Taika Waititi Biography: Age, Height, Net Worth, Movies, Parents, TV Shows, Wife, Children

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye March 4, 2024

Taika Waititi is a multi-talented and award-winning filmmaker, actor and comedian from New Zealand.

He has directed and starred in several acclaimed films, such as Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows and Jojo Rabbit, for which he won an Oscar.

He has also ventured into the superhero genre with Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder, bringing his unique vision and voice to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He is also a prolific TV creator and producer, working on shows like Flight of the Conchords, The Mandalorian and Reservation Dogs.

Profile

  • Full name: Taika David Waititi
  • Date of birth: August 16, 1975
  • Age: 49 years old
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Wellington, New Zealand
  • Nationality: New Zealand
  • Profession: Filmmaker, actor, comedian
  • Height: 1.85 m
  • Parents: Robin Cohen (mother), Taika Waititi (father)
  • Siblings: N/A
  • Spouse: Chelsea Winstanley (m. 2011; Sep. 2018), Rita Ora (m. 2022)
  • Children: Te Hinekāhu Waititi (daughter), Matewa Kiritapu Waititi (son)
  • Relationship status: Married
  • Net worth: $25 million

Early Life and Education

Taika Waititi, now 49 years old, was born on August 16 1975, in Wellington, New Zealand.

His father, Taika Waititi, was a Māori artist and farmer, and his mother, Robin Cohen, was a Jewish teacher and social worker.

His parents divorced when he was young, and he grew up mostly with his mother in the suburb of Aro Valley. He has no siblings.

He attended Onslow College and Wellington College, where he was involved in drama and theatre. He then studied theatre at Victoria University of Wellington, where he met Jemaine Clement, who would become his long-time collaborator and friend. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1997.

Personal Life

Taika Waititi has been married twice. He married Chelsea Winstanley, a film producer, in 2011, and they have two children, Te Hinekāhu and Matewa Kiritapu.

They separated in 2018 and divorced in 2020. He is married to Rita Ora, a singer and actress, whom he married in 2022. They met on the set of Thor: Love and Thunder, where Ora had a cameo role.

Taika Waititi identifies as a Māori and a Jew and has incorporated aspects of his heritage and culture into his films and projects.

He also advocates for indigenous rights and environmental issues and has supported various charities and causes, such as UNICEF, Greenpeace and the New Zealand Film Commission.

Career

Taika Waititi began his career as a comedian and actor, performing in various shows and festivals.

He was part of a comedy group called So You’re a Man and later formed a duo with Jemaine Clement called The Humourbeasts. He also appeared in TV shows and films like The Strip, Scarfies and Snakeskin.

He made his first feature film, Eagle vs Shark 2007, starring Loren Taylor and Clement. The quirky romantic comedy received mixed reviews but won several awards at international film festivals.

He then directed episodes of Flight of the Conchords, a comedy series created by Clement and Bret McKenzie, which aired on HBO from 2007 to 2009.

He gained international recognition for his 2010 film Boy, based on his childhood and became the highest-grossing New Zealand film.

The film was a coming-of-age story set in the 1980s, starring James Rolleston as a young boy who idolizes his absent father, played by Waititi.

The film was praised for its humour, heart and authenticity and won several awards, including the Grand Prix at the Berlin International Film Festival.

He followed it with another hit, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, in 2016, which starred Sam Neill and Julian Dennison as a foster father and son who go on the run in the New Zealand wilderness.



The film was a hilarious and touching adventure that broke box office records and received critical acclaim. It also won several awards, including the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

He also co-wrote and starred in the mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, released in 2014. He played the role of Viago, a vampire who lives with other undead flatmates in Wellington.

The film was a spoof of the horror genre and the documentary format and was a cult hit that spawned a TV series in 2019, which Waititi also co-created and executive produced.

He ventured into the superhero genre with Thor: Ragnarok 2017, which he also co-wrote and played the voice of Korg, a rock-like alien. He brought his signature style of comedy and creativity to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and delivered a fun and epic blockbuster.

He returned to direct and voice Korg in Thor: Love and Thunder in 2022, featuring Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Christian Bale.

He won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his 2019 film Jojo Rabbit, which he also directed and played the role of Adolf Hitler, the imaginary friend of a young Nazi boy.

The film was a satirical and poignant comedy-drama that tackled the themes of fascism, war and love. He also won a Grammy Award for producing the film’s soundtrack, which featured songs by David Bowie, The Beatles, and Tom Waits.

He has been involved in several TV projects, such as directing an episode of The Mandalorian and voicing the character IG-11, a bounty hunter droid, in 2019.

He also co-created and executive produced the dramedy series Reservation Dogs, which premiered in 2021 and followed the lives of four Native American teenagers in Oklahoma.

He also directed, executive produced and starred in the comedy Our Flag Means Death, which debuted in 2022 and was based on the true story of a British aristocrat who became a pirate.

He is also working on several upcoming films, such as Next Goal Wins, a sports comedy based on the documentary of the same name, which follows the American Samoa national football team. He is also set to direct and co-write a Star Wars film, which is expected to be released in 2025.

Awards

Taika Waititi has won numerous awards and honours for his work as a filmmaker and actor. Some of the most notable ones are:

  • Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit (2020)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit (2020)
  • Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for Jojo Rabbit (2021)
  • AFI Award for Movie of the Year for Jojo Rabbit (2020)
  • Grand Prix at the Berlin International Film Festival for Boy (2010)
  • Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival for Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
  • New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film (2019)

Controversy

Taika Waititi has not been involved in any major scandals or controversies that have tarnished his reputation or career.

However, he has faced some criticism and backlash for some of his creative choices and opinions, such as:

  • Playing Adolf Hitler in Jojo Rabbit, which some people found offensive or insensitive, despite the film’s anti-fascist message and satire.
  • Making fun of the New Zealand government and its lack of support for the arts in his acceptance speech at the New Zealand Film Awards in 2017, which some people found disrespectful or ungrateful.
  • Calling New Zealand “racist as fuck” in an interview with Dazed in 2018, which some people found exaggerated or divisive, despite his intention to raise awareness and spark dialogue.
  • Kissing Rita Ora and Tessa Thompson in a three-way embrace in Sydney in 2021, which some people found inappropriate or scandalous, despite their apparent consent and relationship status.

Social Media

  • Instagram handle: @taikawaititi
  • Twitter handle: @TaikaWaititi

Filmography

Taika Waititi has directed, written, produced and acted in several feature-length and short films. Some of his filmography includes:

  • Eagle vs Shark (2007) – Director, writer, actor.
  • Boy (2010) – Director, writer, actor, producer.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – Director.

Net Worth

According to sources, Taika Waititi has an estimated net worth of $25 million.

He has earned his wealth from his successful career as a filmmaker, actor and comedian, as well as his endorsements and other ventures.




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