BBC documentary-maker Louis Theroux has described Tiger King star Joe Exotic as "likeable and friendly" and admitted feeling "envy" after watching the Netflix series.
One of the streaming service's big hits for stay-at-home viewers during the current pandemic crisis, Tiger King has been Netflix's most-watched show in Ireland over the last two weeks.
No stranger to the strange, Louis Theroux met Exotic back in 2011, and recalled his impressions in an article he wrote for The Times.
"What stood out, apart from the blonde mullet and the nervous energy, was the blue eyeliner tattooed on the rims under his eyes," he wrote. "He was a strange mix of butch and femme signifiers.
"He carried a gun, which never left his side, and handcuffs, but there were also the aforementioned piercings and an air of heightened emotion.
"Altogether, though, Joe struck me as likeable and friendly. I warmed to him, and his ridiculousness was endearing rather than annoying."
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Theroux added that he met Exotic just after a tornado hit a nearby town.
"In the event, the tornado passed us by, but an atmosphere of incipient catastrophe never quite let up the whole time I was with Joe.
"He seemed to lurch from crisis to crisis, constantly on the verge of financial ruin, handling low-level bites and maulings, and being hounded by 'animal rights people’, as he put it."
Theroux also admitted that despite what went into running the zoo, "it was hard to dislike the man himself.
Stating that he "greatly enjoyed the documentary", Theroux admitted that he had a "sense of envy and missed opportunity that I wasn’t involved in what has turned out to be a global smash".