‘Joe vs. Carole’: Get to Know the Peacock Series’ Star John Cameron Mitchell
Joe vs. Carole debuts on Peacock on Thursday, March 3, and while its titular characters are impossible not to know at this point, the actor playing Joe Exotic, series star John Cameron Mitchell, may be an unfamiliar face to some.
But Mitchell is an icon of stage and screen in his own right. Ahead of his performance as the Tiger King star opposite Kate McKinnon‘s Carole Baskin, here’s everything you need to know about Mitchell.
Before Mitchell was a TV star, he rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Mitchell created and starred in the Off-Broadway rock musical, which he developed with creative partner Stephen Trask.
Like Little Shop of Horrors, the original 1998 production had a solely Off-Broadway run. It shot up in popularity, leading to the 2001 film adaptation directed by and starring Mitchell. It was Mitchell’s feature film directorial debut, as well as his first major screen acting credit, although he had acted in a string of TV episodes beforehand.
Mitchell and Trask adapted the screenplay from the stage show together. Before Hedwig, Mitchell was in the original Broadway casts of The Secret Garden and Six Degrees of Separation, and he was in Big River.
Hedwig wasn’t produced on Broadway until 2014 when Neil Patrick Harris starred in the revival (and won a Tony for it! The revival also won Best Revival of a Musical). In the time between the 2001 film and the Broadway revival, Hedwig became a cult classic.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch has been referenced in pop culture countless times over the years. Most recently, Riverdale centered a musical episode around it. And it’s part of a yearly ritual shared between Otis and Eric in Sex Education Season 1.
Mitchell and Trask also frequently stage The Origin of Love Tour, a concert performance of songs from Hedwig.
Before being cast as Exotic, Mitchell has been a recurring guest star on Hulu’s Shrill. He plays Aidy Bryant’s boss, who is loosely based on editor Dan Savage. Shrill is based on author Lindy West’s memoir of the same name, and Savage was her former editor.
Mitchell’s other TV credits include The Good Fight (Felix Staples), Mozart in the Jungle (Egon), the short-lived Vinyl (Andy Warhol), and Girls (David Pressler-Goings). He’s also been cast in the upcoming series The Sandman.
He also wrote and starred in the podcast series Anthem: Homunculus, co-starring Glenn Close, and The Orbiting Human Circus podcast series. Mitchell directed and co-wrote the screenplay for 2017’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties starring Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, and Nicole Kidman.
Now, fans will get to see him take center stage as a series lead in Joe vs. Carole. Hopefully it’s just as binge-worthy as the original Tiger King. Something tells us it will be a wild ride, at the very least.
Joe vs. Carole, Series Premiere, Thursday, March 3, Peacock