Insider: Johnny Knoxville initially said no-go to 'Jackass' in 3-D

Johnny Knoxville takes flight in 'Jackass 3-D.'

Johnny Knoxville takes flight in "Jackass 3-D."

Johnny Knoxville takes flight in 'Jackass 3-D.'

Johnny Knoxville takes flight in "Jackass 3-D."

SAN DIEGO — Johnny Knoxville wasn’t cool with the idea of doing a “Jackass” movie in 3-D.

“I was the last one to come on board,” he said during a party to promote the film, out in October. “I thought it might affect the relationships of the guys and what we do, and it would take forever.”

Once Knoxville and few of his fellow “Jackass” crew members did a test run to see what 3-D would be like, he was convinced it was the right thing to do. Then other naysayers within the group decided they wanted to be part of it as well.

“After we decided to do it in 3-D, it was great,” he said. “Everyone was happy to be together again.”

Adding the 3-D element to the movie didn’t really change the kind of material Knoxville wanted to do for this third installment. “If we could use 3-D to make the idea better then we’d use it,” Knoxville said, “but having 3-D didn’t really change my ideas for what I wanted to do.

“If it could work in 3-D, we used it … if you liked (‘Jackass’) in 2-D, you’ll love it in 3-D.”

Knoxville stuck with one basic premise about it. “I just wanted it to be funny in 2-D,” he said. “That is how I tried to write my ideas. If 3-D could make it better, then that’s great.”

Knoxville, who was born PJ Clapp but uses “Johnny Knoxville” as his stage name, has a full plate right now. He has about six films in various stages of production, including one with Cher and another with Tracy Morgan.

The movie is as funny and gross as anything the “Jackass” crew has done so far. The opening sequence has the guys slugging each other and flying into spinning fans while in slow motion. Another antic showcases Steve-O in the “Ultimate Poo Cocktail,” that has him in an unflushed potty, which is then shot to the sky.

The result has Steve-O being showered with poo as he rockets upward then back down to Earth. The 3-D effects have the vomit and poo flinging out to the audience.

Dressed in a black sailor outfit with a white navy hat, Knoxville worked the crowd during a Comic-Con party, signing autographs and having photos made with fans.

n SIMON SAYS. “American Idol 9” contestant Didi Benami of Knoxville said recently the show is in state of transformation, and maybe Simon Cowell’s departure won’t matter as much down the road.

“I sure hope it can go on,” she said during a recent chat. “It’s such a great platform for artist like me to make a career for themselves.”

Cowell won’t be back at the judges’ table for season 10, set for January. Speculation on his replacement has been nonstop since he said he was leaving.

“With the show, I would not be where I am right now. It’s a great avenue for new artists,” she said.

Terry Morrow may be reached at morrowt@knoxville.com or 865-342-6445. His blog can be found at http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/telebuddy/. Follow Telebuddy on Twitter or friend Terry Morrow on Facebook for the latest entertainment updates.

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