Taika Waititi isn’t trying to build a legacy despite already having one.
The “Next Goal Wins” writer-director reflected on his career at a Hollywood reporter cover story, pointing out that even Michael Curtiz, the director of ‘Casablanca’ was forgotten by many more than half a century after directing one of the greatest films of all time. For Waititi, nothing is forever.
“I’m 47. My God, take the pressure off,” Waititi said. “People are so obsessed with likes or leaving a legacy behind, being remembered. Here’s the thing: no one will remember us. What is the name of the director of ‘Casablanca’? Probably one of the greatest movies of all time. Nobody knows his name. How the fuck do I expect to be remembered? So who cares?
Waititi won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2020 for ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and is tapped to direct a ‘Star Wars’ installment set for December 2025. Searchlight releases football drama ‘Next Goal Wins’ after multiple delays this November.
He added: “We live, we make movies. They will be obsolete and irrelevant in 15 or 20 years. And so will I, and then I’ll die and someone else can. This whole idea of chasing, chasing, chasing this life. It’s like, do we really have to work that hard? Maybe not.”
Waititi admitted that early in his career he was convinced that all of his ideas deserved a green light, citing some sort of self-importance. However, that approach has served him well in Hollywood.
“I think it’s narcissism, like I’ve been convinced all my life that all my ideas are great,” said the director of “Thor: Love and Thunder.” “Now I know I’m not. It was like “The Truman Show”. I thought everything was put in front of me for my amusement. And I was like, ‘Wow, I become myself, and everyone just does stuff for me.’ And then also that everyone is idiots, which I keep thinking ”.
Waititi continued, “I’m like, ‘I’m surrounded by idiots. And in the end, they’ll see that I’m right.’ That’s a pretty bullshit thing to say, but it’s helped me stick to my guns. With cinema, there is no real trick other than making decisions quickly and confidently. If you ask any director, 85 percent of the time, you have no idea what you’re doing and just hope they don’t find out.
Waititi previously told IndieWire’s Eric Kohn in 2022 that he was in the throes of reaching midlife. “Sometimes I feel like I was too busy to notice I was having (a midlife crisis). Or maybe I’m right in the middle of one,” Waititi said. “I feel like I’m so busy that I have to schedule one. I’ll schedule a time to go buy a Porsche and do all the things I’ve always wanted to do. so I can go and make another film.