Johnny Knoxville on ‘Jackass Forever,’ WrestleMania, and the Celeb He’d Like to Fight


Johnny Knoxville has made a career out of putting his body in precarious positions. So his recent foray into wrestling doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to fans.

“In a way, Jackass was good preparation,” says the 50-year-old stunt performer, who will face off against WWE pro Sami Zayn at WrestleMania 38 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on the weekend of April 2 and 3. “Wrestling is a very physical thing, and everyone is wrecking their bodies in both.”

Make sure you tune in to watch: WrestleMania 38 will stream live on Peacock on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. (EDT). Here, the father of three—he shares son Rocko, 12, and daughter Arlo, 10, with wife Naomi Nelson, and has daughter Madison, 26, from a previous relationship—talks to In Touch’s Natalie Posner about gearing up for the ring, the stunt he refuses to do, and his not-so-guilty pleasure.

In Touch: Jackass trained you well. How else are you getting ready for WrestleMania?

Johnny Knoxville: I’ve been tossing 200-pound tires over a fence. My neighbors are getting pissed, but that’s to be expected. The tires weigh a little more than that no-good, low-down, and dirty Sami Zayn.

What about your diet?

I was watching what I eat until I started having firecrackers for breakfast and lunch. I’ve already lost one tooth, which I won’t replace because I want to look mean.

What celeb, living or dead, would you most like to wrestle?

Audrey Hepburn. She’s so petite and talented and beautiful. To have her take me to “Suplex City” would steal my beating heart.

What about another wrestler?

Sasha Banks. She’d kill me.

Do your younger kids worry about you getting in the ring?

No, because they know I’m wrestling Sami Zayn.

Do they take after you?

They both have pretty sassy mouths, and my son is very excitable. He’s got that look that my father had in his eyes.

Would you let them follow in your footsteps?

No. I have made it very clear: They’re not to do stunts or anything silly like that. They’re going to school. They’re great kids.

You and Naomi have been married for 11 years. What’s the secret to a happy union?

It takes a lot of work and respect between two people.

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Jessica Simpson wrote about having an emotional affair with you in Open Book. Thoughts?

I didn’t read it, and I don’t really have a comment on it.

Would you ever write a tell-all?

I might write a tell-a-little.

You’ve shot yourself and been charged by a bull. Is there a stunt you refuse to do?

We all have our irrational dislikes and fears on Jackass. Mine was doing anything in cold weather or cold water. I hate it. Also I’m not the G-string guy. We got guys for that.

What is your most-used emoji?

Either the eggplant or the laughing emoji.

What’s your most recent splurge purchase?

I had to buy a new suitcase because mine broke. I got off the flight from Miami, and my luggage comes around the bend,
and it was open, and the zipper wouldn’t close. I didn’t know those things were that expensive!

What’s your favorite board game?

Clue. I loved playing Clue when I was growing up. My mom would cheat every single time, so we’d have to watch her with the confidential cards.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I love a fine Japanese whiskey. But I don’t feel that guilty about it.

Would you do another Jackass movie?

We could, for sure. Will we? I don’t know. We never have a five-year plan—we don’t even have a five-minute plan.

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