The Week (US)

Knoxville’s painful career


Johnny Knoxville has suffered his last concussion in the name of art, said Sam Schube in GQ. With the recent completion of his fourth Jackass movie, the 50-year-old is closing the book on his unlikely career as a gonzo stuntman, one that’s seen him shot out of a cannon, bit by an anaconda, punched by a 400-pound boxer, mauled by bulls, and launched into the side of a barn by a catapult. “You can only take so many chances before something irreversib­le happens,” Knoxville says. “I’ve been extremely lucky to take the chances I’ve taken and still be walking around.” Not that he hasn’t suffered damage. He’s shattered bones, knocked out teeth, torn his urethra, and endured countless concussion­s. “You wake up, and they’re like, ‘That was great.’ You got a good bit when there’s seven people standing over you, snapping their fingers.” At his age, says the father of three, “I can’t afford to have any more concussion­s. I can’t put my family through that.” Knoxville started seeing a therapist a while back, but laid out a ground rule: He wouldn’t talk about what drove him to risk his life repeatedly for viewers’ amusement. “I didn’t want to break the machine.” That conversati­on is due, he admits, but “it’s not something I need to know this second.”

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