For today’s episode of Small Beginnings, we want to take a look at one of the latest new comer and personal favorites – and since Halloween is coming up, also one of our favorite vampire actors. Recently finishing directing his first Hollywood feature “Thor: Ragnarok“, he loves film as much as his home country New Zealand. Ladies and Gentlemen, actor, director, writer, painter and comedian, Taika Waititi!
Taika David Waititi (also known as Taika Cohen) was born on August 16th, 1975 in the East Coast region on the North Island of New Zealand. His father is Māori and his mother of Russian Jewish background. Taika found his talent and passion for art early on and decided to become a drama student at the Victoria University of Wellington and joining comedy tours with his friend and collaborator Jemaine Clement. Meanwhile Taika also started starring in films, such as a road movie called “Snakeskin“ and the TV series “The Strip“. In 2011 he starred in “Green Lantern“, as well as two of his own creations “Boy“ (2010) and “What We Do in the Shadows“ (2013), taking on bigger roles.
Concerning his work as a filmmaker, he started to produce short films for the annual 48-hour film contest, being nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for his short film “Two Cars, One Night“. His directing debut followed in 2007 with “Eagle vs Shark“, shortly followed by him directing episodes of “Flight of The Concords“ TV show.
His most recently finished project, “Hunt for the Wilderpeople“ (2016), broke records at the box office in New Zealand on the opening weekend and received a 100% grade on Rotten Tomatoes.
Taika is known for making films that feature children or outsiders and according to interviews he was always fascinated by the simple view a child has on the world. Besides film and acting he is interested in painting and stand up comedy.
We wish Taika Waititi all the best for his work and career and thank him for amazing times of laughter and great storytelling! We are excited for more of his work and beautiful New Zealand!