Skip to content
It's a Wild, Wild Life

Get a First Look at John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic

The first pictures of John Cameron Mitchell as “Tiger King” Joe Exotic have hit the Internet, and it looks like we’re in for a roaring good time.

Mitchell was announced to be playing the gay gun-toting zookeeper last year for the new series, titled Joe Exotic, which will stream on Peacock. It’s based on the podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King from Wondery, and will dramatize the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which was insanely viral in early 2020.

We know Mitchell can pull off a transformation — look no further than Hedwig and the Angry Inch — but even for him, this is impressive.

John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic
John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic. Via BACKGRID.
John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic
John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic. Via BACKGRID.

The resemblance is pretty purr-fect, right? In the photos, Mitchell is smiling, mullet and all, and kissing another man with a mullet, though it’s not one of his primary love interests. His two boyfriends will be played by Sam Keely and Nat Wolff. The show will also star Kate McKinnon as Exotic’s rival Carole Baskin. I cannot WAIT to watch the chaos unfold.

John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic.
John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic. Via BACKGRID.

Mitchell told Page Six that he “understands” Exotic as a character because of their similar backgrounds. “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,” he said.

“When you grow up queer in that environment, you hate yourself because everybody hated you,” he went on. “And his way of dealing with it was to imitate his oppressor. 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.”

John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic.
John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic. Via BACKGRID.

Sounds like he’s got the acting on lock as well as the look — now we just need it to come out!

I’m never going to (financially) recover from this. But in, like, a good way, ‘cause he looks great.

Read More