Actor and writer-director John Cameron Mitchell has been cast in the title role of NBC’s upcoming Joe Exotic series, according to Entertainment Weekly. Mitchell first came to mainstream prominence on the strength of his 2001 feature-length rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and has since been steadily proven himself capable of poignant turns as a director (GLOW) and a performer playing unhinged but principled jerks (Shrill, The Good Fight)–so there will likely be a lot of humanity, commitment, and strangeness he’ll bring to the role.
The NBC series was first announced last year, on the heels of the runaway popularity of Netflix’s Tiger King–also likely widely remembered as one of the first things people binged while in quarantine. Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon was previously announced for this adaptation, in the Carole Baskin role, and the pair’s chemistry, respectively, as the infamous Oklahoma zoo owner and the self-described conservationist who exposed him, should be pretty fun to watch.
“I’m thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero,” said Mitchell in a statement. “Joe and I are the same age, and like him, I grew up queer in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, so I feel like I know a little bit about this guy and his desperate attempt to conquer an inhospitable world.”