Steve-O made a career out of never saying no. Snort a blob of super-spicy wasabi? Sure! Let a lobster clamp down on his tongue? Bring it on!
His life as an over-the-top yes man, however, brought with it much darker results than singed nasal passages or a bloodied mouth. Last year, Steve-O found himself overpowered by an out-of-control addiction to drugs and alcohol and having hallucinatory conversations with imaginary people.
With the help of his "Jackass" pals, the 34-year-old got sober and now, as his addiction-and-recovery documentary [url id="http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/steve_o/series.jhtml"]"Steve-O: Demise and Rise"[/url] premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on MTV, Steve-O is looking forward to a time when he won't feel pressure to say yes to everything that comes his way.
Part of his problem, he explained in a recent interview with MTV News, was his constant need to stay in the public eye and continue to be successful. When "Jackass Number Two" came out in 2006 and grossed more than $70 million at the box office, Steve-O panicked as he looked at his future prospects. "No matter what, it was going to be something that wasn't as big of a deal," he said. "It was all downhill. And I lost my mind. I had never considered what life would be like after my career."
Yet "Demise and Rise" comes at a point when Steve-O's career prospects are looking stronger than ever. With his appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" earlier this month, he's been in the process of cultivating a more mainstream image, one not so closely connected to the shenanigans that made him a fixture in gossip magazines and on Web sites. "Going from ['DWTS'] and now coming out with this documentary is kind of like to say, 'By the way, here's the guy you were actually watching the whole time,' " he laughed. "The timing of this is all pretty weird."
Whatever happens in the months and years to come, Steve-O will continue to work on taking things one day — and one career decision — at a time. "There's going to come a point where there's just nothing next," he said. "I want that to be OK when that happens."