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John Cameron Mitchell is unrecognizable as Joe Exotic on the set of Peacock’s Tiger King adaptation

He’s best known for playing a genderqueer East German singer in his play and film Hedwig And The Angry Inch.

But John Cameron Mitchell transformed himself once again when he adopted the instantly recognizable look of Tiger King star Joe Exotic on the set of his upcoming Peacock series on Sunday.

The 58-year-old actor, writer and director was spotted on set in Brisbane, Australia, as he filmed a scene in a helicopter for the series, which is simply titled Joe Exotic.

Picture perfect: John Cameron Mitchell, 58, completely transformed into Tiger King’s Joe Exotic while filming a helicopter scene in Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday for Peacock’s upcoming limited series

Nailed it: He was seen on Sunday in a costume that was simultaneously rugged and theatrical, totally matching his character's style

Shocking resemblance: Mitchell had a similar dyed-blond mullet and a horseshoe mustache to Joe Exotic; seen in 2013

Nailed it: He was seen on Sunday in a costume that was simultaneously rugged and theatrical, totally matching his character’s style. Mitchell had a similar dyed-blond mullet and a horseshoe mustache to Joe Exotic

Mitchell was tapped to play Joe Exotic (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage) back in May, with Kate McKinnon, Kyle MacLachlan, Dean Winters and Nat Wolff rounding out the cast.

He was seen on Sunday in a costume that was simultaneously rugged and theatrical, totally matching his character’s style. 

The actor wore a red plaid button-up shirt with the top few buttons left undone, as well as a pair of dark blue jeans with a gaudy metal-studded brown leather belt.

The costume got some more flair thanks to a brown leather jacket with fringe dangling from the sleeves. 

Like Joe, John had adopted a horseshoe-shaped mustache, with the drooping tendrils that were previously most identified with Hulk Hogan. 

Stacked cast: Mitchell was tapped to play Joe Exotic (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage) back in May, with Kate McKinnon, Kyle MacLachlan, Dean Winters and Nat Wolff rounding out the cast

Stacked cast: Mitchell was tapped to play Joe Exotic (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage) back in May, with Kate McKinnon, Kyle MacLachlan, Dean Winters and Nat Wolff rounding out the cast

Night and Day: The Hedwig And The Angry Inch star is normally clean shaven and tends to have short hair

What a difference: He disappeared into the role; seen in 2019

Night and Day: The Hedwig And The Angry Inch star and director is normally clean shaven and tends to have short hair, a far cry from his gaudy Joe Exotic costume

Rugged: The actor wore a red plaid button-up shirt with the top few buttons left undone, as well as a pair of dark blue jeans with a gaudy metal-studded brown leather belt

Rugged: The actor wore a red plaid button-up shirt with the top few buttons left undone, as well as a pair of dark blue jeans with a gaudy metal-studded brown leather belt

Just right: The costume got some more flair thanks to a brown leather jacket with fringe dangling from the sleeves

Just right: The costume got some more flair thanks to a brown leather jacket with fringe dangling from the sleeves

Serious: In 2019, a jury found Joe Exotic guilty on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder

Targeted: He plotted to kill his nemeses, animal rights activist Carole Baskin

Serious: In 2019, a jury found Joe Exotic guilty on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder for hire in a plot to kill Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue 

The Girls actor had also traded out his usually short hair in favor of a bushy dyed-blonde mullet favored by the convicted felon.

His shaggy wig was seen fluttering about in the breeze while he filmed the scene. 

After getting his costume and makeup perfect, Mitchell boarded a yellow-and-white helicopter.

The helicopter’s blades were likely supposed to be running, but the show opted for some sleight of hand by bringing in a large fan to whip up some wind to simulate the whirring of the rotors.

Mitchell had on a set of hearing protectors while sitting in the right-side seat, and he was seen poking out one gray cowboy boot as he disembarked. 

Mitchell was also seen relaxing on the overcast day while wearing a pair of tiny black round-frame sunglasses. 

