Opening in theaters on April 12th and available on digital April 16th is the new comedy ‘Sweet Dreams,’ which stars Johnny Knoxville (‘Jackass Forever’) and was directed by Lije Sarki (‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’).

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Johnny Knoxville and director Lije Sarki talk 'Sweet Dreams'.

(L to R) Johnny Knoxville and director Lije Sarki talk 'Sweet Dreams'.

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Johnny Knoxville and director Lije Sarki about their work on ‘Sweet Dreams,’ developing the screenplay, balancing comedy and drama, how Knoxville prepared for his role, playing softball, and working with the cast.

You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch our interviews with Knoxville, Sarki, Bobby Lee and GaTa.

Johnny Knoxville in 'Sweet Dreams'.

Johnny Knoxville in 'Sweet Dreams'. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

Moviefone: To begin with, Lije, can you talk about developing the screenplay and the challenges of balancing comedy and drama?

Lije Sarki: Good question. The development of the screenplay, when I thought of the idea, I was picking up a friend of mine from a Sober Living and taking him surfing. The guy today, he's got four plus years of being sober. He's got a kid that's the same age as how sober he is. He helped me write the script, he helped me come up with characters, and all that kind of stuff. So, it was inspired by that and then inspired by the idea that I wanted to show that recovery doesn't suck. It didn't suck for me. If it did, I wouldn't have done it. What kept me away from it for so long was the idea that it did suck, that my life was over, and I'd have no friends. I'd have no life and no social life. How would I meet girls? So, all of that was what inspired the idea, and I always wanted to make a baseball movie. So, once we came up with the idea and figured out what we wanted to say, it came together quickly. I don't really write jokes. I'm not good at that, but I think that life is funny and absurd in so many ways, especially in the life that I'm a part of, the history, the way people talk about it and the way we are with each other. I'm a skateboarder at heart and all we do is make fun of each other. So, if you can do that well on screen with actors, then people laugh. So, I think this movie's comedy comes from the absurdity rather than the joke telling. Do you know what I mean? So, I think that kind of comedy is way more fun for me to watch anyway.

Johnny Knoxville and GaTa in 'Sweet Dreams'.

(L to R) Johnny Knoxville and GaTa in 'Sweet Dreams'. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

MF: Johnny, can you talk about preparing for this role emotionally and how were you able to relate to the character?

Johnny Knoxville: Well, I prepared my whole life for this role. I'm a father of three. I have two daughters and a son. A lot of my friends have been in recovery. My father was an alcoholic. I have distracted too much in my lifetime as well so there's a lot of things to draw from. I mean, emotionally it's a lot to get to those places, but I felt good about it. I felt confident I could get there. So that's just what we were doing that day.

Kate Upton in 'Sweet Dreams'.

(Center) Kate Upton in 'Sweet Dreams'. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

MF: Lije, can you talk about shooting the softball scenes and can Kate Upton really hit and field like she does in the movie?

LJ: Yes, she's great. Everybody plays in the movie like they play in real life. Honestly, that was the beauty of it. I had written people in certain positions and then when we finished casting and everybody figured out what they were and their skills, we kind of shifted a couple roles and it worked out the best way it could have. When I write, I write very specifically about the plays and what happens so it kind of acts in a shot list sort of way. So, it's how do we cover this with the limited time that we have and where people can buy it and they buy what's happening? The thing about softball, everybody can play softball. If it was a baseball movie, it'd be a lot harder to pull off but bad hits count, they're good. Except Johnny does not like bad hits or a mediocre swing or anything like that. So, with him, it had to be on but everyone else, the more messy, sloppy and funny it was the better. It's softball!

Johnny Knoxville in 'Sweet Dreams'.

Johnny Knoxville in 'Sweet Dreams'. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

MF: Johnny, how did you prepare for the softball scenes. Did you have to get a coach and practice?

JK: I saw that scene from this movie, and I started taking hitting lessons again so I could get my swing back. I'm just not even getting any extension. I'm just kind of swinging. I was so embarrassed that I'm going to get my swing back to where it once was. I played ball my whole life until I was 18, but I didn't know that my swing looked so lazy until I was watching the footage. I got to get back. But it's fun trying to get my swing back because my son plays, and we go to the same place. It's so fun. Baseball's so fun.

The cast of 'Sweet Dreams'.

The cast of 'Sweet Dreams'. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

MF: Finally, Johnny, what was your experience like working with the rest of the cast?

JK: I will say that it was a close-knit group, and everyone just immediately got on. I felt like I was walking on to the 11th day of shooting, and I was the outsider. But I think I subconsciously felt that way because I was walking into a situation in the film where (my character) was the outsider and it felt that way on the first day. It continued to feel that way throughout. I mean, I loved working with the guys, but I was just doing something else. But I loved everyone I was working with. I just didn't have that relationship with everyone as one of that group. But by the end I felt I did. So, I guess I subconsciously went through the film with my character. Yeah, I felt part of the group then.

Sweet Dreams

R1 hr 39 minApr 12th, 2024

What is the plot of ‘Sweet Dreams’?

Morris (Johnny Knoxville) navigates his way through a mandatory stay at Sweet Dreams sober living. To get his life back on track, he agrees to coach a misfit softball team of his fellow housemates.

Who is in the cast of ‘Sweet Dreams’?

Mohammed Amer and Johnny Knoxville in 'Sweet Dreams'.

(L to R) Mohammed Amer and Johnny Knoxville in 'Sweet Dreams'. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

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