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Steve-O was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA on the 13th of June 1974. He was always a bit of a clown, and went to the Barnum & Bailey Clown College, where he graduated in 1997.

When he graduated, he found himself out of a job, and started doing stunts of various types, moved to Florida, and started being a clown on cruise ships. He got in contact with Big Brother magazine, and did some filming with the US Big Brother television show. This was how he came in contact with Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew. From here on... well... Things only got bigger.

This is an interview with Steven Glover (or Steve-O, as he is known) from Jackass. The interview was done by Chris Smith and myself in February of 2003, at the University of Liverpool Guild of Students. Pictures from the interview and the show can be found on www.photocritic.org.

'Professionally Irresponsible'

Jackass n: An offensive term that deliberately insults someone else's intelligence.

As the immensely successful 'don't try this at home' tour crashed, burned and sliced it's way into Liverpool, we sat down with perhaps the worlds biggest: The legendary stuntman, Steve-O.

"I heal like Wolverine, man, I keep getting away with it so I guess I'll keep doing it." says America's newest folk-devil, sporting a head of hair which looks to have been the victim of an amateur arson attack. In all truth it has, but who ever heard of self induced arson?

But, as a 28-year old man, who "doesn't like work, doesn't like school" and is "way into free money and naked chicks," asking him 'why?' seems an insult, when 'why not?' explains everything.

Walking towards the dressing room, the unmistakeable stoner-monotone voice was easily distinguishable, but what lay inside defied some initial expectations. Instead of finding the Jackass co-star squeezing lemon juice into his eyes and stapling his genitals to his legs, Steve-O lay, as if just awoken, on a worn out couch, seemingly without the least bit of menace or mischief brewing.

The dressing room too, was surprisingly unembellished – and unspoilt -, adorned only by a refreshments table, dominated by two large bottles of Jack Daniels. One has the feeling that this is somewhat of a custom of the tour, which takes him across the UK in ---- shows, featuring fellow Jackass alumni Preston Lacy and Ryan Dunn.

"We weren't even planning on making a tour," says Steve-O, lighting what looks to be his first post-sleep cigarette.
"It started out with this rave promoter, hiring us out and putting our names on flyers and I wanted to do stunts, so the tour kinda came about by accident. There is talk of us going to Europe, but we'll see what happens, I don't know what my schedule looks like after this"

In fact there may not be a schedule if the state of Louisiana has its way. Following an ill-fated show, which took place at a show last June, Steve-O faces eight years in prison for obscenity and being principal to battery, after a security guard allegedly threw a 19-year old into the stage, knocking him unconscious.

"I had nothing to do with the battery bit, but just for the obscenity charge, which was for pulling out my wiener and stapling my nuts to my leg, they set my bail at a million dollars. I don't know how it's being resolved, I know my court date was supposed to be on the 10th (of February) and this is now the 7th, so it can't be good to be facing 8 years in prison and out of the country when your court date rolls around," he giggles.

Steve-O courts controversy and bills himself as "professionally irresponsible", a role in which he seems to revel. Controversy seems to be the nature of the beast for his 'art', but as the laughter suggests it, the legions of angry mothers accusing him of spawning a generation of idiots doesn't worry him.

"I always get a real laugh out of it. He says. "If they can get six and a half million people to tune into them every week, then maybe someone will care. It's like all the people who don't like me or what I stand for can't really help the fact that there's these hundreds and thousands of DVD's, that their grandchildren are likely to get hold of and they're totally gonna love it."

The DVD entitled 'don't try this at home' was a massive hit over Christmas and similar to the forthcoming 'Jackass' features a lot of the footage that MTV refused to show.

"We quit making the TV show because they wouldn't put any of the fucking footage on TV.

"One kid went up in flames and the next thing you know the censors and the standards board wanted to stop allowing all our best shit on TV, they wanted to tone down the show so we quit it.

"Making a movie, it would obviously be rated 'R' or '18' so it wouldn't be so liable for all the little kids"

"Basically, it's more of the same shit, but we just had a lot more money at our disposal and we had less rules that we had to follow," said the 28 year-old, still laying prone on the couch.

'Jackass: The Movie' took $22m in the US in its opening weekend and looks set to enjoy similar success upon it's eagerly awaited UK run, which begins on the 28th February. It's an amazingly busy time for Steve-O, with his second DVD released in the UK on the 21st February, he is also in talks with MTV over a new TV show.

"It's tentatively called 'Alpha male'. It's me and Chris Pontius (Jackass co-star) and we're gonna travel the world embracing obscure cultures and indigenous animals."

Outside of the infamous jock, Steve-O landed himself a role in the new Val Kilmer movie "Blind Horizon" which is released later this year.

"It was pretty rad'. I don't really do much, they kind of rewrote it a bit, I came into it on the last day of filming. Really all I did was show off this impressive zit I had. The footage that me and Val shot just running around the movie set was better though I think."

So with a blossoming movie career, a stage show sold-out with gorgeous groupies fighting for a moment's attention, a request he is more than happy to fulfil, is there any possibility of Steve-O settling down and becoming a family man?.

"I dunno man, I was like freaked out on PCP and it occurred to me for the first time that I might actually wanna have a family like somewhere really far down the road. I have a girlfriend but it's tough, men are so simple, there's no way that a man is gonna be faithful, so I promised her that I wouldn't promise her anything, and that I'd probably be getting a lot of blowjobs."
Girls attending upcoming shows need not worry: Steve-O does not possess a chastity belt.

But the narcotic PCP became a real issue.

"The third volume of my DVD is called PCP saved my life. PCP is like really filthy garbage and I had such a bad experience on it, which kinda convinced me into taking care of my body a little bit better, but then I go hammering nails thru my scrotum into my leg, which was pretty narly, so I guess I didn't learn that much (roar of laughter)"

That particular stunt is one of many that we are yet to see from the graduate of Barnum and Bailey Clown College and he promises there is much more to come. "Fuck yeah, there's more to come. The scorpion attack was pretty good, the cobra wake-up was pretty rad. When we set my face on fire in Val's living room, that was pretty good too.

As the song written especially for him so rightly states, 'If you're gonna be dumb, you've got to be tough'. Indeed the combination seems to be working pretty well for Steve-O who after conquering MTV, Hollywood and now the UK, is by no means satisfied.

"I wanna get my own TV show, keep making DVD's, stay touring, do a book deal, more movies, more TV shows and more money," he says with a mischievous snigger. "Well I don't really give a fuck about money, but I do get sick and tired of making it for everybody else."

So as Steven Glover remains as he has for the entire interview flat on his back, in a heap of modesty and unpretentiousness, unfazed by what he is about to embark on, and refusing to ponder his own status as a real-life home grown American Superhero. It seems certain that the adoring city of Liverpool has not seen the last of a man who simply wants to be remembered as someone who "made people giggle", a feat he has achieved like few of the great comedians ever have.

Hell, I'm not even sure that the state of Louisiana could keep him quiet.

His next stunt might just be called 'The prison wall dive'?


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