Taika Waititi: Who is Rita Ora’s new boyfriend

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Taika Waititi is the latest beau to escort singer Rita Ora down the red carpet as they stepped out at the premiere of The Suicide Squad.

The Oscar-winning New Zealander has won acclaim for his meta style of acting and directing playing a vampire and even Adolf Hitler in his distinguished career.

Ora, 30 and Jojo Rabbit director and actor Waititi, 45, held hands as they posed for pictures in Los Angeles on Monday night.

The pair are reported to have met in Australia earlier this year - with Ora filming The Voice and Waititi filming Thor: Love And Thunder.

A source told The Sun: “They’ve been a couple since early March but kept things low key. However, all their friends know about the relationship - they’re really into each other.”

But who is Taika?

Waititi is of Maori (from his father’s side), and Jewish (from his mother’s side) descent. He was born and raised in Te-Whānau-a-Apanui in the East Coast and also in Wellington, New Zealand.

In his early comedy career, he became fast friends with Flight Of The Conchords star Jemaine Clement. The pair have gone on to co-star and co-direct on a host of projects together.

Taika Waititi long-time friend Jemaine Clement (AP)
Taika Waititi long-time friend Jemaine Clement (AP)

The pair split off from their troupe So You’re a Man and formed a double act called The Humorbeasts earning the pair New Zealand’s highest comedy accolade, the Billy T Award, in 1999.

But Taika first truly came to prominence in 2013, with his spectacular performance as Viago Von Dorna Schmarten Scheden Heimburg (né von Blitzenberg), aged 379, in the film What We Do In The Shadows.

The lo-fi mockumentary is about vampires sharing a house as they hunt Wellington’s virgins and battle their sworn enemy a local gang of werewolves.

He based Viago - the uptight vampire trying to get the others to do their household chores - on his own mother.

The film was later made into a sitcom which he co-wrote and directed starring Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak and Natasia Demetriou.

The series’ second season received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Vamping it up: Natasia Demetriou as Nadja is adept at withering expressions in this spin-off series from the 2014 film (BBC/FX Productions)
Vamping it up: Natasia Demetriou as Nadja is adept at withering expressions in this spin-off series from the 2014 film (BBC/FX Productions)

His fourth feature Hunt for the Wilderpeople was about a young boy and his grumpy foster father, played by Sam Neill, on the run from social services in the New Zealand wilderness.

After Wilderpeople’s success at the box office (breaking his own New Zealand records) Marvel came a-knocking.

With Thor: Ragnarok, Waititi made his first venture into big-budget studio filmmaking and became the first non-white director of a Marvel title in the process. It is the fourth best-reviewed Marvel movie on Rotten Tomatoes claiming a whopping $853 million at the global box office.

With the acclaim earned with the Thor series Waititi could use his capital as Hollywood’s latest darling to make his passion project Jojo Rabbit.

He had begun writing a screenplay based on Christine Leunens’ novel Caging Skies in 2011.

The dark novel follows Johannes Betzler (Jojo), a boy in the Hitler Youth who finds out that his parents have been secretly harbouring a Jewish girl in their family home.

Taika Waititi accepts the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for 'Jojo Rabbit' from Timothee Chalamet and Natalie Portman at the 92nd Academy Awards (Reuters)
Taika Waititi accepts the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for 'Jojo Rabbit' from Timothee Chalamet and Natalie Portman at the 92nd Academy Awards (Reuters)

After hawking the concept and being rejected by many Hollywood studios Fox Searchlight — the studio label behind best picture winners like 12 Years a Slave and Birdman — signed on to the project, but with one condition: Waititi should be the one to play Hitler.

“I felt weird about it,” the half Jewish director said of taking the role. “Even though the character in my film is not evil — he’s got a 10-year-old’s brain because he comes out of Jojo’s head — there’s elements to him that are shared with the actual guy.

“It was a kind of now or never feeling, in my head.”

The in-demand Waititi has written and directed the upcoming superhero film Thor: Love and Thunder, a live-action film adaptation of anime classic Akira and a dramatised version of football documentary Next Goal Wins.

Personal life

He married fellow New Zealand film producer and director Chelsea Winstanley who helped produce Jojo Rabbit and Thor Ragnorok.

They have two daughters, Te Kainga o te Hinekāhu and Matewa Kiritapu.

The couple split in 2018, according to reports.

He was famously snapped engaging in a steamy three-way kiss with girlfriend Rita Ora and actress Tessa Thompson in images seen around the world in the years following.

The filmmaker said in a recent interview that the viral pictures didn’t bother him because he did “nothing wrong.”

“I think in the world of the internet, everything goes away pretty quick,” the “Thor: Love and Thunder” director told the Sydney Morning Herald. “And also, ‘Is it that big a deal?’ No, not really. I was doing nothing wrong. It’s fine.”

The trio, holding cocktails, were spotted in May getting up close and personal on a balcony in Sydney after an all-night rager at Waititi’s mansion.

Ora and Waititi went public as a couple in late April when they showed up to the premiere of “RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under” at the Sydney Opera House.

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