Taika Waititi On Directing "Next Goal Wins," Working With The Hemsworth Brothers, And His Wedding To Rita Ora

Taika Waititi is one of the rare directors who seems as comfortable in front of the camera as he is behind it. Turns out, he's quite comfortable around animals, too.

Closeup of Taika Waititi leaning against a stool
Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

The director stopped by BuzzFeed to complete the puppy interview while promoting his new film, Next Goal Wins.

Closeup of Taika holding a puppy

Taika's puppy interview was adorable. Just look at Taika cuddling this puppy!

Taika snuggling a puppy
Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

Taika wasn't the only one in for a treat when the puppies came storming in because he revealed so much in the interview about his life and career.

Taika sitting on the floor and playing with puppies

This includes coming down with a serious pain condition while filming Next Goal Wins in Hawaii.

"My least favorite memory from directing "Next Goal Wins: was getting sciatica and not being able to walk for entire shoot"

He also explained the simple reason he prefers rugby to soccer.

"I come from a proud rugby-playing nation of New Zealand"

As for the director's connections with other celebs (of which he has many), Taika opened up about the possibility of working with Liam Hemsworth. Liam is the only Hemsworth brother he's yet to direct in a film.

"All three of them in one project. How's that?"

In case you're wondering, Taika directed both Chris and Luke Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder. Luke also appears in Next Goal Wins.


Taika also took a moment to reflect on his wedding to pop star Rita Ora last year.

Closeup of Taika Waititi

The couple married on August 4, 2022, in Los Angeles.

"It was a very special day"

Still, the dogs couldn't even convince Taika to open up about everything in his life. He played coy when asked about the wildest rumor he's heard about himself.

"What is this? Is this entrapment?"

But nothing really compared to the director early in the interview suggesting a name for our puppy interview: Puppy Playhouse. We'll take it into consideration, Taika.

"Puppy Playhouse is better"

Check out Taika's full puppy interview below:

And watch Next Goal Wins in theaters, starting on Nov. 17:

Also, all of these adorable puppies are available for adoption from North Shore Animal League America.