Mark Ruffalo & Taika Waititi share emotional hongi after historic Oscar win

Publish Date
Tuesday, 11 February 2020, 7:53PM

New Zealand actor and film-maker Taika Waititi has been showered with love and praise after walking away with a prestigious Oscars award.

Waititi won the Academy Award for best-adapted screenplay for Jojo Rabbit at Sunday night's ceremony, dedicating it in his acceptance speech to "all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art, and dance, and do stories".

He and wife Chelsea Winstanley were the first Māori to be nominated as producers for Best Picture.

The moment wasn't lost on fellow celebrities who weighed in to congratulate Waititi on his achievement.

Actor and director Mark Ruffalo posted a picture of the pair embracing during a hongi, writing Waititi's award was a "historic" moment.

"'I dedicate this to all the Indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories, we are the original storytellers and we can make it here, as well.'

"Congratulations, Taika Waititi on a historic win at the Oscars. Thanks for another beautiful film."

Russell Crowe also weighed in, sending Waititi a humorous Twitter message congratulating him on joining the club of successful Kiwis on the big stage.

"So ... as I was saying ... congratulations Taika Waititi and welcome to the NZ-born Oscar winners club.

"Your membership number is 022 or something close ( I could be wrong ) ... Anyway annual meetings are held once every 30 or so years. Someone will call."

Jacinda Ardern also heaped praise on Waititi, saying it was a proud moment for all New Zealanders.

She said she had seen the movie and enjoyed it – "I don't see a lot of movies."

She reflected on the fact that it was holocaust remembrance day recently and many people of Jewish descent still face racism to this day.

Ardern said it was an important movie.

"I just can't think of anyone else who could make this film … he played Adolf Hitler."

"I think we should all be proud of him."

Despite Waititi's fame, he told RNZ he struggled through his acceptance speech on stage in a rare moment of being lost for words.

"Horrible ... everything you think you're gonna say you forget and then you're just standing there and you just want to get off as soon as possible.

"It wasn't really nerves, like I was stood up there stunnedly for a long time but it's just, I'm not usually lost for words and that was one of those rare moments my brain didn't work."

Asked where the trophy was, he responded, "Somewhere, I left it somewhere ... I've still gotta find my mum. I'll find my mum first then I'll find that statue."