John Cameron Mitchell Teases How the Joe Exotic Miniseries Differs From Netflix's Docu-Series

In an exclusive chat with E! News, Shrill star John Cameron Mitchell discussed his role in UCP's Joe Exotic miniseries.

By Alyssa Ray May 05, 2021 9:05 PMTags

A role worth auditioning for.

In an exclusive chat with E! News, John Cameron Mitchell opened up about his highly anticipated portrayal of Joe "Exotic" Schreibvogel. Back in April, it was announced that the Hedwig and the Angry Inch writer and star would be starring opposite Kate McKinnon in UCP's Joe Exotic miniseries.

The 58-year-old actor, who currently plays Aidy Bryant's boss on Shrill, said he was "very excited" to tackle the wild role. In fact, John even compared Joe Exotic to his Shrill character Gabe as he's "also a boss from Hell."

As he continued, John noted that he jumped at the chance to audition for the headline-making character, even though he hadn't auditioned for a part in some time. "I haven't auditioned for something in 25 years," he exclusively told E! News. "I thought, 'Here's a role that's worth auditioning for.' You know, this is a crazy enough role to sink my teeth into. So, I'm over the moon."

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Many of us became familiar with the rivalry between big cat owners Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin in the Netflix docuseries Tiger King. Yet, per John, the new series, which is based off the Wondery podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King, will have a different tone.

"I love what they're going to be doing with the story," he commented. "It's going to be much more deeply felt, heartfelt than the docuseries, which is more sensational."


In regard to preparing for the juicy part, John shared that he understands what makes Joe Exotic tick. "I lived in a lot of places he lived," he explained. "So, I know a little bit about the warped queer guy who's trying to outdo the straight guys by imitating his oppressor."

He also revealed that he's been listening to unheard interviews from the podcast. Surprisingly, John shared that he's decided to not speak directly with Joe about the role. "It's sort of better to stay away from the actual real people," he said. "There's too much fighting going on. So, I think I'll just add some of my own insecurities [from] when I was a kid in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas."

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John later joked that he couldn't wait to meet the actors "playing my 18 boyfriends."

As to whether Aidy will join her Shrill co-star and her Saturday Night Live co-star on Joe Exotic, she quipped that she'd be willing to play one of the tigers. "I'm ready," she stated to E! News. "That's the role I was born to play."

While we wait to see if this cameo comes to fruition, be sure to catch more of John and Aidy in the final season of Shrill.

Shrill season three premieres Friday, May 7 on Hulu.

(E! and UCP are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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