47 Facts About Taika Waititi


Taika Waititi is a recipient of an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award and a Grammy Award and has received two nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards.


Taika Waititi co-wrote, co-directed and starred in the horror comedy film What We Do in the Shadows with Jemaine Clement, which was adapted into a television series of the same name in 2019.


Taika Waititi earned a Grammy Award for producing the film's soundtrack.


Taika Waititi David Cohen was born on 16 August 1975 in Wellington New Zealand, and grew up in Wellington's Aro Valley suburb and Raukokore, the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand's North Island.


Taika Waititi's father was an artist of Te Whanau-a-Apanui descent, whilst his mother, Robin Cohen, was a schoolteacher.


Taika Waititi's mother's paternal grandfather was a Russian Jew whose family came from Novozybkov, Bryansk Oblast.


Taika Waititi stated that his mother's family were Russian Jewish, Irish, and other European ethnicities, while his father's side was "Maori and a little bit of French Canadian".


Taika Waititi attended Onslow College, then studied theatre at Victoria University of Wellington where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1997.


Taika Waititi originally used his mother's surname, Cohen, for his work in film and writing, and his father's, Waititi, for visual arts endeavours.


Taika Waititi 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.


That year, Taika Waititi wrote and directed one episode of the TV show Flight of the Conchords and directed another.


Taika Waititi took one of the main roles, as the ex-con father who returns to his family.


In 2011, Taika Waititi directed New Zealand TV series Super City starring Madeleine Sami, who plays five characters living in one city.


That year, Taika Waititi portrayed Thomas Kalmaku in the superhero film Green Lantern.


In 2013, Taika Waititi co-wrote, co-directed and acted in the vampire comedy mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows with Clement.


Taika Waititi wrote the initial screenplay for the 2016 Disney film Moana, which focused on gender and family.


In 2017, Taika Waititi won the award for New Zealander of the Year, but was unable to receive it in person due to work commitments.


Taika Waititi portrayed the alien Korg via motion capture in the film.


Taika Waititi had previously directed a short film series for Marvel called Team Thor, chronicling the lives of Thor and his roommate, Darryl Jacobson.


Taika Waititi was later consulted by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely on Thor's storylines for Avengers: Infinity War, to maintain the character's consistency in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


In 2019, Taika Waititi wrote and directed Jojo Rabbit, based on the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, the 1940s-set story of a child in the Hitler Youth whose mother is secretly hiding a Jewish girl in their home.


Taika Waititi plays a buffoonish version of Adolf Hitler as the boy's imaginary friend.


Taika Waititi received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.


Taika Waititi won the latter, making him the first person of Maori descent to win an Academy Award in a screenplay category, and the first indigenous person to be nominated for and win Best Adapted Screenplay.


In October 2018, Lucasfilm announced that Taika Waititi would be one of the directors of the Star Wars live-action streaming series The Mandalorian, which tells the story of a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the period between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.


Taika Waititi directed the series' first-season finale, "Chapter 8: Redemption".


In 2020, Taika Waititi narrated a charity reading of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.


Taika Waititi portrayed Ratcatcher in the DC superhero film The Suicide Squad, released in August 2021 to positive reviews.


Taika Waititi executive produced, directed and starred as Blackbeard in the HBO Max comedy series Our Flag Means Death.


Taika Waititi performed as a voice actor in the 2022 animated film Lightyear as Mo Morrison.


Taika Waititi wrote and directed the superhero film Thor: Love and Thunder, a sequel to Thor: Ragnarok.


Taika Waititi directed a feature film adaptation of the documentary Next Goal Wins prior to directing Thor: Love and Thunder.


Taika Waititi is set to direct a live-action film adaptation of Akira.


Taika Waititi is slated to co-write a sequel to What We Do in the Shadows, titled We're Wolves, and direct and write a live-action Star Wars film, which is expected to be released before Rogue Squadron.


Taika Waititi is attached to write, direct and executive produce two animated series for Netflix based on Roald Dahl's children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel, one adapting the novels and the other focused on the novel's Oompa Loompa characters.


Taika Waititi is set to executive produce and direct the Showtime limited series The Auteur.


Taika Waititi is slated to write and direct a film based on Flash Gordon for 20th Century Studios.


In November 2021, it was announced that Taika Waititi would adapt The Incal into a feature film.


Taika Waititi is set to direct an adaptation of Klara and the Sun, which he will direct before his Star Wars film.


Taika Waititi was in a relationship with New Zealand actress and writer Loren Horsley for ten years: she co-wrote and acted in his directorial debut, Eagle vs Shark.


Taika Waititi married New Zealand film producer Chelsea Winstanley in 2011.


Taika Waititi has been in a relationship with British singer Rita Ora since 2021.


Taika Waititi is an executive producer of the New Zealand films The Breaker Upperers, Baby Done, and Night Raiders, all directed by Maori or Indigenous filmmakers.


Taika Waititi directed Air New Zealand's "The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made" featuring Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood as they go through where The Lord of the Rings films were shot.


Taika Waititi directed Tesco's "Borg," which features a comical Thor-esque character shopping in the supermarket; he went on to direct Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok years later.


Taika Waititi has received various awards and nominations, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Grammy Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, and nominations for the Golden Globe Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards among others.


In 2005, Taika Waititi received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for the short film Two Cars, One Night.