Steve-O discusses sobriety, “Jackass”, and more in a new interview with Men’s Health.
The star, who was born Stephen Gilchrist Glover, tells the magazine of being almost 14 years sober: “Most people would be delighted to hear that they’re actually not going to die in their early 30s.
“It came to me as a crisis. I was confronted with the most terrifying possibility: I was only, like, halfway through my life.”
The entertainer’s on- and off-screen friend Johnny Knoxville helped get him into a psychiatric ward in 2008 after he wrote an email saying he was planning on throwing himself out of a window following years of drug and alcohol abuse.
Glover, who regularly put his life on the line on the hit show, which has since been turned into numerous movies, tells the mag how there was a time when he had little money and no idea how to make more.
He says of possessing few skills beyond inspiring people to shout, “Oh, s**t, it’s Steve-O!” when they saw him, “The ultimate fear for me would be to be a recognizable personality and totally broke.”
Glover shares how the concept of “everyday sadism,” in which people derive pleasure from others’ pain, allowed the “Jackass” cast to have careers.
He explains, “We make sure that you don’t have to feel bad about your everyday sadism, because we’re inviting you to enjoy it. So it’s completely permissible to enjoy it, because it’s understood that the reward is your attention; you’re actually being generous when you enjoy it.”
Glover admits his publicist warned him about his behaviour on the shoot, telling him not to flash the photography team.
He says, “For all of the publicist’s concerns, like ‘Oh, be careful, you’re on the record, they’re always going to be super nice, and then they’re just gonna write…’ And I was like, ‘Cool, man. Great. There’s absolutely nothing that I intend to try to hide.’”
Glover goes on, referencing some of his past stunts: “I imagine a time, say, five years down the road, where I’ve done my thing.
“I’ve now had my fake boobs and then gotten them removed. I’ve had the d**k on my forehead, and I’ve gotten it lasered off. I’ve gone back to my current status quo: a deteriorated guy pushing 50 years old. And maybe it all worked out the way I thought; maybe I really hit that big home run I was looking for. Then I’m in a position of saying, ‘Okay, do I really want to keep trying to raise the bar?’”
The answer, he admits, is probably no.