Monday, February 25, 2008

Steve-O Interview

Professional Jackass
Steve-O talks about taking his act on the road, thinning the herd, and how his finances are his own damn business
Hartford Advocate September 23, 2004

Somebody might have thought to staple their own genitals before Steve-O, but no one made a career out of it. As a cast member of MTV's seminal shock-reality show Jackass, Steve-O's innovative approach to self-mutilation -- like stapling his testicles to his leg or getting a tattoo while off-roading in a Humvee -- made America laugh, cry and cringe. His stunt nature show Wildboyz is in its second season.

A: What can we expect from your live show?

SO: Expect a horrifying display of alcoholism and self-mutilation. We get really drunk and hurt ourselves. We have a set list comprised of acts that censors won't let us do on TV. I'm not going to give away the whole show, but there's blood everywhere, there's vomit, a bunch of urine and broken glass. And also a bunch of testicular trauma. If people want to get kicked in the balls I can pretty much work that out.

A: Is there going to be another season of Wildboyz?

SO: Yeah.

A. How did you guys come up with the idea for the show?
SO: When we were doing Jackass we got tangled up in a lot of wildlife. I don't know. I guess we just wanted to travel the world. And we had Pontius (Chris Pontius, Steve-O's co-host on Wildboyz. He's also "party boy" fromvJackass). He has his homosexual influence and he's a nature freak.

A: Is Pontius gay?

SO: Is Pontius gay? No. but we both think it's funny to act gay.

A: Have you guys ever made out?

SO: We never made out. I mean, for the benefit of paparazzi one time we kissed each other. We only do stuff when there's a camera around. We're only gay on camera.

A: Do you watch real nature shows?
SO: I've never been a fan of nature shows. I mean, maybe a good Predators and Prey. I think everybody likes to watch one animal eat another animal. I did get my personal morals and values from watching nature programming. There ain't no monogamy in the wild, pal. Survival of the fittest. Go after the weakest of the herd. That's our motto. We slay the weakest individuals in the herd.

A: Aside from Pontius, are you still in touch with the other guys from Jackass?

SO: Oh, yeah. If we're all in the same city it's trouble. We all go out and party together. I saw [Johnny] Knoxville a couple of weeks ago at the Video Music Awards. We hung out and did a lot of drugs.

A: What kind of drugs do you like to do?
SO: I'm basically a big pothead. But I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

A: Especially if the gift horse has a bunch of cocaine.
SO: (Laughs) Yeah.

A: What's the dumbest thing you've done this week?
SO: Maybe I used a rubber or two. The dumbest thing I did was mess around with latex. I don't know. I had a family reunion the other day in Canada. Going to that was pretty dumb. I might as well have dressed up as the devil and walked into a church. Let's just say that my extended family isn't terribly proud of me.

A: I heard that you were the only Jackass cast member not to take a percentage of the movie's profits.
SO: That's not true.

A: OK. So what's your money situation like in general?
SO: I'm one lawsuit or injury from being in debt for the rest of my life (laughs). Hey, how unprofessional do you have to be to ask your interview subject about how much money they have? That's actually totally rude. How much money do you make, pal?

A: Oh, I make --
SO: -- I don't want to know. I'm not that rude.

A: What's life like for Steve-O these days?

SO: I'm enjoying myself. Touring really kind of wears you down. Probably the hardest thing is dealing with people all day long. When you got thousands of people coming to see you every night, you just start to hate people. Being onstage isn't bad, but everyone wants to engage you in some conversation you're not interested in whatsoever.

A: Do you kind of want to be left alone?
SO: Kind of. But then I think about the day when no one gives a crap anymore and that's even more depressing.

A: How long do you think you can keep being Steve-O?
SO: I think forever. I don't know if people are going to remain interested in watching me hurt myself for the rest of my life. I'll always be a big ham for attention.

A: Some of the stuff you do must take a physical toll on your body.
SO: I pick my battles fairly carefully. I'm not really interested in becoming paralyzed. I've never permanently injured myself. When I snorted that wasabi, whatever nerves I had in my nose were all so long gone from the cocaine that I didn't care.

A: You were on an episode of the show Blind Date and you poured lemon juice in your eyes. Would you recommend that guys squeeze lemon juice in their eyes when they've run out of stuff to say on a date?
SO: Yeah, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't squeeze lemon juice in your eyes for a date, if you get laid -- Oh God, I'm so hung over right now it hurts. And if you thought I was wasted last night wait until you see me tonight. I am gonna get trashed.

A: Do you get drunk every night?
SO: Pretty much every night, yeah. Recently I had a night where I couldn't deal with it and I didn't get drunk. But that was so creepy. I felt like I was possessed. Everything about not drinking that one night was really weird.