Ozzy Osbourne's once chubby son gets a superhero makeover
“I WAS A FAT BASTARD,” says Jack Osbourne, with the British-tinged bluntness he made famous on MTV’s heavily bleeped hit reality show The Osbournes. But while his delivery may be the same, little else is. Osbourne, who ballooned to 225 pounds—not counting the afro—after a 2003 stint in drug rehab, has reinvented himself as an action hero. Now 160 pounds and sporting a stylishly short ‘do, the five-foot-nine Osbourne, 20, stars in Jack Osbourne—adrenaline Junkie, a British reality show that follows him as he loses weight by cutting out the booze and junk food, kickboxing in Thailand, and scaling cliffs around the world. (As of press time, the producers were negotiating for broadcast in the U.S.) It’s all preparation for the final episode, a push up the 3,000-foot Salathé Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan, which he completed in six days last October. MELINDA MAHAFFEY caught up with Osbourne to find out how he went from sleeping past noon to eating 5.10’s for breakfast.
OUTSIDE: What the hell?
OSBOURNE: There’s this show in England called Extreme Celebrity Detox, and they asked me if I wanted to go to Slovenia to rock-climb. Having seen movies like Cliffhanger didn’t do a world of good for me, because everyone dies. But I have friends who climb, and they always rave about it. So when this opportunity came up, I took it.
And that led to the reality show?
One of the producers said, “You’ve got a natural ability. If you trained and lost weight, you’d be really good.” I think he was probably bullshitting me. But it blossomed into this whole idea.
Will you be belaying your dad anytime soon?
My family absolutely hates it. My mom was crying when I went up El Cap. They think I’m going to die every time I go out on an adventure.
What’s next? More reality TV?
I really want to become a firefighter. Why not? I don’t want to be one of those guys 15 years from now who was on the telly once but became a blown-out lout with long hair, smoking cigarettes, riding a Harley.
So … eat right, exercise. Any other newfound wisdom?
When you drop a lot of weight, people seem to think you’re a lot more interesting.