Taika Waititi as Hulk in Goofy Behind-the-Scenes Photo Reminds MCU Fans Why They Love ‘Ragnarok’ So Much

Taika Waititi has become one of the most beloved filmmakers on earth, thanks largely to his work on Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok. 

The charismatic director, writer, and actor is known for his lighthearted sets and willingness to have a little fun with the process. At no point was this clearer than in a recent behind-the-scenes photo in which Waititi, playing Hulk for Mark Ruffalo, got intimate with the movie’s star. 

Taika Waititi’s rise to fame

Waititi grew up in New Zealand, where he started making movies for fun with friends. After several short films put him on the map, he started getting noticed thanks to his work on Flight of the Conchords in 2007. This began his working relationship with Jermaine Clement that eventually led to their big-screen collaboration, What We Do in the Shadows. 

While many filmmakers like to keep the set dead serious and want everyone to be professional, order, and respectful to the process, Waititi developed a reputation as Hollywood’s new ‘fun’ director. The results showed on the screen. While Waititi takes his job very seriously, he does so in an unusual way. Part of this stems from his belief that he isn’t a filmmaker at all. 

“I made one short film which ended up doing really well, and then suddenly I was propelled into this job as a filmmaker. But actually, I didn’t want to be a filmmaker. I just wanted to make short films to try it out! I still don’t really think I’m a filmmaker,” the director told Filmmaker Magazine of his unusual rise to prominence.

This may be why his films, from Shadows to Hunt for the Wilderpeople, have such an aura of authenticity. He wants people to have fun at the theater and letting his actors do the same. It makes this fun more natural. As one behind-the-scenes photo shows, he didn’t stop when the budgets got bigger, either. 

Waititi kisses his co-star

If one wants to see the levels to which Waititi goes to loosen up on set, look no further than this shot that a fan posted on Reddit. In it, Waititi is seen kissing his lead actor and co-star, Chris Hemsworth. As anyone in tune with recent discourse can tell you, this up-close-and-personal approach to filmmaking is nothing new, although unlike his recent kiss with Tessa Thompson, this appeared less romantic. 

If you ask u/xRememberTheCant, the kiss is par for the course. “If anything, this is on-brand. Gods are huge sluts. We already saw Ego trying to bang anything that moved, and soon we will see Zeus,” the user joked. 

Another user, u/steve1186, saw the picture as a testament to the same loose set that Waititi is known for. 

“I can only begin to imagine the pure joy that Taika had directing this movie and doing random stand-in roles like this,” they wrote of the peck on the cheek. 

Fans love seeing this approach in an industry that can often be a bit self-serious. It also might be why Waititi has such a full-slate coming up, as well. 

What’s next for Waititi?

Taika Waititi
Taika Waititi | Jeff Kravitz /Getty Images

Now an Oscar-nominated writer thanks to the Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit, IMDB notes that Waititi has not let his rising acclaim get the best of him. His next film, Next Goal Wins, is due to release in the near future, while his next entry in the MCUThor: Love and Thunder, recently wrapped up filming. From a Star Wars movie to several television series, Waititi has a full plate going forward. 

There’s no right or wrong way to make a movie, as long as it resonates. Waititi has found a way to keep things light and fluffy while building an impressive resume. Where it goes beyond his current slate of movies is anyone’s guess. However, as long as Waititi keeps doing things his way, the fans will keep arriving at his films. 

RELATED: Marvel Is About to Reclaim Yet Another of Its Most Divisive Movies