The upcoming comedy/drama Jojo Rabbit is a peculiar beast with one of the most notable peculiarities being the presence of an imaginary Adolph Hitler played by the film's director, Taika Waititi. Waititi has now opened up about donning the infamous moustache in a conversation at the Toronto International Film Festival, and described himself as feeling "very nervous" about playing the Nazi dictator.
"It wasn't my intention at all writing the script and it was actually something Fox Searchlight encouraged me to do. They encouraged me to play the role and I felt very nervous about that. But then I thought, 'you know what? Once in a generation, an actor comes along who sort of changes the game...'"
Some of his fellow co stars were also present, with Stephen Merchant not missing a beat in bringing Taika Waititi back down to Earth. "Well, you couldn't afford him," Stephen Merchant joked. Merchant's cutting remark is to be expected from the funny man behind this year's wrestling biopic Fighting with my Family, and here he plays Captain Deertz, a Gestapo officer.
Waititi was then asked what the hardest part was about playing Hitler, to which he replied "just that he's so ugly." One would presume this was a comment on the Nazi leader's internal ugliness rather than his looks, but as it turns out Waititi did shave his real moustache in order to wear a fake version of Hitler's distinctive facial hair.
"I didn't feel comfortable growing one and walking around town on my days off."
Seems perfectly understandable. Young actor Roman Griffin Davis, who stars as the titular Jojo Rabbit, had a very emotional reaction to seeing his director and co-star dressed as Hitler for the first time.
"The first time I saw Taika in costume, I cried. He didn't do anything, I just cried. It was a shocking thing."
The movie has received a mixed reaction from those who have seen it, debuting at a less-than-desirable 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sicne then however, the film's rating has increased and now sits at a more favourable 73% based on 56 reviews.
The official synopsis for the film is as follows, "Writer-director Taika Waititi Thor: Ragnarok, Hunter for the Wilderpeople, brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, Jojo Rabbit, a World War II satire that 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 her attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his naive patriotism."
So far, audiences have seen Waititi dressed as a vampire, a giant, friendly rock monster and will eventually see him in some semblance of costume for the upcoming James Gunn Suicide Squad sequel. Where Hitler will rank on this distinctive list remains to be seen. This story comes from The Wrap.