...
right. Before I met with Jay and then I watched it. Such a great
film. I don't know how I didn't see it when it came out the first
time. So, yeah, I sat down with Billy Gerber and Jay and, you know,
it's like what are you guys thinking and we all seem to be on about
the same page so, I mean, those guys have really done all they said
they were gonna do. They're really all, you know, great to work
it worked out that way so far?
it's really collaborative. Jay just is very open. Chandrasekhar,
which is a lot to get out, is very open to working with everyone and
listening and incorporating everyone's ideas. It's been a ball of a
shoot. You're driving in the car most of the time and you got
barfights. It's like, kinda like a little kid.
injuries in the barfights yet?
you talking about in the movie or in real life?
yeah. Yeah. I've been stabbed.
not in the movie...
I got actually stabbed at my friend's bachelor party but in the
no, no, in real life, I got stabbed...
don't know. These three guys.
this like, they knew you from Jackass?
no, no, this was right before Jackass. These three guys yelled out
something at me from a car and I yelled back and then they got out
and it's like 'aw, crap here we go'.
would be a real barfight, I guess.
But in the movie, no I haven't been injured. The barfight was so
much fun. I trained for it four weeks with this guy Chad Stahelski
[stunt coordinator]. He did a lot of the work on THE MATRIX. He's
amazing, I mean, to get me to look like I could punch.
this was your first fight sequence?
well, I did one little thing in WALKING TALL. They got there on the
day and they were like 'do this'. But this I really trained for. It
was so much fun.
you were fighting Butterbean too?
but that was for real. God, that guy's strong. He arrived that
morning and I go 'Butterbean, I need you to go full speed today'. He
goes 'Johnny, I can't do that'. I said 'I need you to go full
speed'. He goes 'You don't have to beg me'. It's like 'aww, shit, I
should've shut up'.
you driven the car?
mostly talk on the CB. Bo does the driving but, with that said, I do
steal Boss Hogg's Cadillac so I got to train with Bobby Ore, who's
the world's greatest stunt driver. Seann was training like four
hours a day with Bobby Ore and Seann's damn good now. Reverse 180's,
drifting, he's really good and he gets to, you know, do a lot of the
driving in the movie.
that's right, his character did the driving in the TV show.
but Seann's a great driver now. So I just...I'm ok [driving]. Yeah,
I'm pretty excited cause I get to do that tomorrow with Willie.
Willie's gonna be in my car all day.
should be a fun car...
I love that guy.
the General Lee?
no, no, I'm stealing Boss Hogg's. I don't drive the General Lee. I
talk on the CB.
Jesse helps you steal it?
he doesn't help me steal it. I steal it but then he ends up getting
in it and then we're off. Willie Nelson, man. I mean, working with
Burt and Willie. Pretty amazing.
You must have been a fan of SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT prior to this?
huge. I saw this movie almost more times than any. It was on last
night somewhere. I was watching it. There's such a crazy following.
I didn't know there was such a huge Dukes following. Everywhere we
go, people, they really flock to the set to see the General Lee.
It's like its own star. We had a couple of guys who drove down, even
more than a couple, a whole host of guys who drove down from Canada
with their General Lee and one guy's got his Roscoe P. Coltrane
[car]. Yeah, their just fanatical. It's amazing.
were you? Were you like a big fan of the show when it first was on?
I grew up [on it]. I didn't know it still had such a huge following,
though. It's crazy.
you have your own little General Lee?
no, I couldn't afford that.
Catherine Bach. My, my my. What a lovely young lady.
She looks amazing. She's so pretty. And she looks so great on film.
She's so natural and comfortable. I didn't realize until we shot the
first day with her. We did a scene and she goes 'that was my first
take ever'. I didn't realize it was her first film cause she's so
natural and good. And gorgeous.
repertoire is going pretty good?
I'm having a ball. I mean, Louisiana where you can get drive through
cups of liquor.
everyone has said that you've been really good on set in terms of no
practical jokes or whatever but is it a misconception that you're as
wild off camera as you are on Jackass?
just don't do it on set. People just kinda expect stuff and it's no
fun if people expect it.
to be a surprise?
I don't know.
that an archery guard on your wrist?
Falcon ring. Yeah, big into Falconery.
as a hobby, right?
I'm a big fan of Gladiator movies. My Spartacus armband. (laughs)
that a George Jones T-shirt?
I got my George Jones T-shirt, my Waylon belt buckle.
some girls last night said you've been hanging out at the College a
there's some bars over there. So, yeah, I like going to bars.
is a party school.
you've got some public notoriety. Are they staying away from you in
the bar? How does that go?
no. I mean, they've very nice. Everyone buys me shots all night
that's one of the things about being a celebrity. Stuff like that
not complaining. So, there's always that.
it surprise when you get away from LA and you're in regular America
to see the reaction of people when they see you and to see how
excited they get, how crazy they get?
a little unreal. You know, I just try to pretend it's all normal.
But I've been really, really lucky. And, I get the joke, you know.
