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Another ‘Jackass’ movie? Knoxville’s head tells him no

Johnny Knoxville figures he’s had some sense knocked into him. Sixteen concussions — or was it 17? — will do that to an actor.

The star, writer and producer of the infamous “Jackass” franchise says that midlife has tamed some of his wild ways.

“I’m not the Chaos King,” the 53-year-old actor says. “In fact, I’m in pretty good shape, all things considered. Yes, I still have problems with my lower back that I take care of with exercise and anti-inflammatories. And there were a lot of concussions, but I’m still coherent.

“Hopefully, that will be the case 10 years from now, and it’s my job to make sure that happens,” says Knoxville, who proves that even someone with an extreme career of crazy stunts can do a health 360.

Yes, he’s noodled around with another “Jackass” movie. On paper.

“I’ve written some things — but I can’t get any more concussions,” he says. “My doctor is like, ‘You’re done.’ I have kids, and I want to be there for them when they get older. That’s real solid motivation.”

So is his new — and happily concussion-free — film, “Sweet Dreams,” now in theaters. Knoxville portrays a man forced into rehab who agrees to coach a misfit softball team of recovering addicts.

“This was a little different for me,” Knoxville says. “It’s about how if you’ve gone through addiction, it’s not the end. It’s a lot of work, but you can get your life back. I’ve had friends who have done it, and they’ve been scared that their life will be so unrecognizable after rehab. But I tell them, ‘This is where your life really begins.’ ”

The Tennessee native, the son of a Sunday school teacher and a car and tire salesman, offers his good life tips:

Cope with curveballs

Knoxville knows about addiction. “My father was an alcoholic, and a lot of my friends have been in recovery. There have been times when I overindulged,” he says. “I’ve watched people go through hard things. My friend Steve-O fought to get his life back and transformed, so you can never lose hope. … You just have to be supportive and be there for those in your life dealing with hard things. I’ve really been blown away by those who get their life back and their ability to stick with this new way of living.”

Have a Plan B

Knoxville had early dreams of diamonds. “Baseball was the only thing I was ever good at as a kid,” he shares. “My dream was to play for some small college or become an actor,” he says.

Now, he’s glad that be picked Plan B. “I sort of knew that I wouldn’t play baseball after college, so that dream wasn’t going to get me out of my town and send me on my way.”

Then he threw his arm out while playing in high school. “It happened in our last game, and my elbow still feels a bit odd right now.”

It begged the question: Now what? “I had this real yearning to get out there and experience something new, so I decided to try acting. My heart said, ‘Move West and see what happens.’ ”

‘It meant everything’

Once out West, it was another comedian who gave him his shot. “In 1992, I appeared as an Oscar statue on ‘The Ben Stiller Show,’ ” Knoxville recalls. “I got paid $40 for the day as a nonunion extra, and it was a total thrill to work with legends like Ben and Bob Odenkirk, Judd Apatow and Janeane Garofalo. They weren’t just talented, but also they were so nice to me. No pretense. Just down-to-earth people,” he adds. “And they made me feel like I belonged there.” Knoxville says he was 21 with no credits and social anxiety. “Just making me feel like I should be there was such a gift. It meant everything to me.”

Call an old friend

“There are no laughs like the had laughs you have with a real longtime buddy. So, make that call today and get together in person if you can. You will never regret it.”

Figure out your stress

Knoxville says that between parenting and his career in Hollywood, he can get stressed out. “I think what’s key in those moments is to check in with myself and see why I’m so stressed. You need to figure out the ‘why’ to get unstressed.” He also measures his stressors. “I ask myself, ‘Is your level of stress accurate to the situation?’ In many cases, I’m overreacting in the moment and spinning out. If you just check in with yourself when you feel stressed, then sometimes it’s not that.”

Get out there

To clear his head, Knoxville heads for the hills. “Exercise helps me a lot,” he says. “I’ll hike or take a long walk in nature. It’s not just good for the body but really helps me to check in with myself.”

Believe in second chances

“Everyone deserves a second chance,” Knoxville says. “I think people need to know that whenever they’re feeling scared or not worth it that you deserve a second chance to feel worth it. I know that first step is so frightening, but you can live a different kind of life if you just make that your goal. Whatever isn’t working can be replaced with what works.”

Celebrate the years

“There is not a lot you can do about getting older,” Knoxville reasons. “Fighting it isn’t going to help. I’m OK with the years, although sometimes I do look in the mirror in the morning and say, ‘Who is that guy? Oh yeah, he’s the one who is gaining the wisdom. He’s not just about the chaos anymore!”

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