Rita Ora and Taika Waititi finally broke their silence on their wedding this week, with the singer admitting she is ‘very much in love’ and she’d ‘always wanted the fairytale’.
After the couple started dating in March 2021 they became engaged in June this year and secretly tied the knot two months later.
While the pair have never been afraid of packing on the PDA in public, they have kept mostly tight-lipped when it comes to discussing their romance.
Yet speaking on Jaime Winstone’s podcast this week, Rita confessed: ‘I’m in love. I’m very much in love. I’m in love, I’m in love, amen! But I love love as well. I’ve always been such a believer in it and I’ve always felt like I always wanted the fairytale and that’s what I grew up loving.’
Referencing her parents Vera and Besnik she added: ‘My parents have been together for over 30 years, so for me it was always about love and finding a partner and all that, so I’m really happy I did. I made that choice. It made me happy and I love Taika. He’s so funny and lovely.’
For New Zealand-born filmmaker Taika, 46, his relationship with Rita, 31, comes as he’s begun to build a name for himself in the public eye, with the director achieving global prominence in 2020 when he picked up three Academy Awards for his critically-acclaimed black comedy JoJo Rabbit.
Since bursting onto the filmmaking scene in the Noughties he now has 20 blockbuster movies to his name, with some of his most recent credits including Marvel blockbusters Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022).
Now MailOnline takes a closer look at Taika, the man who gave Rita her ‘fairytale’ ending by making her Mrs Ora-Waititi.
Introducing the Oscar-winning director who stole Rita Ora’s heart: New Zealand-born filmmaker and actor Taika Waititi (pictured with the singer) has over 20 blockbuster movies to his name
What is Taika’s net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Taika has a net worth of £11 million ($13m) through his work as an actor, director, and producer. He began his career working on indie projects, penning cult favourites such as 2014’s What We Do in the Shadows and 2016’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
He went on to build up his profile with his work on Marvel projects Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder and his star is set to continue to rise as the director of the upcoming untitled Star Wars film and DC Comics’ live action version of Flash Gordon.
With his impressive roster of projects, Taika is perhaps the better known of the couple in the States. However, with Rita being an A-list celebrity in the United Kingdom, she has eclipsed her husband’s finances with a whopping net worth of £26 million ($22m) owing to her catalogue of hits.
She broke records in 2018 when her hit Let You Love Me reached number four in the charts, making her the first British female solo artist to have 13 top 10 songs in the United Kingdom. Rita has also dabbled in acting, taking on roles in the Fifty Shades franchise and the Detective Pikachu film.
Raking it in: According to Celebrity Net Worth, Taika has a net worth of £11 million ($13m) through his work as an actor, director, and producer. He began his career working on indie projects and recently on Marvel films
Who was Taika previously married to?
He got hitched to fellow Kiwi film producer Chelsea Winstanley at a New York City ceremony in 2011, but the pair are believed to have quietly split in 2018.
Taika met Chelsea, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ producer’s branch, when she interviewed him for a TV documentary series profiling Maori artists.
Having directed a number of docs, including the upcoming picture, Toi Tū, Toi Ora: Visual Sovereignty and Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, which she produced in 2018, Chelsea was also billed as producer for her former husband’s 2019 horror mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows as well as Jojo Rabbit.
Chelsea co-produced Saving Grace, Te Whakarauora Tangata, a documentary about domestic abuse by filmmaker Merata Mita.
Exes: He got hitched to fellow Kiwi film producer Chelsea Winstanley at a New York City ceremony in 2011, but the pair are believed to have quietly split in 2018 (pictured in 2017)
Do they share any children?
The pair have two daughters: Te Hinekāhu, ten, and Matewa Kiritapu, six, while Chelsea previously gave birth to son, Maia, when she was 20 and went on to raise him as a single mother.
Taika has been known to bring the little ones onto the red carpet with him at premieres including Thor: Love & Thunder in July 2022, as well as 2019’s The Lion King.
Chelsea told The Spinoff in 2020 about balancing motherhood and her career: ‘I feel guilty about pursuing dreams, that I’m not that mum interacting with the school at the moment, the general mother guilt of working, and of course you know there will be some consequences of that’.
