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JoJo Rabbit director Taika Waititi on whether Hitler can be funny

By Tara Bennett

This week, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is back in theaters with JoJo Rabbit, and it may be his most challenging film to date. Waititi wrote, directed, and co-stars as an imaginary version of Adolf Hitler who accompanies young JoJo (Roman Griffin Davis) as he gradually realizes the true horror of the Nazis. Keep in mind, this is a comedy rather than a straight World War II drama. Hitler's atrocities before and during the war shouldn’t be forgotten. But as Waititi pointed out, comedians have been targeting Hitler for decades.

"[Charlie] Chaplin was doing it 80 years ago," noted Waititi. "So I don’t know if it's too soon. Or is it not soon enough?"

Waititi went on to address the idea that boundary-pushing comedy isn't possible in the age of "woke."

"What's 'woke'?" asked Waititi. "I've been asking someone what 'woke' is. I think I've realized, as I've come to the conclusion you can only know what woke is if you're 'woke.' I'll make up my own weird word [that] kind of means everything and nothing."

SYFY WIRE also caught up with Thomasin McKenzie, who portrays Elsa Korr, a young Jewish girl with a big role in the film. She shared her praise for her younger co-star, Davis, for his ability to handle the material.

"[Davis] was a 10-year-old kid, and he was handling a subject matter with such poise and professionalism," said McKenzie. "I don't think I would have been able to do that when I was 10."

For more JoJo Rabbit details from Waititi and McKenzie, check out the full video!