Here’s Why Stephen Merchant Wanted to Ruin Sam Rockwell’s ‘Jojo Rabbit’ Takes

     October 28, 2019

With writer-director Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit now playing in limited release, I recently sat down with Sam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant & Alfie Allen for an exclusive interview. As you’ve probably heard me say a number of times, Jojo Rabbit is one of my favorite films of the year and Waititi has written and directed a fantastic anti-hate satire set in Nazi Germany. While I figured he would craft something special, Jojo Rabbit was well above my lofty expectations and many others had the same opinion as it won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival against some serious competition.

jojo-rabbit-scarlett-johansson-sam-rockwell

Image via Fox Searchlight

If you haven’t seen the trailers, Jojo Rabbit follows a lonely 10-year-old boy Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) in Nazi Germany whose imaginary best friend Adolf Hitler (Waititi) eggs him on. But Jojo’s loyalties and beliefs are tested when he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. The film also stars Rebel Wilson. For more on Jojo Rabbit, you can read Matt Goldberg’s review or watch this exclusive clip.

During my interview with Sam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant & Alfie Allen, they talked about their reaction to reading the script for the first time, how it’s important to constantly remind people what really happened during WW2, how everyone is so politically correct nowadays and people are less willing to take risks, what it was like filming on the same soundstages in Prague where the Nazis shot propaganda, why Stephen Merchant was constantly trying to get Sam Rockwell to laugh and ruin takes, and more.

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

jojo-rabbit-posterSam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant & Alfie Allen:

  • What was their reaction reading the script for the first time?
  • How everyone is so politically correct nowadays and people are less willing to take risks.
  • How it’s important to constantly remind people what really happened during WW2.
  • What was it like filming on set?
  • Stephen Merchant on why he was constantly trying to get Sam Rockwell to laugh and ruin his take.
  • Merchant on how he comes up with his improvisations.
  • How they filmed on some of the same stages in Prague where the Nazis shot propaganda.
  • What TV show would they like to guest star on?
jojo-rabbit-image-taika-waititi-scarlett-johansson

Image via Fox Searchlight

Here’s the official synopsis for Jojo Rabbit:

Writer director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

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