Taika Waititi Biography
Taika David Waititi born 16 August 1975, is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter, actor, and comedian. Waititi is from the Raukokore area of the East Coast region of the North Island of New Zealand and grew up there and in Wellington, and attended Onslow College for secondary school. His father is Māori of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and his mother is Jewish aof Russian Jewish heritage. Waititi has used his mother’s surname, “Cohen”, for some of his work in film and writing. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2004 short film Two Cars, One Night.
Taika Waititi Career
While at Victoria University of Wellington, where he was a drama student Waititi was part of the five-member ensemble So You’re a Man, which toured New Zealand and Australia with some success. He was half of the comedy duo The Humourbeasts alongside Jemaine Clement, which received New Zealand’s highest comedy accolade, the Billy T Award, in 1999.
Waititi has also acted on screen since early in his career. He won a local film award for his work as one of the students in the successful low-budget Dunedin film Scarfies (1999) and had smaller roles in the road movie Snakeskin (2001) and the TV series The Strip (2002–03). Waititi played Thomas Kalmaku in 2011 superhero film Green Lantern, and took large roles in two of his own films: 2010’s Boy, and 2014’s What We Do in the Shadows, which he co-directed and co-wrote with Jemaine Clement. He also plays Korg, a Kronan, via motion capture in his 2017 superhero film Thor: Ragnarok.
Taika Waititi Filmmaking
Waititi began making comical short films for New Zealand’s annual 48-hour film contest , among a variety of artistic interests . In 2005 his short film Two Cars, One Night earned him an Academy Award nomination. At the awards ceremony, he famously feigned falling asleep as the nominations were being read out. His first feature film, oddball romantic comedy Eagle vs Shark, was released in U.S. theatres for limited distribution in 2007. The film stars Waititi’s then real-life partner, Loren Horsley, as Lily. The same year, Waititi wrote and directed one episode of the TV show Flight of the Conchords and was director of another.
His second feature, Boy, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Waititi also took one of the main roles, as the ex-con father who returns to his family. On its release in New Zealand, Boy received enthusiastic reviews and was successful at the local box office, eclipsing several records. After the success of Boy, Waititi hoped that the film’s signature track “Poi E” would get to number one (for the second time) on the New Zealand charts. The song ultimately reached number three on the charts, but managed to become number one on iTunes.
Waititi in 2011, directed New Zealand TV series Super City starring Madeleine Sami, who plays five characters living in one city. In 2013, Waititi co-wrote and co-directed vampire comedy mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows with friend and fellow comedian Jemaine Clement. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. Waititi and Clement played members of a group of vampires who live in modern-day Wellington.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which was Waititi’s fourth feature, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. When it was released back in New Zealand, the comedy adventure broke Waititi’s own record for a New Zealand film in its opening weekend. Based on a book by the late Barry Crump, the film centres around a young boy and a grumpy man a role which was played by Sam Neil,on the run in the forest. Waititi wrote the initial screenplay for the 2016 Disney film Moana, which focused on gender and family. Those elements were passed over in favour of what would become the finalized story. In 2017, Waititi won the award for New Zealander of the Year, but was unable to receive it in person due to work commitments. Waititi directed his first major Hollywood film, Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, which was released in October 2017. He had previously directed two shorts for Marvel called “Team Thor”, which dealt with Thor’s living in Australia with his roommate, Darryl Jacobson.
Waititi will collaborate with Mark Gustafson to direct the upcoming stop-motion animated film Bubbles, which is about the life of Michael Jackson seen from the perspective of his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. Waititi is also reportedly directing a new live-action film version of Akira and is preparing to start co-writing a sequel to What We Do in the Shadows, titled We’re Wolves. Waititi is also working on an upcoming feature Jojo Rabbit, based on the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, the story of a young Nazi with an imaginary Jewish friend, in which Waititi will play Hitler.
Taika Waititi Age
Waititi was born 16 August 1975 in Wellington, New Zealand. He is 42 years old.
Taika Waititi Wife
Taika is married to a film producer, Chelsea Winstanley. In May 2012 Waititi’s wife, gave birth to their first daughter, Te Hinekāhu. Their second daughter, Matewa Kiritapu, was born in August 2015.
Taika Waititi Net Worth
Taika Waititi is a New Zealand film director, writer, comedian, actor, and painter who has a net worth of $3 million.
Taika Waititi Films
- 1999 Scarfies
- 2001 Snakeskin
- 2001 A New Way Home
- 2002 John and Pogo
- 2003 Two Cars, One Night
- 2004 Tama Tu Yes
- 2004 Futile Attraction
- 2005 What We Do in the Shadows: Interviews with Some Vampires
- 2007 Eagle vs Shark
- 2010 Boy
- 2011 Green Lantern
- 2013 The Captain
- 2014 What We Do in the Shadows
- 2016 Hunt for the Wilderpeople
- 2016 Team Thor
- 2016 Doctor Strange
- 2016 Moana
- 2017 Thor: Ragnarok
- 2018 The Breaker Upperers
- TBA Jojo Rabbit
- TBA Bubbles
Taika Waititi News
Taika Waititi on the inspirations for JoJo Rabbit and THAT character
Updated On: 4th July 2018
Contrary to popular belief, Taika Waititi isn’t playing Hitler in his latest movie JoJo Rabbit.
The Kiwi film-maker, who is currently shooting the World War II comedy in Prague, told Screen International at last weekend’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival that, “I’m not playing Hitler. I’m playing a weird imaginary character who’s a goofball”.
“It’s more a version of me who happens to have a moustache. I’m doing the accent, but I didn’t do much research.”
JoJo Rabbit, which has two more weeks of filming after this one, follows a young boy (Roman Griffin) raised in a Hitler Youth camp who questions his patriotism when he realises his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie). Waititi is the boy’s imaginary best friend, who manifests as what’s been called “a sympathetic version of Hitler”. The starry cast also includes Sam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant and Rebel Wilson.
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Waititi says the movie is inspired by the “great satires of the past like Dr Strangelove or The Great Dictator.
“There’s a message behind it, it’s very much an anti-war film, it’s got a real contemporary feel and contemporary sense of humour to it as well.”
And although he first wrote the screenplay in 2011, he believed it was the success of last year’s Thor: Ragnarok that helped get this project off the ground.
“A lot of people were interested before Thor, but I’d say definitely because of that film they probably had a bit more faith,” he said. “It’s a dangerous topic, when you say ‘I’m making a WW2 film’ the studios go, ‘oh god, not another one’, but this one is so different, so weird and has this Pythonesque style to it. I think because of all the films I’ve made now they really got the tone.
“It was something I’d been trying to make for a long time. I think this needed a long gestation. After Thor, I said I want to make something that I’ve written and something smaller.”
Waititi also revealed that he expected his stop-motion animation project about Michael Jackson’s pet chimp Bubbles to be finished in around two years.
“The script’s done,” he said of the movie he is co-directing with Fantastic Mr Fox animator Mark Gustafson that has already been picked up by Netflix. “At the moment it’s all about character design and trying to cast this thing. It’s a different style to what I’m used to doing. To be honest I don’t know how long it will take but I imagine it will take two years. It’s a good side project to have while I do other things as well.”