“It’s pretty amazing,” admits Carthew Neal about receiving his first ever Oscar nomination as producer of Best Picture nominated “Jojo Rabbit.” “It’s amazing to be among this group of people and part of the history of the Oscars, which is pretty special.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Neal above
In writer/director Taika Waititi‘s satirical “Jojo Rabbit,” Johannes “Jojo” Betzler, a young boy (Roman Griffin Davis) during WW2 Germany discovers that his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) has been hiding a Jewish girl, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in the attic of their home. Jojo befriends Elsa and confronts his own prejudices while also interacting with his imaginary friend, a neurotic and moronic Adolf Hitler (Waititi), who follows him throughout his journey of self-discovery. The film has been a hit on the awards circuit over the last few months, nabbing six Oscar nominations including for Best Picture, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay (Waititi) and Best Supporting Actress (Johansson).
As a frequent collaborator with Waititi, Neal knew from the outset that “Jojo Rabbit” was going to be a special project to work on. “I’ve worked with Taika before so I know his body of work leading up to this,” Neal explains. “Obviously it was audacious, the whole concept behind it, but I felt confident in Taika’s ability to ride that tone,” he says. “It is a beautiful script and really heartwarming and surprising and took you places you never expected emotionally and also had a really strong message that has unfortunately become more and more important as we were making the film.”
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