Taika Waititi is having a moment — and it’s not his first one! The Oscar-winning producer, director, writer, and actor has had his hands in a wide variety of projects that range from subtle indie hits to big blockbuster showstoppers. Waititi’s body of work showcases a prolific talent with an impressive range, so “lazy” is definitely not a word that comes to mind when considering the star’s legacy. Interestingly enough, that’s exactly how Waititi described himself.
Taika Waititi has impressed on both sides of the camera
Taika Waititi is a New Zealand creative who, as Britannica puts it, is “known for his anarchic sensibility and eye for the absurd as well as for a generally humane and kind worldview.” He’s earned a reputation for quirky stories that have a unique way of making viewers laugh, think, and hope. He’s also been racking up accolades for decades.
Back in 2005, his short film Two Cars, One Night snagged an Academy Award nomination. The top honor for the industry eluded him at that time, but 15 years later, he would take home the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his full-length film Jojo Rabbit.
Jojo Rabbit, which starred Roman Griffin Davis and Scarlett Johansson, highlighted Waititi’s wide range of talents. In addition to writing the screenplay and directing the film, he also stepped in front of the camera to take on the challenging role of “Adolf,” a fictionalized version of Hitler that served as an imaginary friend for the film’s protagonist. Playing Hitler as quirky and funny was a risk that paid off as Waititi’s film earned wide praise for its unique commentary on the atrocities of Hitler’s rule.
More recently, Waititi has been serving as executive producer for TV hits What We Do in the Shadows and Our Flag Means Death. While he had a few appearances in What We Do in the Shadows, he takes on a substantial role as Blackbeard in Our Flag Means Death, providing a popular platform for his acting and directing talents to shine.
Waititi sees himself as the ‘laziest actor’
Just a casual glance at Taika Waititi’s IMDb filmography is enough to demonstrate that the man has prolific talent. That’s why it’s amusing to hear him call himself the “laziest actor” in an interview for WIRED, where he fills in the blanks for the most Googled questions about himself.
“I’m the laziest actor you’ll ever, ever come across,” Waititi says as he stares into the camera. “I played Hitler. I didn’t read anything about him. I just played Blackbeard in Our Flag Means Death. I went on Wikipedia, and I typed in ‘Blackbeard,’ and there’s too many words!” He went on to say that he saw Blackbeard was from Bristol, briefly looked at the Bristolian accent, and then decided, “Nah, too hard.” He went with his own accent and explained, “My range is me. I don’t try.”
What’s next for Taika Waititi?
Obviously, Taika Waititi is a hard-working creative who continues to wow audiences with both his acting talents and his directing skills. Fans are especially excited to see his upcoming work in Thor: Love and Thunder. He directed the film and wrote the screenplay for the highly anticipated Marvel installment and will also voice Korg.
While he doesn’t have any upcoming acting roles listed, he’s busy behind the scenes. Multiple projects have been announced for writing and directing, including a documentary adaptation called Next Goal Wins and a space opera called The Incal. Even further down the line, we can expect to see a Star Wars film written and directed by Waititi.