Taika Waititi Biography

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Taika Waititi

Quick Facts Of Taika Waititi

Celebrated Name Taika Waititi
Age 43 Years
Nick Name Taika
Birth Name Taika David Waititi
Birth Date 1975-08-16
Gender Male
Profession Filmmaker
Birth Nation New Zealand
Ethnicity Te Whanau-a-Apanui and European Jewish
Nationality New Zealander
Place Of Birth Wellington, New Zealand
Best Known For Flimmaker, actor, screenwriter, producer and comedian
Famous For Quirky comedies and his unique sense of humor
University Victoria University
Educational Qualification Degree of Theatre and Flim
Father Maori Waititi
Mother Jewish Cohen
Sexual Orientation Straight
Wife Chelsea Winstanley
Daughter Te Hinekahu and Matewa Kiritapu
Net Worth $3 million
Height 6 feet 2 inches
Weight 68 KG

Taika David Waititi is a New Zealand filmmaker, actor, and comedian. Waititi is also a producer and screenwriter. Waititi was nominated for an "Academy Award" for his 2004 short film "Two Cars", "One Night". His feature films "Boy" (2010) and "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" (2016) have each been the top-grossing New Zealand film, with the "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" holding that title as of 2018. Waititi has directed the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film "Thor: Ragnarok", in which he played the character, "Korg", a role he went on to reprise in "Avengers: Endgame" (2019).

What is Taika Waititi Famous For?

Taika Waititi is famous as one of the country’s most beloved exports, boasting an impressive career in directing, screenwriting and acting. He is well known for his quirky comedies and his unique sense of humor,  readily present in any of his films like; Jojo Rabbit (2018), Green Lantern (2011), Eager vs Shark (2007), Futile Attraction (2004), Tongan Ninja (2002), etc.

Waititi often focuses on fathers or father figures in his films.

Waititi and his Family

Taika Waititi was born on 16th August 1975 in Wellington, New Zealand. His birth name is Taika David Waititi and nationality is New Zealander. He is also known as Taika Cohen. He is of Maori and European-Jewish descent.  

Waititi was born to Maori Waititi(father) and Jewish Cohen(mother). His father Maori was a painter of Te Whanau-a-Apanui and his mother is a teacher of Russian Jewish heritage.

Waititi has used his mother’s surname, "Cohen", for some of his work in film and writing. Te Whanau-a-Apanui, his father's tribe, a heritage that Taika is proud of and featured most prominently in his early years of filmmaking.

How was Waititi's Early Life?

Taika Waititi belongs to the Raukokore area of the East Coast region of the North Island of New Zealand. Waititi grew up there and in Wellington. He attended "Onslow College" for secondary school.

He graduated with the degree of Theatre and Flim from "Victoria University".

During his childhood, Taika dreamed of becoming a painter or a deep-sea diver before a high school drama teacher introduced him to the world of acting. He was part of a five-person comedy ensemble titled "So You’re a Man" while he attended "Victoria University" and he toured around New Zealand and Australia with the group before graduating with his degree in "Theater and Film". 

Earlier, he 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.

How is Waititi's Career Life?

At the beginning of his film career, Taika primarily acted on screen with a small role in the film "Scarfies" (1999), which earned him a "New Zealand Film Award nomination for Best Actor".  He featured in the film "Snakeskin" (2001) and also appeared on the TV series "The Strip". The majority of roles Taika received at this time were as the comic relief character, which he soon grew tired of. 

He decided to create his own films, thereby creating his own roles. He soon began winning various awards for his comical shorts he directed and acted in as part of the "48 Hour film contest" and received the greatest critical success for his short film, "Two Cars", "One Night" (2004).

At the 2005 Academy Awards, the short was nominated for "Best Live Action Short". His name became most well-known after he feigned sleep when his name was announced at the ceremonies after attempting to persuade other nominees to do the same. He went on to release more critically acclaimed films, included the short "Tamu Tu" (2004) and his first feature-length film, "Eagle vs Shark" (2007).

