Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell teased his latest role as Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic in a sly Instagram post. His highly-anticipated role was announced back in April 2021, and since then, a few set photos of the cast have leaked online as they’ve begun filming in Australia.
This Peacock series, Joe Exotic, is set to star Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon as the infamous Carole Baskin, as well as musician Nat Wolff and Irish actor Sam Keeley in prominent roles.
While the show has not yet announced a release date, it will focus on the gay tiger breeder and convicted felon, Joe Exotic.
Mitchell recently took to Instagram to share an image of him donning Exotic’s look. Fans instantly caught on and began theorizing that it was the first look at the upcoming Joe Exotic series.
Mitchell’s Instagram post
The 58-year-old actor captioned his Instagram image, “The mullet has left the building. The Australian one, that is. Love my team: Babz, Mikey, Maria and especially Soi!”
In the image, Mitchell is seen with a blonde mullet. He is standing in the woods with a brown fringe jacket and a black baseball cap. The outfit is nearly identical to one of Exotic’s looks caught in Netflix’s docuseries. His caption insinuates that filming may have wrapped on the series.
The uncanny similarities have not gone unseen by Mitchell’s fans. The comment section is littered with people expressing their excitement and anticipation to see Mitchell portray the role of Joe Exotic.
Mitchell on playing Joe Exotic
Mitchell is not new to the entertainment scene. He is best known for creating and starring in the rock Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, along with his longtime collaborator Stephen Trask. Later, he directed and reprised his role in the movie adaptation.
He went on to direct Nicole Kidman’s Rabbit Hole and episodes of Nurse Jackie and GLOW. The triple-threat has also graced the screens of Girls, The Good Fight, and Shrill. However, he has been very vocal about his connection to this current role, even going as far as to write and perform a song with his costar Wolff called Call Me Joe. The single is featured on his latest EP New American Dream Pt.2.
Speaking with PageSix about this connection with the real-life Joe Exotic, Mitchell shared, “I grew up in a lot of the places he lived in. So I kind of know something about him. We’re the exact same age within six weeks.”
Adding onto his comments about growing up in rural America, he added, “When you grow up queer in that environment, you hate yourself because everybody hated you. And his way of dealing with it was to imitate his oppressor.”
Mitchell continued, “Get a gun and say, ‘I’m more of a f**king a**hole than you are. I’ve got my hand in a tiger’s mouth. My other hand around my three boyfriends.’ So in some way, you do admire this kind of pathetic desire to outdo his oppressor.”
But despite this personal connection, Mitchell stressed that he does not “condone” the convict’s actions which include charges of animal abuse and murder-for-hire.
The upcoming Joe Exotic series does not have a set release date.