Taika Waititi’s version of Adolf Hitler in satirical comedy Jojo Rabbit is nowhere close to the real-life German dictator, but the actor-director said he felt “annoyed and ridiculous” when he dressed up as the character.
Jojo Rabbit, also directed by Waititi, is set during the Second World War and revolves around a young German boy Jojo “Rabbit” Betzler, who has an imaginary friend based on Adolf Hitler. The kid’s life is turned upside down when he gets to know that his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) has a Jewish girl hidden in their attic.
The Thor: Ragnarok helmer said he never wanted to portray Hitler in an “authentic” way.
“I was not prepare to go that deep. Also, because he’s an imaginary friend, he’s conjured by the mind of a 10-year-old boy, so he is a 10-year-old. The thing that struck me the most is that, as he’s putting on that costume and looking in the mirror and realising how childish and immature a lot of how they built their world was.
“If you look at the details on the uniforms, there’s lightning bolts on the belt buckles, a skull and crossbones on their hats. So it was like this make-believe type of thing, which is a boy’s fantasy when they were creating all that stuff. (But) It annoyed me a lot catching my reflection in the mirror and seeing myself. I felt so ridiculous and it did look ridiculous,” Waititi said during an interview at the EW and People magazine video suite at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Jojo Rabbit, which had its world premiere at TIFF, is set to release in the US on October 18.