Jojo Rabbit Comedy

Taika Waititi‘s upcoming Jojo Rabbit has a premise that lends itself to comedy (albeit dark comedy): a 10-year-old boy has an imaginary friend who just happens to be Hitler (played by Waititi himself). But according to Waititi, audiences should expect more of a drama than a comedy when Jojo Rabbit arrives in theaters this fall. That said, the actor and director admit there’s funny stuff in the film, especially regarding his take on Hitler, which he describes as “a 10-year-old who happens to have a tiny little mustache.”

After his first foray into blockbuster filmmaking with Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi is poised to release the sure-to-be offbeat Jojo Rabbit. Described as an “anti-hate satire”, Waititi’s latest follows a “lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother, (Scarlett Johansson), is hiding a young girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his naive patriotism.”

The prospect of seeing Waititi play Hitler is instantaneously comical, but the filmmaker recently told Deadline that Jojo Rabbit isn’t exactly a laugh-fest:

“It’s not even a super hilarious film; there’s a lot of comedy in it, but again, as with my other films, it’s more of a drama with a lot of light moments throughout. I’m not even sure if it could be construed as a comedy. It’s definitely not a broad comedy.”

Waititi goes on to add that while he plays Hitler in the film, he’s “not really Hitler.” Says Waititi: “He’s like a 10 year-old kid’s version of Hitler. So he doesn’t have to share anything with actual Hitler, because 10 year-olds never meet Hitler. He’s basically a 10 year-old who happens to have a tiny little mustache.”

Since the writer-director-actor isn’t playing the real Nazi leader, he didn’t have to do much research to get into character:

“I didn’t have to do any research, and I didn’t do any research. I didn’t base him on anything I’d seen about Hitler before. I just made him a version of myself that happened to have a bad haircut and a shitty little mustache. And a mediocre German accent. It would just be too weird to play the actual Hitler, and I don’t think people would enjoy the character as much. Because he was such a fucking cunt, and everyone knows that as well. I think people have got to relate to really enjoy the ride.”

Jojo Rabbit was already on my must-see list, but Waititi’s interview just sold me on it even more. The film opens October 18.

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