Taika Waititi, the New Zealand-born filmmaker best known for movies like Jojo Rabbit, What We Do in the Shadows, and Thor: Ragnarok, is an interesting dude with an even more interesting handle. The king of kiwi comedy, Waititi has slowly made himself a household name, one that many people mispronounce. So let’s set the record straight.
His name is pronounced Thai-kah Why-tee-tee.
See? Easy. Just stress the first syllable of each part (first and last), and you’ve got it. Here’s a great video providing a more straightforward look at the traditional Māori moniker.
The Māori are an indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand. Māori culture has never been more on display to the world, and according to Waititi it is going through a “renaissance.” The Academy Award winner is incredibly vocal about cultivating indigenous representation in film, and this goes beyond his heritage and extends to all Native Peoples. His latest project, Reservation Dogs, is a product of that goal. It’s an amazing show with wonderful performances and a fantastic message. Check out the trailer here:
In addition to all his film directing credits, the well-known goofball is credited with directing an episode of The Mandalorian as well as providing the voice of the droid IG-11. It just goes to show the scope and skill of the Free Guy actor’s range. The New Zealander can do just about anything. Plus he was in Green Lantern, which is clearly his crowning achievement.
To leave with a laugh, take a look at this supercut of Thai-kah being Taika: