Terry Morrow: Johnny Knoxville goes large for big-screen flick 'Fun Size'

Johnny Knoxville, left, channels Dog the Bounty Hunter for his new role in "Fun Size."

Photo by Photo Credit: Jaimie Trueblood, © 2012 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Johnny Knoxville, left, channels Dog the Bounty Hunter for his new role in "Fun Size."

A teenage girl is forced to take her brother trick-or-treating on Halloween. When he goes missing, she recruits her friends to help track him down ...

Rating: PG-13 for crude and suggestive material, partying, and language

Length: 90 minutes

Released: October 26, 2012 Nationwide

Cast: Thomas Mann, Victoria Justice, Johnny Knoxville, Chelsea Handler, Thomas McDonell

Director: Josh Schwartz

Writer: Max Werner

More info and showtimes »

HOLLYWOOD — Picture Johnny Knoxville with a mane so long that Dog The Bounty Hunter and Billy Ray Cyrus would envy it.

He's also got the brains to match. The boy just ain't right.

His description of his latest movie role — in the family-friendly flick "Fun Size" — follows suit.

"I'm kind of a meathead," says Knoxville, talking about Captain Poon, the numbskull he plays in the big-screen comedy out today.

The good captain is another in a long line of rednecks Knoxville embodies for movies. He follows in the line of Eddie Leadbetter (who didn't know which lane to use at the airport) from 2002's "Big Trouble" to ultimate country bumpkin Luke Duke from 2005's "Dukes of Hazzard" to imposter Steve Barker in 2005's "The Ringer."

With more than a couple of dozen movies to his credit, you can't take the Knoxville out of the Knoxville.

In the movie from director Josh Schwartz ("OC," "Gossip Girl," "Chuck"), Knoxville is caught up in a trick-or-treat caper. On Halloween, a child (Jackson Nicole) gets lost in a crowd and runs across Captain Poon.

"Even his license plate says 'Captain Poon,' which shows you how intelligent I am," Knoxville says with a laugh.

"Fun Size" has a large cast and features an oddball array of comedians, including Chelsea Handler and Victoria Justice.

For "Fun Size," Knoxville shares screen time with child actor Jackson Nicoll, who plays missing child Albert. Knoxville says he and Jackson got along famously.

"He's the cutest little (boy)," Knoxville says. "He's as rumbustious as (heck). He'd follow me around the set and give me (heck).

"He'd throw insults."

Jackson enjoyed teasing Knoxville.

"If I wasn't looking, he'd run up and kick me (between the legs)," Knoxville says. "He had so much energy and put it all into punishing me.

"I loved him. He's really spirited."

Of course it's Knoxville, nee PJ Clapp of South Knoxville, who's getting the last laugh. He talks about "Fun Size" from his spacious office near the heart of Hollywood.

It's hardly the look of a power broker: '70s-styled wood paneling adorns the space, which looks more like a grade-school principal's office than anything else.

He sinks into a large leather couch for the interview. "I did this movie because I like the script," Knoxville says.

Madison Clapp, his 16-year-old daughter, would want to see it. "She'll like it," he says.

Knoxville's other two children?

"My two-and-a-half-year old (son) is not going to care," he says laughing.

"My 9-month-old can watch it, sure, but I don't know how long she'll sit there exactly."

Knoxville liked making "Fun Size" so much that he kept the "Captain Poon" license plate.

"It's in my bathroom," he says.

Of course it is.

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