Taika Waititi Explains How Uncomfortable It Was Playing Hitler For Jojo Rabbit

What We Do In The Shadows. Flight Of The ConchordsThor: Ragnarok. Within a short amount of time, actor/writer/director Taika Waititi has made a name for himself with his unique brand of comedy and filmmaking. After reinvigorating the Thor franchise with its third chapter, Waititi lent his talents to Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian series on Disney+, providing the voice for droid IG-11 and directing the season finale. Currently, Waititi is receiving rave reviews for his work on his latest project, the heartfelt comedy Jojo Rabbit. However, like most his works, the project doesn’t come without a bit of a twist–he plays a kind Adolf Hitler.

In the film, young Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis) discovers hardship as a young boy in Hitler’s army when he learns that his mother (Scarlett Johannson) is secretly hiding a Jewish girl in their home. In order to deal with these trying times, Jojo relies on his imaginary friend: a happier, loving, more pleasant iteration of Hitler (Waititi). Recently, Waititi sat down with The Guardian to discuss what it was like to not only portray such an evil historical figure, but also portray him through the eyes of this little boy.

“It just felt uncomfortable. The clothes were uncomfortable, the glue-on moustache was uncomfortable, and I had to have my hair dyed and straightened, which just made me feel weird all day long…

The cast and crew felt the same. I like to be everyone’s friend as a director, to have a nice familial feel on set, and I’m trying to encourage sharing of ideas and a cool, creative space … but I’m dressed like Hitler. It just changes things, really… I would take off the moustache whenever I wasn’t in the scene, and I’d wear a hat, and always take off the jacket because you don’t want to be walking around with a fucking swastika on your arm trying to direct kids.”

Jojo Rabbit has received both critical and audience praise since its release in November, culminating in two Screen Actors Guild award nominations (Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor Role – Scarlett Johannson and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture), two Golden Globe nominations (Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Griffin and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy), and will most likely receive recognition at the 92nd annual Academy Awards in 2020. Jojo Rabbit is in theaters nationwide now.

Source: The Guardian.

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