Among the millions mourning the loss of Ryan Dunn is Steve-O, his friend and "Jackass" cohort in the MTV series and all three hit films.
On Monday, 34-year-old Dunn, (with a staggeringly high blood-alcohol level of .196) crashed his Porsche in suburban Philadelphia, dying along with passenger Zachary Hartwell. Dunn's old pal Steve-O (real name: Steven Glover), 37, has a unique vantage point into the tragedy: A recovering alcoholic and drug addict, he has been sober for three years.
The grieving Steve-O cancelled six comedy shows this past week, and wrote in a brief tweet, "I don't know what to say, except I love Ryan Dunn and I'm really going to miss him."
The comedian was clean and sober when he reunited — awkwardly — with Dunn, Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera to shoot "Jackass 3." "We have never really hung out without a reason except to get loaded," he tells website TheFix.com in a new interview. "If you're going to put yourself in a situation with people who aren't sober, you want to be able to have a real reason to be in that situation."
So, when the cameras weren't rolling, Steve-O didn't party with his pals like old times. "I don't have any legit reason to be in a situation to watch those guys drink. The whole time we did that third movie, I never once did that."
Doing the franchise's violent, gross-out stunts without the help of any substances was a unique challenge. "It was so important to me to prove that I still had that in me — that sobriety hadn't turned me into a p----," he says. "It was sober Steve-O versus loaded Steve-O."
When he made the very first "Jackass" movie years ago, "I bought an eight ball of cocaine and one or two vials of Ketamine. I sat there doing line after line of the blow."
He's written a new memoir about his battles — plus friendships with Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie — in "Steve-O: Professional Idiot."
"Basically, I took an honest look at myself and at my actions, and was horrified and felt like I couldn't forgive or live with myself," he explains. "I wanted to blow my brains out. And I don't think I ever came close to actually killing myself but I felt so uncomfortable, I didn't want to live. I checked myself into a second psych ward and that was when it dawned on me that suicide was not the answer.
"I think people will be surprised to find that I'm not as much of an idiot as they think I am," he says of the book. "I'm not a real moron."