Taika Waititi Dedicates Oscar Win for 'Jojo Rabbit' to Indigenous Kids Around the World
By John Boone
We want the world for Taika Waititi -- and an Oscar of his own is a good start.
The writer, director and star of Jojo Rabbitwon the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay during Sunday's ceremony. (Waititi's anti-hate satire is based on the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens.) "This is really light," Waititi joked of his new statuette. "It's supposed to be heavy."
"I'd like to thank my mother -- don't know where you are, mum. I lost you hours ago," he said. "Thank you for being my mother and for many other reasons, but for giving me the book that I adapted. This film wouldn't have existed without you doing that."
Finally, the New Zealand native -- who is the first indigenous filmmaker to win the Oscar -- dedicated his win to "all the indigenous kids in the world, who want to do art and dance and write stories. We are the original storytellers, and we can make it here, as well."
This is Waititi's first Academy Award win, though not his first nomination: He was previously up for Best Live Action Short in 2005 for his film, Two Cars, One Night. (As a bit, when his name was announced that year, he pretended to be asleep.)
The New Zealander became the favorite to win the Oscar after walking away with adapted screenplay awards from BAFTA and the Writers Guild Awards. Though if you ask Waititi, the great joy of Jojo Rabbit was getting another chance to work with himself.
"The actor part of me and the director part of me have a really strong bond. We've been working together for a while now -- we're like Scorsese and De Niro -- and there's something about me that told me that I think I'm going to continue working with this guy," he joked to ET at last month's Oscars Nominee Luncheon. "I've got a great eye for talent, sometimes that big search for talent leads you directly into the mirror."