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Taika Waititi Calls Himself The ‘Laziest Actor’ As He Talks Prep For Roles Like Our Flag Means Death And Thor: Ragnarok’s Korg

Korg in Thor: Ragnarok
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Being an actor isn't just about memorizing lines from a script. In plenty of cases, one must also conduct research and deep analysis in order to make a character come to life. And New Zealand-born actor (and director) Taika Waititi apparently does none of that! As a matter of fact, Waititi admits that he's the “laziest actor” when it comes to preparing for his roles in films and TV shows like Jojo Rabbit, Our Flag Means Death, and Thor: Ragnarok. 

Though he shines behind the camera, Taika Waititi has had a lot of success as an actor, as he's played comedic roles that allow him to show off his unique sense of humor. Instead of employing the extreme dedication that stars like Jared Leto use, Waititi seems to just wing it! In the WIRED Autocomplete Interview, the actor and filmmaker answered the Internet’s most-searched questions about himself and explained just how little he prepares for his acting gigs: 

I’m the laziest actor you’ll ever come across. I played Hitler, didn’t read anything about him. I just played Blackbeard in Our Flag Means Death. I went on Wikipedia and there’s too many words! I read the first part, he’s from Bristol. Looked at the Bristolian accent which is like Stephen Merchant and thought, ‘No that’s too hard.’ And so I just did my own accent. That’s it, that’s my range, my range is me. I don’t try, and I’m successful, so.

Such approaches can be risky, especially for a role like Adolf Hitler in JoJo Rabbit, but the star (who won an Oscar for the screenplay) handled the part perfectly. Thanks to his whimsical sense of humor, his portrayal more than succeeded. He may have “felt weird” about playing Hitler in the context of such a story, but you can't argue with the results. 

Even though Taika Waititi donned a German accent for his role as Hitler, that seems to be the only other accent he's really put in work on. As he mentioned, he used his own New Zealand twang for the TV series Our Flag Means Death (streamable with an HBO Max subscription), and he also didn't change things up too much when playing the droid IG-11 in The Mandalorian. Again, you can't argue with the results, as the latter landed him a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance.

Of course, he's also gotten with using his real accent for the character of Korg, who was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe through Thor: Ragnarok. Later in the same interview, the filmmaker joked about the "real acting" that he gets to do as the God of Thunder's good friend:

Korg, the big guy made out of rocks. Again, my accent! This shouldn’t be allowed. It’s not just a voice guys, I was in a motion capture suit so all of Korg’s movements – that’s real acting!

Taika Waititi is quite an exceptional actor to be able to go into his roles instinctively and get awards and fan recognition for them. We'll see his preparation (or lack thereof) at work when he reprises his role as Korg in the upcoming superhero film Thor: Love and Thunder in theaters on July 8th. He'll also lend his voice to Mo Morrison in the Disney release Lightyear, which opens on June 17th. 

Carly Levy
Carly Levy

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.