Taika Waititi made a conscious effort not to do any research on Adolf Hitler while making Jojo Rabbit.
The New Zealand-born filmmaker recently wrapped production on the dark comedy-drama, which is inspired by Christine Leunens' book Caging Skies and follows lonely German boy Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) as he discovers that his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic during World War II.
Waititi portrays his imaginary friend Hitler, and in an interview for Deadline.com, the star explained that he did not investigate the Nazi leader before filming began.
"He's like a 10-year-old kid's version of Hitler. So, he doesn't have to share anything with actual Hitler, because 10 year olds never meet Hitler," he told the film publication. "I didn't have to do any research, and I didn't do any research. I didn't base him on anything I'd seen about Hitler before. I just made him a version of myself that happened to have a bad haircut and a s**tty little moustache. And a mediocre German accent.
"It would just be too weird to play the actual Hitler, and I don't think people would enjoy the character as much. Because he was such a f**king ****, and everyone knows that as well. I think people have got to relate to really enjoy the ride."
Waititi went on to share that the film is more of a drama with a number of "light moments" sprinkled throughout.
In addition, he noted that he was careful to tackle the subject matter in a sensitive way, and was never tempted to include any shock comedy moments just for the sake of it.
"There's no way I'd do anything just because it might be controversial and might seem like it'll get people talking. (New Zealanders) find that kind of shock comedy act disingenuous and fake," the 43-year-old stated.
Elsewhere in the chat, Waititi spoke about how he conveyed his signature sense of humour in his films Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows, and Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, and also confirmed that he is still looking to make an animated film about Michael Jackson's pet chimpanzee Bubbles.
"It's so cool to look at the idea of telling a story like this through the eyes of a chimpanzee," he added.
Jojo Rabbit, also starring Rebel Wilson and Sam Rockwell, is set to hit cinemas from October.