Taika Waititi Says He Finds It Hard Being Cursed With His “Beautiful Face”

Taika Waititi TIFF Interview

It’s pretty clear at this point that the entire world is in love with Taika Waititi *waves hand around frantically*, and apparently even the man himself isn’t immune to his own undeniable appeal.

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During a completely delightful Master Class talk at the Toronto International Film Festival this week with TIFF’s creative director Cameron Bailey, the NZ filmmaker spoke about a wide variety of topics — you can watch the whole hour-long vid HERE for maximum Taika Waititi content.

One of the highlights is the 43-year-old speaking about the child characters in his films and the conversations they have, which were inspired by his own experiences growing up in Raukokore on NZ’s North Island and feeling like he didn’t quite fit the “norm”.

In New Zealand only now would you admit to wanting to be a dancer or an actor, if you’d said that in the ’80s you’d get the shit kicked out of you. Wanting to be an artist in the ’80s was not cool. Where I come from there’s 3 jobs: growing dope, working in the forestry and driving in the trucks that take the logs out of the forest.

This prompts Bailey to ask about the “rules of masculinity”, a theme that he points out comes up in Waititi’s films “again and again”.

There’s always a theme of what you could become, and it’s a choice. And I made a choice to not become that. It’s just too stressful, to be in that world. It’s actually more stressful to be in a gang and more stressful trying to be tough and to fuck people over and beat people up. Choosing the path of the artist is tough, but most of my family is in that [other] world and I see them and they’re stressed out all the time. Kids I grew up with, my age,  they look 20 years older than me. I mean I look pretty young because I’ve been blessed.

This of course kicks off a whole thing, in which Bailey playfully (but probably seriously, right?) says: “It’s hard to look at you.”

Waititi’s response: “It is hard. Sometimes I walk past a mirror and I’m like ‘Who is THAT?’. I’m telling the truth. And that’s something I have to deal with every day.” See the excellent GIF below.

Waititi then catches himself, saying: “Why are we talking about my beautiful face again? Let’s get back on track.”

No, let’s keep talking about it forever. It’s what that face deserves.

Taika Waititi TIFF

In all seriousness, the entire interview (like Waititi himself) is a gift to us all, so if you have a spare hour definitely get around it.