Johnny Knoxville Coaches a Softball Team of Recovering Addicts in “Sweet Dreams” Trailer (Exclusive)

The ‘Jackass’ star shows off his dramatic chops in the upcoming movie from writer-director Lije Sarki

Johnny Knoxville is on the bumpy road to recovery in his heartwarming new movie.

In Sweet Dreams, the actor shows off his dramatic chops as Morris, who “struggles to confront the wreckage of his life,” per a synopsis.

In the first trailer, debuting exclusively with PEOPLE, Knoxville is seen in the "wild and off-the-wall journey of second chances” alongside costars Mo Amer, Theo Von, GaTa, Jay Mohr, Bobby Lee, Kate Upton and more.

When his rehab facility, the Sweet Dreams recovery center, goes up for auction, Knoxville’s character “reluctantly agrees to coach their misfit softball team of recovering addicts to win a cash prize and prove that everyone, despite their past, can hit a home run.”

Related: Johnny Knoxville May Have Accidentally Spoiled the Location of 'The White Lotus' Season 3

<p>Paramount</p> Johnny Knoxville in "Sweet Dreams"


Johnny Knoxville in "Sweet Dreams"

Sweet Dreams comes from Paramount Pictures and writer-director-producer Lije Sarki, who “feels every ounce of whatever is happening on the set,” Knoxville, 53, tells PEOPLE. The filmmaker behind 2019's The Peanut Butter Falcon “is very tuned into the actors," he says.

That’s no easy task when a set is populated by an ensemble as funny as this one, adds Knoxville.

“The cast was filled with comedians, so that keeps things pretty light,” the Jackass alum recalls. “Bobby Lee was always saying funny s---. Mo Amer is obviously damn funny and extremely talented as well.”

<p>Paramount</p> "Sweet Dreams"


"Sweet Dreams"

The trailer offers glimpses of the dubious softball skills in that goofy cast, many members of which play addicts in recovery — and are such in real life.

“One of the great things about this movie is that a lot of the actors and a good portion of the crew are all recovering addicts,” Knoxville says. “They fought the dragon, got it under control and now are living their lives.”

Doing so is “not easy,” he adds. “It might be the least easy thing you ever do. But if you’re struggling, you can get your life back.”

He continues, “That’s the message in the movie too. My character fights the dragon to get his life and his daughter back. And a lot of the cast and crew on this film are living proof this can happen.”

Related: Johnny Knoxville Says Son Rocko, 12, Has His ''Jackass' Gene': 'I Have to Worry' About Him

<p>Paramount</p> "Sweet Dreams"


"Sweet Dreams"

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Knoxville’s eldest of three children was on the set of Sweet Dreams too, as a crew member. “In the scenes where I would listen to a message from my daughter on the phone, she would read the message out loud in real time,” he tells PEOPLE.

“It made me break down every time," says Knoxville. "No acting involved there, just a father crying at the sound of his daughter’s voice as she reads a heartbreaking message to him.”

Sweet Dreams is in theaters April 12 and on digital April 16.

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