“He thought that I had an animal rights agenda. I also knew that I needed an ending for the documentary and needed to be seen to be holding him to account in some way, or at least posing some fairly pointed questions.”
But before he could get that far, Exotic lost his temper and refused to finish the interview.
“He ripped off his microphone and said, ‘F*** you. F*** Carole Baskin. F*** Tippi Hedren. F*** PETA. Yes, my animals are happy. Yes, I’m going to go on breeding.’ He had a tantrum,” Theroux recalled.
READ MORE: Carol Vorderman’s likeness to Carole Baskin shared by Kerry Katona
The strop he remembered quite clearly, but he had to be reminded of how the aftermath played out and how he managed to get Exotic back on side by watching old tapes of the footage from 2011.
Theroux continued: “I said, ‘Joe, I’m just asking these questions. I don’t mean to upset you. Can we just keep talking?'”
The big cat breeder’s anger subsided as he decided to return to the set and finish the final scenes.
“What struck me was the fact that I seemed to need some emotional reassurance that he was OK. I felt protective of him, and I didn’t like the fact that I’d upset him.”
Although he described the feeling as “odd”, Theroux suggested that Exotic’s confidence almost protected his insecurities, but that some viewers saw through the smoke and mirrors.
It was in fact his likeable and infectious characteristics that captured the hearts of fans across the world, despite the blurred lines surrounding his alleged revenge plots towards rival sanctuary owners; a story that is told in great depth in Netflix’s investigation into the dark underworld of breeding exotic animals which propelled Exotic into the spotlight.
Kate Garraway fans defend GMB star as Finding Derek branded ‘shameful’ [REACTION]
Susanna Reid on what would’ve ended her on-air chemistry with Piers [LATEST]
Paloma Faith details real reason for quitting The Voice UK [TV NEWS]
And while this documentary is solely focused on the eccentric exotic zookeeper, he is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence on a “murder-for-hire” charge of his rival Carole Baskin.
Instead, the film draws on new interviews with those around him, as well as looking back at the unused footage from the 2011 trip.
But it does deal with the deadly plot, which Theroux admitted “makes virtually no reference to Tiger King, the series”.
But it also looks into the consequences of fame that came from the Tiger King phenomenom and those involved in it.
It has been rumoured that several dramatisations of Exotic’s story are in the pipeline, something the journalist confessed he would “love” to be apart of to make “television history”.
Theroux’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.