So, I'm very appreciative.
would you say the fight scene is the scene that you were most jazzed
about or were there some other stuff?
fight scene was great but the driving stuff is really good too.
Working with Dan Bradley who ran second unit, who's done BOURNE
SUPREMACY and BOURNE IDENTITY and he worked on JACKASS, actually. He
did the beginning of the movie, you know...
the shopping cart?
cause he works with Spike a lot, Jonze, and the ending with the old
man where we get blown up. That guy's a legend and a hero of mine
and my friends. He, actually, remember that video Spike Jonze did
for a band called Wax in '94 where they lit a guy on fire and he was
running down the street in slow motion trying to hail a bus? Dan was
the guy on fire and that's when I first met Dan. Spike was
that the same guy that showed up at a movie premiere on fire or was
that something else?
that guy who walked down the red carpet on fire that lit him and his
doesn't sound like a Dan thing. He's more low key. But he's amazing
in the car. I saw some of that driving stuff. It looks like a Steve
McQueen film. I was so excited when I saw the driving stuff.
you disappointed that you didn't get behind the wheel more?
no. There's laws against driving drunk in this state.
that count on set? If you're on set and you've been drinking?
really. Well, I don't think so. Talk to the first AD for me. But
Artis, though, Artis would give a fuck. Artis Robinson is the first
AD on this. I worked with him on MEN IN BLACK II. Best first D in
the business ever, period. When were shooting in New Orleans, what
was his quote? It was like Saturday morning everyone's like dragging
cause we went out the night and he was like 'any motherfuckers can't
drink all night and work all day, you're in the wrong business'. And
we're like 'ok, no cry babies here'.
been on Jackass and obviously having somewhat of a reputation for
being a wild man, how does it feel playing straight characters on
you played gay characters? (laughs)
well, Jackass, it's about as gay as it gets. We try to make it as
gay as possible.
meant like the non-comedic roles?
hopefully, this will be funny. If this is considered a non-comedic
role, I failed.
much did you refer back to the original series for inspiration?
just tried to capture the spirit of the original series. It's not
like we're trying to do an imitation of Tom Wopat and John
Schneider. We just get the spirit and do a lot of great stunts and
show Jessica in her Daisy Dukes and get into some fights. It's a big
you seen anyone from the original series?
we haven't. Hopefully, we'll get to meet them at some point.
the character interplay between you two and Daisy Duke? They're not
interested or you can't because they're all related?
I'm trying to argue that it doesn't matter if you're related but
she's not buying it. The waiter asked me today. I was at this
restaurant. Ok, I was at this bar. And he's like 'so, I know you
guys are cousins but are you guys gonna get it on?' I was like
'well, you know, talk to them, not me.'
the difference between like PG and PG-13?
might put it into R. Incest might really tip it over into R.
you had a chance to work with Burt Reynolds?
he's amazing. He's the sweetest guy. And he just has all these great
Hollywood stories of working with Gene Hackman and so and so and he
loves telling them and I love listening. He's lived a crazy life and
he'll just tell stories all day and I'll just sit there and listen.
It's really great being around Willie [Nelson] and Burt [Reynolds].
I really don't know what to say to them, I'm just like 'ah, er, ah'.
Very, very fortunate to work with those guys.
there a time in a stunt or driving when you wanted to go further but
everybody on set was like 'ok we gotta bring in a stunt man'?
there's been a couple of times where I'll tell Daren, the stunt
coordinator, 'I'll do it, I'm up for it.' But it just gets him in a
bad position if I get hurt.
would be responsible for that?
yeah. But it only happened a couple of times.
are some of the stunts you're doing in the movie?
ones that I could get hurt on, the ones that I could get seriously
it like jumping, jumping around?
fights. I begged and begged and begged to get thrown across the bar
into the wall but he was like 'no, it's early on in the shoot'. And
I understand where he's coming from.
you're on the CB so much, is there lingo you had to get down?
know, we're on a fucking CB. Don't we have cell phones? But I think
we deal with that cause there's no cell phone towers.
is the land that time forgot.
know, the car does have a cd player.
fucking doesn't work, though. We're in there all day. I bring my
iPod and some travel speakers cause if you're in the car all day.
It's just me and Seann. Just sitting there all day.
wants one of the cars but he says he's afraid to take it back to LA
with the flag on top. Would that stop you at all from driving that
around LA with the full on General Lee?
if you had it on top of like a Cadillac, that might raise some
eyebrows. You know, it's like 'what the fuck is wrong with that
guy?' But it's the General Lee and it's very iconic, the car, and
everyone knows what it looks like and I wouldn't have a problem
driving the General Lee around. I wouldn't put a rebel flag on my
fucking Cadillac. But it's the General Lee. And we deal with that in
the movie humorously.
guys explain it away?
don't. We just deal with it in a funny way and then we move on. We
just don't want it to be a thing. There was a car on the series, a
very iconic car, one of the most iconic cars ever.
