In the world of entertainment, there is no one more a beacon to Knoxville than Johnny Knoxville. Born Phillip John Clapp, he literally adopted the city’s name in his stage name and brings Knoxville everywhere he goes.
With Knoxville’s latest film, Jackass Forever, released in October, we thought it was time to catch up with the stunt star. What has he been up to since Jackass 3D was released over a decade ago?
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Shortly before “Jackass 3D” was released, Knoxville married his girlfriend Naomi Nelson. At the time of their marriage in September 2010, the two had been together for a number of years and have two children.
While not much is known about Knoxville’s personal life with Nelson, things seem to be going incredibly well. In a GQ article published in May, Knoxville talked about spending his 50th birthday with Nelson and their two children Arlo and Rocko Clapp, spending the day happily relaxing by the pool and listening to Willie Nelson.
Knoxville previously married Melanie Lynn Cates in 1995. The couple had a daughter, Madison Clapp, in 1996, but were separated in 2006. The marriage ended legally in 2008, and formal divorce agreements were reached in 2009.
Since “Jackass 3D”, both of Knoxville’s parents, Phil and Lemoyne, passed away in 2018 and 2017, respectively. His parents were both big supporters of Knoxville, his father attending the 2010 “Jackass 3D” premiere at Regal Pinnacle 18 entirely in “Jackass” merchandise.
It’s also worth noting that “Jackass Forever” will be the first film since Ryan Dunn was killed in an accident in 2011.
“It was heartbreaking to lose Ryan,” Knoxville USA told TODAY in an interview posted on May 25, 2021.
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In the same interview, Knoxville addressed the dismissal of another “Jackass” regular, Bam Margera, from the franchise for violating a contract rule that obliges Margera to rehab.
“We want Bam to be happy, healthy, and get the help he needs,” he told USA TODAY. “We tried to push that forward. I think that’s all I really want to say about it. … I don’t want to go back and forth with Bam in public. “
Meanwhile, lawyers working for Margera filed a lawsuit against Knoxville and others in Los Angeles on Monday, August 9, suing them for “false dismissals,” according to a report released by the Associated Press.
Fight for film success
While it has been over 10 years since the last real “Jackass” movie, Knoxville has kept going. He has appeared in 20 films since Jackass 3D, including comedies, documentaries, stunt films, and more.
While having great success with the “Jackass” franchise, Knoxville has struggled for critical or commercial success for the past decade.
In the 2010s he starred in a number of comedies such as “Nitro Circus: The Movie”, “Nature Calls”, “The Last Stand”, “Movie 43”, “Small Apartments” and “Skiptrace”. Almost all of these films failed critically, with “Nitro Circus: The Movie” only holding 6% on Rotten Tomatoes.
His most recent personal project, Action Point, from 2018, which Knoxville wrote, produced and starred in, was a major flop, grossing just $ 5.1 million on a budget of $ 19 million. Many of his recent films have also failed commercially, either losing most of their production budget or just barely making them back.
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A couple of cinematic victories
However, this doesn’t mean that all of his more recent films have been failures.
Knoxville’s most notable hit was in 2013 in Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. The film was the first to be called “Jackass” to depict a fictional plot that put Knoxville in the role of Irving Zisman, the title “Bad Grandpa”.
While the film received only a mediocre critical response, it was a massive commercial hit grossing over $ 150 million on a budget of $ 15 million. The film was the first of Knoxville’s projects to receive an Oscar nomination, with head makeup artist Stephen Prouty nominated for best makeup and hairstyling.
Knoxville also voiced Leonardo in the 2014 live-action reboot, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. The film was panned by critics, but it was a huge financial success and grossed nearly $ 500 million worldwide. Knoxville didn’t return to speak Leonardo in the less successful 2016 sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
Not all of Knoxville’s films since Jackass 3D, however, have been critical pans. He played Sonny West in “Elvis & Nixon” from 2016, which received generally positive reviews from critics. He also had a small role in the 2016 independent horror “We Summon the Darkness” which was also critically acclaimed.
Knoxville also participated in a number of documentaries about his time in stunts and Jackass in the 2010s, such as Being Evel, Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine, and Steve-O: Gnarly.
The end of “Jackass”
Although Knoxville has spent much of his acting and producing careers in both film and television, his real passion is clear: crazy stunts. Unfortunately, youth doesn’t last forever, and when Knoxville turned 50 last March, he admitted it was time to slow things down a bit.
Jackass Forever, the fourth film in the main Jackass series, will be released on October 22nd. Knoxville and Steve-O have both confirmed that this will be the last film in the series with the risk of serious injury too high to continue.
“You can only take so many risks before something irreversible happens,” Knoxville said in an interview with GQ in May. “I feel like I was very lucky to take the risks I took and still walk around.”
In fact, the last “Jackass” was almost the end of Knoxville itself. The actor landed in hospital multiple times during the filming, contracting a broken rib, broken wrist, concussion, and brain hemorrhage in a collision with a cop.
While “Jackass Forever” might be Knoxville’s last film with its old crew, it probably won’t be the last we see of the stuntman. At only 50, Knoxville still has years of creative energy in it, and with Jackass Forever gearing up to be a fan base, chances are the studios will want more from him sooner rather than later.
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