ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 14, 2006
By Steve Newton
HOLLYWOOD–It’s a poolside reception for Jackass: Number Two at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Various cast members–including Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Preston Lacy, and Jason “Wee Man” Acuña–are sitting around, getting quietly sloshed.
Maybe a little too quietly for Knoxville’s liking.
The renowned shit disturber and recent Spin cover boy glances over at the four-foot-seven Acuña and says: “What I don’t get is why Wee Man still has his clothes on when there’s a pool right over there.” In the Jackass universe, casual dares carry a lot of weight. Within 10 seconds Acuna has doffed his duds and is scampering naked toward the pool, nudging partygoers out of his way, barely keeping his nose out of other people’s business. A child-size splash is heard. If Wee Man’s mother had been there, she might have asked her impressionable offspring: “If Johnny Knoxville told you to go jump in a lake, would you do that too?”
In JA2, Acuña goes one better than that. In a stunt called “the swamp chute” , the diminutive daredevil stands on a dock and, while two enormous fans blast hurricane-force winds, opens up a parachute. The consequences can only be revealed when the movie opens next Friday (September 22).
Like 2002’s Jackass: The Movie, the sequel is a plotless collection of bizarre, butt-crunching stunts, idiotic pranks, and Tom Green–style gross-out antics. Acuña is best remembered from the first film for kicking himself in the head, but in Number Two he gets much more involved in the insanity, which is ramped up by ever more dangerous and gross achievements. As Acuña explained to the Straight the day after his impromptu skinny dip, the Jackass: Number Two crew didn’t chicken out from any stunts this time around.
“In the first movie we kinda said no to a few things,” he revealed, “but this time we were like, ‘Man, we’re doing anything!’”
The 33-year-old Acuña has been skateboarding since he was 13, and his talent on pavement eventually led him to be recruited into the Jackass fold. But not just anyone with a willingness to careen up crazy ramps and plunge down rocky hillsides gets to join the crew.
“Everyday we get offers,” Acuña said, “like, ‘Man, look at me; I wanna be on Jackass!’ and then they’ll go and do something stupid. But it’s not like we auditioned each other, you know what I mean? It wasn’t like we said, ‘Oh, we want a little guy, a fat guy, and we need this guy.’ It just happened. It’s a melting pot that just somehow made the soup.”
Fans of the Jackass films–and its previous incarnation as a notorious MTV series–appreciate its raunchy, anything-goes approach. One such devotee is cult-movie icon John Waters, who hung out during the filming of Number Two and actually pushed Steve-O down a flight of stairs on a luggage cart.
According to Acuña, the taboo-blasting director brought with him a book titled Bottoms Up, which is nothing but pictures of guys holding their asses open. Knoxville was particularly impressed. “At first, Knoxville was like, ‘Man, this looks like a great poster for our movie.’ And we were like, ‘Great, we get to do that one now. Thanks, John!’”