Jewish actor in WWII satire film: Playing Hitler is weird

"It was very strange for me to have to put on the suit and put the mustache on or things like that," he said.

July 2, 2018 18:26
2 minute read.
Jewish actor in WWII satire film: Playing Hitler is weird

World Premiere of “Thor: Ragnarok” – Los Angeles, California, US, 11/10/2017 - Director Taika Waititi. (photo credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI)


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Taika Waititi, who is currently filming his latest project, a World War II satire, told a reporter on Sunday that it has been weird to portray Adolf Hitler.

“It was very strange for me to have to put on the suit and put the mustache on or things like that,” Waititi, who his half Jewish and half Maori, told a reporter on the sidelines of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. “It’s quite confronting and I don’t necessarily like seeing myself like that.”

The film, called Jojo Rabbit, also stars Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson and Sam Rockwell. The Oscar-nominated actor, director, writer and producer appeared in Green Lantern, and directed and appeared in Thor: Ragnarok, which was released last year.

The plot of Jojo Rabbit centers on a 10-year-old Nazi youth who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish child in the house. Johansson portrays the boy’s mother, while Wilson plays a Nazi children’s camp instructor and Rockwell will star as a Nazi captain. The young protagonist is played by newcomer Roman Griffin Davis.

Waititi, who also wrote and is directing the film, will play a Hitler-like imaginary character.

“I play an imaginary friend who is sort of a kind of cross between Hitler and all this little boy’s heroes,” Waititi said. “So it’s all kind of combined into this weird version of... it’s not Hitler, I’m not trying to play that character, so I didn’t do much research since... I’m not trying to be authentic.”

Filming began in the Czech Republic at the end of May. On June 1, Waititi shared a photo from the set of him giving the finger to a photo of Hitler.

“Week one down of our anti-f***face satire, Jojo Rabbit,” he wrote. “Can’t wait to share it with the world. Also, what better way to insult Hitler than having him portrayed by a Polynesian Jew?”

Later in June, the film’s Twitter account showed a still pulled from a dinner scene in the film.

“First still from the set of WW2 satire, #JojoRabbit: Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis) having dinner with his imaginary friend Adolf (played by writer/director @TaikaWaititi), and his mother, Rosie (#ScarlettJohansson)”

On Sunday, Wilson also shared an image of herself on set in the Czech Republic.

“It’s so great filming in Czech Republic and shout out to all the kids who play the Hitler Youth in the film,” Wilson wrote, sharing a photo of herself in a military-style hat. “Very professional and talented kids.”

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