Check our exclusive interview with YouTube & TV sensation from the “Dudesons” Jukka Hilden.
With nearly 3 million YouTube subscribers and over 1 million Facebook followers, Jukka Hilden, the ringleader of YouTube’s Finland trio “Dudesons” participates in death defying stunts daily to promote the ability to step out of one’s comfort zone.
After four successful seasons on TV in their native Finland, “The Dudesons” became an international sensation when the English version of their self-titled TV series was sold to over 150 different countries. Jukka landed a deal to star in “Dudesons in America” for MTV, produced together with Johnny Knoxville, who collaborated with him in “Jackass 3D” and “Viva La Bam.
Jukka’s quickly rising YouTube following has surpassed famed vloggers Jake and Logan (2.2 million subscribers) and is quickly approaching Rocco Piazza and Roman Atwood’s following. Each video Jukka and his team posts, receives thousands of views in only a few short hours.
Hi Jukka, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a daredevil, a father and a husband. I want to live a limitless life, pushing my boundaries, evolve mentally and physically. Looking for inspiration and never wanting to lose my inner child. When I live my life to the fullest I am happy, and can inspire other people to be fearless, determined and goofy. I am a Dudeson, a friend, a dad and a husband. My family is the most important thing to me.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Positive Anarchy, Limitless, Childhood Spark
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
My dad, he came from being an underdog in life. He doesn’t know how to read or write, and against all odds survived, and has grown in a loving grandfather who lives in the now. He is the first one to dive in the snow headfirst while playing with his grandkids.
How and when did you start doing your YouTube’s channel and all the scary stunts?
I was born with as a sparkle of energy that drives you into making ideas come true. Sometimes even before thinking… Our first movie as The Dudesons came out in 1997, back in the VHS days. We’ve always believed in the Positive Anarchy way of doing things – Unique, original ideas that you can imagine. Or see in cartoons. I love trying that in real life.
How is the feeling to be named the “Jackass” for millennials?
Haha. Knoxville and the fellas are good friends, and we co-produced our MTV series. It’s in my personality to be a bit of a daredevil – And I grew up watching Buster Keaton, Even Knievel make the impossible possible. That made me feel alive, made me laugh and inspired me to go out there and become the guy wants to grab the bull by the horns. It feels good to meet younger influencers that grew up watching us. Street credibility, didn’t come easy 🙂
How did you and the rest of “The Dudesons” meet?
We are childhood friends. Grew up like brothers, and that’s where the comradery comes from. Jarppi punched me in the face in martial art practice, when we were only 10 years old. That’s where our friendship started.
What has been the craziest stunt you guys made?
Craziest was when we demolished a block building with explosives while Jarppi Dudeson was on top of it. Instead of smoothly riding down the roof he fell inside the building. We got lucky he didn’t die.
Any injuries so far?
Haha well… there’s been many. My whole body is x-rayed in the Finnish Hospitals. From a fractured jaw, to a broken back. But every time I got hurt I thought, I GOT THIS! But I never went into these stunts or bits meaning to hurt myself. There was a rush, a reason and a belief that I can pull it off. Like walking into a bullring on stilts.
I loved the Minecraft Real Life video, who came up with the idea?
Our whole ideology is Positive Anarchy, something slightly crazy, joyful and exciting. At the time Minecraft was very topical, and we love to do homemade versions, like Minecraft’s Creeper out of cardboard boxes 🙂
Any new future video ideas you want to share with us?
I’m putting out daily videos around my life. The craziness, family and business side of me. I want to inspire through being authentic, with my life’s ups and downs, joys and struggles. The REAL that you so rarely see anymore. I want to get duct taped to an airplane, I want to swim with tigers, I want to high dive to a pool full of marshmallows. I love doing a combination of relatable and unimaginable ideas.
What your families think about all this?
I’m a pretty cool dad, even saying it myself 😃 But I really gotta give props to my own mom. She always supported me believing in my dreams. Coming from small Finnish town of 100 people to becoming a world citizen.
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
It’s been the journey, and not to sound like a cliché, we’ve been pushing, believing and enjoying our career for 15 years now. And it didn’t come easy – So I would like to say it came with hard work, risk taking, and having the strength not to give up. That sort of thing makes you really appreciate what you got.
Now tell us about “Dudesons in America”?
After 10 years of doing a stunt show, we sold a show that was supposed to be the one that would change everything. We would get to do all the biggest stunts we’d ever dreamt of. Wrestle with tigers, blow up 50 foot towers we stand on, do the James Bond barrel roll jump… After 8 days of shooting 3 out of 4 Dudesons were in hospital and it was a disaster. Our show was forced into a format, how TV was made back in the day and even though it has the biggest stunts done to this day, it lost the personality we wanted. Great lesson to how to do the things hard way.
Which location has been the most challenging one?
Everything in America is challenging compared to Finland, where we rule and can get everything done from playing chicken against an icebreaker or blowing up a building with a Dudeson on top.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
Love, Humor and sparkle of crazy.
What do you think of Social Media?
I love what it makes possible. To be in touch with your friends, your idols, your audience and interact with them. I’m terrified by the youth being so addicted and directed by social media and what they either have to post to it or is posted about them.
Where we can follow you?
Favorite food: Reindeer Meat, it’s common in Finland but sounds terrifying and cruel. How can I eat Rudolf the Red Nose reindeer? Because he tastes good 😉
Song: I love ACDC’s “TNT,” it’s got such a rock n roll forward taking rhythm and sound that makes you move.
Travel destination: Peru – Andean Mountains. I went there to summit a mountain, and that isolation, mental and physical challenge, in the middle of the most beautiful Mother Earth makes you think of life. With no social media, outside pressure. Just you, that mountain, survival and your mind.
Celebrity Crush: Wonder Woman.
Restaurant: I love Korean Barbeque. I love to eat, and travel to food. Italy, France, Peruvian food. It’s all so good!
Actor/Actress: Denzel Washington, he’s a badass! The roles from TRAINING DAY to FLIGHT. Also, his presence and overall message when he gives interviews. Great attitude.
Quote: “Always be yourself, don’t put on a role to impress others, just stay you!”
Book: The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. The way I read it, it encourages you to listen to your heart, your unconscious mind.
Movie: Braveheart – William Wallace gives his life, sacrifices himself fighting for his country, his people, against tyranny. That heroism is what really gets under my skin.
Drink: Fresh water coming down the mountains of Lappland, North of my dear motherland Finland.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jukka Hilden