David Spade is giving his thoughts on potentially playing the real-life Joe Exotic, the extremely colorful star of Netflix’s docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
ET’s Lauren Zima spoke with the 55-year-old comedian via video chat on Wednesday, and he said he was just as obsessed with the true-crime documentary as everyone else. He’s already interviewed multiple cast members from the series for his Comedy Central show, Lights Out With David Spade, and plenty of fans have also pointed out similarities between Exotic and one of Spade’s most beloved film characters, Joe Dirt. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Tiger King directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin said Exotic actually wants either Brad Pitt or Spade to play him in a biopic.
“You know, I didn’t think that right away,” Spade tells ET about all the comparisons between Exotic and the titular character of his 2001 film. “I just thought, ‘Oh, it’s so crazy,’ and then I started thinking, because in the movie everyone knows … that Joe Dirt, I get a job on an alligator farm in Florida and then I get caught in the alligator, he flips me around. That was even scary to do the scene with the fake alligator. I would never do it with a real one. And the whole movie, I started thinking, this is like that whole world that we were into in that movie and it’s very similar and the reason these people are doing interviews is because of Joe Dirt.”
Spade explains why he’s not that interested in playing Exotic, but does offer up his own dream cast.
“I don’t know if I could,” he says about taking on the role. “That’s why I don’t really push it or jump in on it, with all these funny debates. It just looks too fun. … I know Woody Harrelson is funny as that guy Joe.”
“I was thinking Matthew McConaughey for John [Reinke], as the manager,” he adds. “The boyfriend — John Finlay — he got his teeth fixed and he said he liked Channing Tatum.”
As for trainer Doc Antle, he says his wives should be played by Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow.
“That would be great, wouldn’t it be? A little Charlie’s Angels back there?” he joked.
The Netflix hit follows big cat breeders and trainers across the country, namely, Exotic, who is currently serving 22 years in federal prison after being convicted for allegedly attempting to hire someone to murder Carole Baskin, his longtime nemesis. Baskin, an animal activist, runs the animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue. Spade calls the docuseries “so bananas” and says even his celebrity friends are obsessed and giving him questions to ask the stars of the show.
“It’s got a dark undertone but if you just look at how crazy the characters are … I wasn’t even done with it and I go, ‘Can we find these people just to talk to them for whatever reason?'” he tells ET about his recent interviews with the cast members. “Because there’s too much interest. It turns into this worldwide thing. The saddest part about Joe Exotic is he’s the only one I can’t talk to in jail and he loves fame the most and he’s the most famous he’s ever been! I have so many celebrities, they’re telling me, ‘Hey, ask him this, hey, if you talk to this guy’ … now everyone’s in on it.”
Lights Out With David Spade — which typically airs weeknights on Comedy Central — is currently streaming on all social platforms. Spade is working from home during the coronavirus pandemic and talked to ET about possibly booking his many celebrity pals, like Aniston.
“I love Jennifer, I don’t like to bug her about that stuff,” he shares. “I don’t know why, but I don’t. She would. I got [Jimmy] Kimmel later, I got [Adam] Sandler tomorrow. Sometimes I just call friends just to see if they want to be asked. It’s sort of like jumping on that weird world like Tiger King, but I’ll get back to people. Just whoever is fun and easy for me to talk to because I’m not that good at it, so it’s better to get someone to screw around with, you know?”
Meanwhile, ET recently spoke with one of Exotic’s former husbands, John Finlay, who told us he wanted Tatum to play him. He also said Tiger King directors made him look like a “drugged-out hillbilly.” Watch the video below for more:
‘Tiger King’s John Finlay Wants Channing Tatum to Play Him
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