Old-school hair: The Girls actor had also traded out his usually short hair in favor of a bushy dyed-blonde mullet favored by the convicted felon

Old-school hair: The Girls actor had also traded out his usually short hair in favor of a bushy dyed-blonde mullet favored by the convicted felon

Hollywood magic: The helicopter's blades were likely supposed to be running, but the show opted to bring in a large fan to whip up some wind to simulate the whirring of the rotors

Hollywood magic: The helicopter’s blades were likely supposed to be running, but the show opted to bring in a large fan to whip up some wind to simulate the whirring of the rotors

Blustery day: Mitchell's shaggy wig was seen fluttering about in the breeze while he filmed the scene

Blustery day: Mitchell’s shaggy wig was seen fluttering about in the breeze while he filmed the scene

Grizzled: Like Joe, John had adopted a horseshoe-shaped mustache, with the drooping tendrils that were previously most identified with Hulk Hogan

Grizzled: Like Joe, John had adopted a horseshoe-shaped mustache, with the drooping tendrils that were previously most identified with Hulk Hogan 

Costar: The series costars executive producer and SNL star Kate McKinnon as the animal rights activist Carole Baskin, whom Joe Exotic tried to have killed

Costar: The series costars executive producer and SNL star Kate McKinnon as the animal rights activist Carole Baskin, whom Joe Exotic tried to have killed

Rise and fall: Joe, a 58-year-old former zoo operator, owned and operated the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (1999-2018) in Oklahoma, known for its big cats, before going to prison

Rise and fall: Joe, a 58-year-old former zoo operator, owned and operated the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (1999-2018) in Oklahoma, known for its big cats, before going to prison

Touch down: Mitchell had on a set of hearing protectors while sitting in the right-side seat, and he was seen poking out one gray cowboy boot as he disembarked

Touch down: Mitchell had on a set of hearing protectors while sitting in the right-side seat, and he was seen poking out one gray cowboy boot as he disembarked

Joining him on set was the Irish actor Sam Keeley, who’s playing Joe Exotic’s ex-husband John Finlay, though he has claimed he and Joe were never legally married.

Keeley wore a camouflage baseball cap with a white graphic T-shirt and olive cargo pants, plus a thick brown goatee.

He and Mitchell caught up between takes while the Rabbit Hole director snacked on a slice of pizza in a warmer puffer coat.

The series costars executive producer and SNL star Kate McKinnon as the animal rights activist Carole Baskin, whose feud with Joe were documented in the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, which became a sensation when it was released in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also featured in the cast are Dennis Quaid as Joe’s reality show producer Rick Kirkham, Brian Van Holt as zoo manager John Reinke and Nat Wolff as Joe’s first husband Travis Maldonado.

Joe, a 58-year-old former zoo operator, owned and operated the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (1999-2018) in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, known for its big cats, before he found himself behind bars.

In 2019, a jury found him guilty on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder for hire in a plot to kill Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue.   

Covered up: Mitchell was also seen relaxing on the overcast day while wearing a pair of tiny black round-frame sunglasses

Style icon: In real life, he favors more fashion-forward ensembles for his public appearances

Covered up: Mitchell was also seen relaxing on the overcast day while wearing a pair of tiny black round-frame sunglasses. In real life, he favors more fashion-forward ensembles for his public appearances

Fictionalized: The series is based on the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, which became a sensation when it was released at the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Fictionalized: The series is based on the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, which became a sensation when it was released at the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Teamwork: Joining him on set was the Irish actor Sam Keeley, who's playing Joe Exotic's ex-husband John Finlay, though he has claimed he and Joe were never legally married

Teamwork: Joining him on set was the Irish actor Sam Keeley, who’s playing Joe Exotic’s ex-husband John Finlay, though he has claimed he and Joe were never legally married

Lunchtime: Keeley wore a camouflage baseball cap with a white graphic T-shirt and olive cargo pants, plus a thick brown goatee. The actors caught up while Mitchell munched on some pizza

Lunchtime: Keeley wore a camouflage baseball cap with a white graphic T-shirt and olive cargo pants, plus a thick brown goatee. The actors caught up while Mitchell munched on some pizza

Mitchell was first seen in his Joe Exotic costume last week.

He opened up about his connection to the controversial figure in an interview with Page Six in May. 

‘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 shared.

‘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.

‘Get a gun and say, “I’m more of a f***ing 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.’

Mitchell added: ‘I don’t think in life, it’s a very good policy, because you end up just becoming the a**hole that you hated. But a lot of people do it. And so, I understand him without in any way condoning.’ 

Mind of his character: Mitchell told Page Six in May that he understood Joe Exotic's persona. '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'

Mind of his character: Mitchell told Page Six in May that he understood Joe Exotic’s persona. ‘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’


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