Taika Waititi on “Jojo Rabbit”

by Katherine Tulich October 19, 2019

New Zealand writer/director/actor Taika Waititi was first known for quirky independent films like Eagle vs Shark, Boy and his much-praised 2016 feature, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. He hit the supernova of directing gigs when he was asked to helm Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok (he is currently working on the upcoming, Thor: Love and Thunder). His latest film Jojo Rabbit is a passion project he has wanted to make for many years. Growing up in New Zealand with a Maori father and a Russian Jew mother, Waititi was well accustomed to the impact of racism as a young boy. In Jojo Rabbit he lampoons one of history's most contentious times, as a young boy (played by newcomer Roman Griffin Davis) in Nazi Germany joins the Hitler Youth, and then discovers his more liberal mother (played by Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Waititi who wrote and directed the film also features as the boy's imaginary friend, a comic Adolph Hitler. HFPA member Alessandra Venezia sat down with Waititi for this video interview.