Shepard tweeted weeks ago, "If I don't get cast as Joe Exotic in the eventual biopic, Hollywood is broken." In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Shepard adds: "I think me as an ex-scumbag addict who's kind of nice now, I feel like I have the goods." He also identifies with many of the other characters in the documentary ("Those were my neighbors growing up") and admits to having "an endless soft spot for flawed people who I think are sweetie pies inside." But there is one thing holding Shepard back. "I am deathly afraid of large animals; it's the only fear that I carry around," he says.