Taika Waititi encourages kids to embrace their creativity after his Oscars win

goss 14/02/2020

Taika Waititi has expanded on his Oscars dedication to the "indigenous kids of the world", saying he hopes to inspire more people to become artists.

The filmmaker's comments are made in the cover story of the latest Variety magazine. The interview overs a vast range of topics including ParasiteStar WarsThorAkira, modern neo-Nazis and racism, how Jewish critics responded to Jojo Rabbit and the pro-Trump protesters yelling outside the 2020 Oscars ceremony.

Waititi reflected on his own childhood while touching on the speech he made at the Academy Awards ceremony.

"Growing up in New Zealand, dancing and doing art - these things were frowned upon, or seen as weird behaviours. It's changed a lot, but there's still pockets in New Zealand and around the world of kids who think they need to give up storytelling, or give up being creative," he told Variety.

"I wanted to try and communicate to kids who grew up like I did, or are growing up like I did. To say to them, 'it's OK to want to be an artist'."

Having previously caused a stir for calling out racism in Aotearoa, the Māori filmmaker added he's never felt prejudice toward him in Los Angeles - but he knows it exists.

"I don't think when Māori come to America, they see us in the same light as Mexicans or Hispanics... I'm probably lucky I have a weird accent!"

When asked about what it was like campaigning for an Oscar, Waititi admitted it was "more stressful than making a movie".

He was photographed with Parasite filmmaker Bong Joon Ho several times during awards season and certainly bears no ill will that the Korean thriller beat Jojo Rabbit for Best Picture.

"I love Bong Joon Ho so much. [His 2003 film] Memories of Murder is on my top-five list when I talk about films I love," Waititi said.

On the rumours of his directing a Star Wars film, Waititi said he'd "f**king love to", but that it would have to feel right and not like "career suicide".

Waititi also touched on his upcoming movie, a Samoan football comedy called Next Goal Wins

He said he was inspired by acclaimed 2011 French movie Intouchables and that film is currently being edited before it's delivered at "the end of the year".