The film stars Waititi’s then real-life partner, Loren Horsley, as Lily. The same year, Waititi wrote and directed one episode of the TV show "Flight of the Conchords" and was the director of another.

As a performer and comedian, Taika has been involved in some of the most innovative and successful original productions seen in New Zealand. He regularly does standup gigs in and around the country and in 2004 launched his solo production,  "Taika's Incredible Show". In 2005 he staged the sequel, "Taika's Incredible Show". As an actor, Taika has been critically acclaimed for both his Comedic and Dramatic abilities. 

His film "Boy" (2010) centered around an 11-year old boy (James Rolleston) reuniting with his estranged, ex-con father, played by Taika himself. The picture was a huge critical success, winning a place at the '2010 Berlin Film Festival' and then being awarded "Grand Prize in the Generation section". Notably, Boy was one of only 14 films chosen for the Sundance Film Festival’s “World Cinema” section.

While he continued acting in comedy shorts, Taika’s true passion for filmmaking was steadily taking over. A short film he and old friend Jemaine Clement had made in 2006 titled "What We Do in the Shadows" was made into a feature-length film in 2013.  The movie, focused on modern-day vampires sharing an apartment together in Wellington, New Zealand, won several awards and has spawned an American TV series, the plans for which were announced in 2018.

Taika produced, wrote, and directed the film "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" (2016), which featured Julian Dennison as a young foster boy. The film was a critical success and broke records for its opening day in New Zealand. 

In early October 2018, Lucasfilm announced that Taika Waititi would be one of the directors of the upcoming 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.

Most recently, Taika made his Marvel Universe directorial debut with the film "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017), which smashed at the box office and earned him the highest praise for his unique filmmaking style. He also featured in the film, lending his voice to the "rock-alien Korg".

Taika also directed World War II drama, "Jojo Rabbit" (2018) and his upcoming movie the film "Bubbles" (2019), the story of Michael Jackson as seen through the eyes of his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. 

How is Waititi's Personal Life?

Taika Waititi has been in a couple of notable relationships. Early on in his filmmaking career, he was in a relationship with Loren Horsley, an actress.

Waititi is however now married with Chelsea Winstanley. Chelsea Winstanley is a New Zealand award-winning film producer and director. She directed the award-winning documentary "Tame It: The Man Behind the Moko".

Waititi and Chelsea met when she interviewed him for a TV documentary series profiling Maori artists. Then they met again on "Boy", but nothing happened properly until after that. Later, because of Waititi's humor and comedy nature, they hooked up together.

In May 2012, Waititi and Chelsea had their first daughter Te Hinekahu and their second daughter Matewa Kiritapu born on August 2015.  In the run-up to the 2017 New Zealand general election, Waititi announced his support for Jacinda Ardern and the Labour Party.

Taika is also an experienced painter and photographer, having exhibited both mediums in Wellington and Berlin, and a fashion designer.

What is Waititi's Net Worth?

Taika Waititi's source of wealth comes from his professions like director, actor, screenplay. Waititi is a member of the Richest Celebrities and Directors. Commercially successful films like "Thor: Ragnarök" and "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" have made Taika Waititi a rich man. 

The filmmaker is currently worth $3 million. With more projects with Marvel lined up and signed contracts to work on a Star Wars project, Taika’s wealth is expected to go up in the coming years.

What is Body Measurement of Waititi?

Waititi has a distinctive look that makes him stand out in a crowd. The New Zealand Director/filmmaker has a perfect body build of height 6ft. 2inc and body weight of 68 kg. He has brown eyes. 

Waititi regularly works on his physique that leads him to an athletic body.

Did You Know?

  • At the Academy awards ceremony, Waititi fell asleep as the nominations were being readout.
  • Waititi has also shown talent as an inventor: he co-invented part of the lighting system that is used in scenes of "Thor: Ragnarok".
  • Waititi does work-out regularly so he has an athletic body.
  • He is of Maori and European-Jewish descent.

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