The upcoming Tiger King series starring Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin has officially cast its Joe Exotic. According to Variety, actor John Cameron Mitchell is set to portray the infamous private zoo owner-turned-political-hopeful. The new series is set to air across multiple platforms, airing on NBC, Peacock, and USA Network.
In a statement on his casting, Mitchell said, "I’m thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero. 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." Mitchell recently appeared alongside another SNL star, Aidy Bryant, in her Hulu series Shrill, which will soon debut its final season. He has also appeared in other beloved shows such as HBO's Girls and Paramount Network's The Good Fight.
‘Joe Exotic’ Series Starring Kate McKinnon Adds John Cameron Mitchell in Title Role https://t.co/HRWJ5vQHY4— Variety (@Variety) April 19, 2021
Mitchell began working in show business in the mid-80s, starring in small parts on shows such as The Equalizer, The Twilight Zone, and MacGyver. He would later go on to appear in films like Book of Love and Girl 6. He also once turned up in an episode of Law & Order.
Mitchell is most well-known for co-creating the Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and even garnered a Tony award for best revival of a musical, as well as a special Tony for performance, from his work on the show's revival. He went on to direct and star in the film version of Hedwig, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a musical or comedy. In 2001 he won best director at the Sundance Film Festival for the film.
Mitchell continued to work behind the camera afterward and has directed a number of films, and TV episodes, including the 2010 film Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as a couple grieving the loss of the young son. The film sparked worldwide acclaim and led to numerous award nominations for its stars. Among them, Kidman was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards.
Notably, this is not the first time that Mitchell has portrayed a real-life character. In 2016, he appeared in the HBO series Vinyl, playing artist and pop-culture icon Andy Warhol. At this time, the new Tiger King series does not have an announced premiere date.