you get to choose your wardrobe, I guess, in a way, like Seann did
with Led Zeppelin?
they've been really, Billy Gerber and Jay [Chandrasekhar], they've
been great, about giving you full reign. I was working on a movie in
Tennessee and the ladies flew in and said 'ok, what are we doing?'
and they gave me suggestion and I gave them.
didn't choose something that's gonna be just not cool in a year?
mean, there's some midriffs and dolphin shorts. They'll come back
use a southern accent?
you think about nostalgia and you think about this film, I also
heard that Lynda Carter's in the film.
boy. She's gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. She accidentally walked in
my trailer one day and she's like 'oh, I'm sorry'. It's like the kid
in ANIMAL HOUSE when the woman flew through, he's really like 'thank
you, God'. [So I'm like] 'don't worry about it, sit down, would you
like a glass of wine?' No, she's very sweet and just beautiful.
you appearance on Viva La Bam, did you take your friend's car to
Bam's place, and when they tore up, did you have to explain to your
friend what happened to the car?
I did, but it's like, everyone knows what we do so it's not so
shocking. It didn't come out of complete left field.
the prank just made up on the fly?
it was, because I got there and it was like 'come shoot with me.'
I'm like 'alright'. And I fly and I go 'what's the deal, what are
you doing?' He goes 'well, it's a prank war between you and I'. I'm
like 'well, fucking thanks for telling me'. And so I had to write
everything in about 12 hours. I was staying in the holiday inn in
Pennsylvania and I had like six rooms in the hotel. Cause I got to
my first room. And it was one of those rooms that's two doors, you
know. And the door on my side was off so I'm like 'alright, I'm not
gonna be the asshole.' I know they're coming in on me so I just got
a bunch of rooms and they couldn't find me till the very end. They
paid off a waiter at the Holiday Inn. Swine.
do you have coming up?
have a few things. You know, obviously this in the summer. LORDS
OF DOGTOWN, I took a small role in I'm pretty excited about. THE
RINGER, Farrelly brothers comedy. I did [a movie] in Tennessee
for Miramax that Quentin Tarantino produced called DALTRY CALHOUN.
is that about? Is that a golf movie?
not a golf movie, really. It's about a guy trying to reconnect with
his daughter who's 14 and she hasn't seen her since she's an infant
and I'm balancing that with the business that's failing. It's a
great script. Katrina Holden Bronson wrote it and it's different
than anything I've ever done.
your uncle does music? Is that right?
Is that album coming out?
probably gonna release it with the Dukes.
I was gonna say, is there any chance that one of his songs is gonna get on the soundtrack?
yeah, there's a definite chance. A real big chance. Rog, he came in
last weekend, and I didn't get to see him cause the Wild Boys were
in town and they were filming down there and they just took Rog and
they were filming with Rog.
old is that guy?
mid-40s. The greatest guy. He's just got the best of intentions.
He's hilarious. My friend from New York was talking to him on the
phone. He'd been in town a day and a half and it was about 12:30.
He's walking into a liquor store. As soon as he walks in the door,
the woman is like 'well, hey Rog'. He was already on a first name
basis with a woman at the liquor store. So he's a good one.
would you say to any fans that say 'oh I didn't see you in that
role', you know, DUKES OF HAZZARD?
I don't know, I don't think it's a great leap. I'm from Tennessee. I
don't think they'll be a lot of that.
you think Tom Wopat's gonna be mad or do you think he's gonna be
I hope he's not mad. I hope they like it. I'm sure they will. We kept the spirit of the show.
your Jackass reputation, do you feel like the gunslinger and now
these young guys are gonna come after you and try to ambush you,
punk you, whatever, just to prove 'we got Johnny'?
I don't think they're really looking to pull [stunts]. I'm pretty
weary of any incident. But people try to challenge me in bars and
whatnot and [they] wanna fight. That happens every now and then.
do you deal with that?
as long as they're not physical, I just walk away. If they get
physical then I usually end up in a fight and most of the time lose.
you been in any fights here?
not a whole fight. A guy punched me in a bar. I was ordering a drink
and a guy punches me in the back and I turn around and was like 'who
the fuck was that?' And there's a guy, obviously the guy who did it,
and two girls. And I was like 'did you do that?' [he said] 'No'.
[And I said] 'Oh, ok, I ain't fighting'. And then he starts going
'what the fuck's Tennessee gonna do this weekend?' And so I kinda
threw him head first into a wall and then they throw him out which
was great. But no, no fights other than that.
didn't give you a reason why he was doing that?
he just wanted to punch me and challenge me.
are some of the challenges that they come up with to do?
no. If someone hits me, I consider it a challenge.
there anything that you learned on the movie that you hadn't trained
for, that you hadn't done before?
all the driving and the fighting. I mean, Bobby Ore is amazing. I
learned how to do 90 degree drifts and 180 degree turns and then
working with Chad Stahelsky, it was a ball.
what's the best way to throw a punch?
Have an empty beer mug in your hand and punch with that and then run like hell.
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