At 50, Johnny Knoxville is hanging up his Jackass bag of tricks.
After surviving more than 20 years and the coronavirus pandemic, the Jackass franchise is returning to our screens in October 2021—Knoxville's last hurrah as a contributor to the infamous stunt squad.
In a new GQ profile, the Jackass star and co-creator confirmed he's retiring from the project that turned him into a breakout star back in 2000. While the original MTV show only lasted 25 episodes, the concept has since spawned three movies with the fourth just a few more months away.
With more death-defying stunts than he can count over the course of two decades, the actor's unique fortune is not lost on him. "You can only take so many chances before something irreversible happens," Knoxville told GQ. "I feel like I've been extremely lucky to take the chances I've taken and still be walking around."
Of course, getting older also means the falls and hits are harder to recover from. "Filming Jackass at this age is much the same as it ever was, with two big differences," co-star Steve-O told the magazine. "Our bones break significantly easier. And it takes less to knock us completely unconscious. Plus longer to wake up."
Exhibit A: the four concussions Knoxville suffered while filming the 2018 comedy, Action Point. "I knew that my stunt career," he said, "was winding down after that film."
While the fourth Jackass installment is very much happening, there were times when Knoxville "didn't feel the need or the desire" to revisit it, he told GQ, nor the willingness to put his health in danger again even when fellow castmates were interested. "I can't afford to have any more concussions," he had reasoned. "I can't put my family through that."
But, ultimately, fans are getting one last show from the star. Fortunately, he had spent 10 years emailing himself Jackass 4 stunt ideas should the time come. And, while he's declared the upcoming movie his final go, Steve-O's words—whether intentionally or not—still cast some doubt.
"Every movie that we ever made was the f--king last one," he said. "And not just the last one, but declared as the last one."
As they say, never say never.