Podtalk: Actress Thomasin McKenzie Hops Into ‘Jojo Rabbit’

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CHICAGO – Thomasin McKenzie is a 19-year-old actress with a purposeful, intellectual and historical approach to her craft, and those characteristics are on display in her latest film, “Jojo Rabbit.” McKenzie portrays Elsa, a teenage girl who is hiding from the Nazis during World War II, and is aided by the title character.

Screenplay adapter and director Taika Waititi brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, which is a satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), 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.

Thomasin McKenzie as Elsa in ‘Jojo Rabbit’
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Thomasin McKenzie made a tremendous splash upon the scene last year with her superb performance in “Leave No Trace.” She comes from a film industry family from New Zealand. She is the granddaughter of actress Kate Harcourt, the daughter of actress Miranda Harcourt, and her father is director Stuart McKenzie. Besides three films in 2019, she has completed two more for 2020. And yes, as a New Zealand actor, she appeared in a Lord of the Rings film … “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”

Thomasin McKenzie on the Red Carpet at the 55th Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Pamela Powell of the Daily Journal

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com actor Thomasin McKenzie reflects on working with fellow New Zealander Taika Waititi, the adventure of her life and the road ahead that will take some Jedi-style focus.

“Jojo Rabbit” continues its nationwide release in Chicago on October 25th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Thomasin McKenzie, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi. Screenplay adapted by Taika Waititi. Directed by Taika Waititi. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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