Just days after collecting an Oscar for his critically-acclaimed film Jojo Rabbit, Māori filmmaker Taika Waititi has revealed why he chose to play Adolf Hitler.

Speaking today during an appearance on Ellen with his 12-year-old Jojo Rabbit co-star Roman Griffin Davies, Waititi opened up about his off-beat movie.

Ellen praised Waititi as "brilliant" and declared Jojo Rabbit "one of my favourite films" before the writer-director-actor explained why he had to fill the controversial role himself.

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"Searchlight [Studios] said 'we only really want to make it if you play Hitler'," Waititi told Ellen.


"And it made no sense to me - because look at me - I'm way too good looking to play Hitler.

"But I guess if it had been an actual actor, someone who can act, I feel it would have detracted - like a celebrity would have detracted from the story."

Taika Waititi poses in the press room at the Oscars. Photo / AP.
Taika Waititi poses in the press room at the Oscars. Photo / AP.

Jojo Rabbit tells the story of a young boy who is a member of the the Hitler Youth program in Nazi Germany, and speaks to an imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler.

"It's about learning to think for yourself and not falling into the trap of just following the group," Waititi explained of the film's main message.

Ellen followed up by asking if he been able to thank everybody he wanted to during his entertaining Oscars acceptance speech, but Waititi joked that no one else was deserving of any praise.

Taika Waititi said Jojo Rabbit was about
Taika Waititi said Jojo Rabbit was about "learning to think for yourself". Photo / Supplied.

"No. This is one of the better awards because with writing you don't have to thank anyone," he said.

"I mean, I did all the typing. There was no one else. It was just me.

"Like I say, I share the thing with the producers, and with my mum who I introduced me to the book that I adapted. But she didn't do any of the typing. I did that.


"So she can come and look at it but I'm not sharing it with anyone."

Davis revealed his acting career is set to continue with a role in his mother Camille Griffin's film Silent Night with Keira Knightley.

Waititi confirmed he is set to "move to Australia and do another Thor movie with Chris Hemsworth" referring to the Marvel Studios film Thor: Love & Thunder which is set to land in cinemas late 2021.