The morning after the #AcademyAwards, Variety caught up with newly minted (and hungover) winner Taika Waititi to go inside his #JojoRabbit journey to the #Oscars and get to the bottom of those pesky #StarWars rumors. (Swipe for more)
+ On deciding to dedicate his win to the indigenous kids of the world: I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Growing up in New Zealand, dancing and doing art — these things were frowned upon, or seen as weird behaviors. It’s changed a lot, but there’s still pockets in New Zealand and around the world of kids who think they need to give up storytelling, or give up being creative. I wanted to try and communicate to kids who grew up like I did, or are growing up like I did. To say to them, it’s OK to want to be an artist.
+ On being a brown person working in Hollywood: Because I’m from New Zealand, people find it kind of charming. They think, “Oh, those quirky people with those weird accents!” I don’t think they see us as brown people. I don’t think when Maori come to America, they see us in the same light as Mexicans or Hispanics. I’ve never felt prejudice toward me here in L.A., even though I know it exists. I’m probably lucky I have a weird accent!
+ On Parasite sweeping the Oscars: I was so happy. The fact that it’s the first movie to win foreign film and best picture is incredible. I love Bong Joon Ho so much. “Memories of Murder” is on my top-five list when I talk about films I love.
+ On criticism for Jojo Rabbit and people not knowing he's Jewish: Yeah! They did a press screening with a lot of Jewish press, and a lot of the comments were “I wish we’d known that he was Jewish before we’d watched the movie.” It feels almost like buying into it, if you start considering the fact that you might have to put on the poster: “Don’t worry, the director’s Jewish!” Or: “I know how you’re feeling. Just watch it.”
+ On liking for Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie to be explicitly queer in Thor: I think so. The IP is not mine. But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable — whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go — then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.
+ On those Star Wars rumors: I wish there was a better story, I’ll put it that way. Are there discussions about the “Star Wars” film? Like, yeah, I discussed with my friends in 1996 how cool “Star Wars” was. That’s what they’re going off. I think people see me hanging out with people, especially with “Star Wars,” and think I’m having some big discussions about it. I would f—ing love to.
+ On Akira: The whole thing went on hold. We had to keep pushing the dates, and it encroached on the “Thor” dates, which were immovable. So “Akira” ended up shifting two years down the track. Post-“Thor.” So I’m not sure if even in two years I’d be — I don’t know what I’m doing in f—ing two days. I think eventually it will happen. I’m just not sure if I’ll be doing it.
source / full interview