Doting dad: The pair have two daughters: Te Hinekāhu, ten, and Matewa Kiritapu, six, (pictured in June 2022) while Chelsea previously gave birth to son, Maia, when she was 20 and went on to raise him as a single mother
What is Chelsea doing now?
She has been based in her native New Zealand since 2019, where she told a national publication: ‘I’m just sick of women portrayed as living in the shadow of their partners, that’s all.
Chelsea continued to the New Zealand Herald: ‘I made one film with him, I was a film-maker before I met him and I continue to do my own stuff.’
Causing speculation that she had split with Taika following the 2020 Oscars, the mother-of-three posted a photo with her own mum at the awards.
She wrote: ‘This is a better one of my stunning mama date!! Way better date than a seat filler! (For those of you who have sent me sweet uplifting messages you know what I mean).’
Confirming the news, she went on to write, ‘#notmyhusband,’ alongside a portrait of Taika.
New life: She has been based in her native New Zealand since 2019, where she said: ‘I’m just sick of women portrayed as living in the shadow of their partners, that’s all’
What awards has Taika won?
Taika has garnered a number of honours and nominations, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, Golden Globes and Primetime Emmys.
For the 2005 short film Two Cars, One Night, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film (2004).
He released the comedy-drama Jojo Rabbit in 2019, to critical acclaim, and nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture, the Golden Globe Award for Best Musical or Comedy Film, and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing in a Feature Film. He also won the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Taika was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Talented: Taika has garnered a number of honours and nominations, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, Golden Globes and Primetime Emmys (pictured in 2020)
When did he start dating Rita Ora?
Rita sent fans into a frenzy when she took to Instagram in April 2021 to share a cosy photo showing Taika hugging her as she posed for the camera.
He and Rita went public in May when they arrived together at the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under at the Sydney Opera House.
They avoided being photographed on the red carpet, but took their seats side by side in the front row once inside the venue.
As they awaited the start, Rita and Taika talked closely together, whispering in one another’s ears as the singer appeared to lay her hand on Taika’s shoulder.
However he was caught up in scandal when he was photographed getting cosy on a balcony with his songstress girlfriend Rita and actress Tessa.
Both Rita and Tessa were in Sydney filming scenes for the Kiwi filmmaker’s upcoming Thor sequel Love and Thunder.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Marvel executives were left vastly unimpressed after seeing images of the Thor director cuddling up with the two women on the balcony of his Bondi home last Sunday.
The publication claimed that Taika’s display – in pictures obtained exclusively by MailOnline – also ruffled feathers among the bosses at Marvel’s parent company Disney.
Loved up: Rita sent fans into a frenzy when she took to Instagram in April 2021 to share a cosy photo showing Taika hugging her as she posed for the camera (pictured in September 2021)
What was his childhood like?
Taika, who was born Taika David Cohen, grew up on both the East Coast and in the Aro Valley of Wellington.
While his father was an artist of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui descent, his mother, Robin Cohen was a schoolteacher.
His parents split when he was five, and he was raised primarily by his mother.
After attending college, he studied theatre at Victoria University of Wellington where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1997.
Taika began receiving some fame in New Zealand after he began making comical short films and touring the country as part of comedy groups.
Throwback: Taika, who was born Taika David Cohen, grew up on both the East Coast and in the Aro Valley of Wellington
When did Taika and Rita reportedly marry?
Rita married director Taika in an intimate London ceremony, according to reports filed in August, and they were both then pictured with gold bands on their ring fingers.
The Hot Right Now hitmakerand her director partner started dating in March 2021, before going public with their romance that August.
A source told The Sun: ‘It was a really intimate ceremony and super special for everyone there. Their nearest and dearest can see how madly in love they are.
‘Despite living in the spotlight, Rita is determined to keep the relationship as private as possible and didn’t want to make a big song and dance about the wedding.
‘Rita’s already back in the studio working on her third album, with her latest session being with Ava Max and Noah Cyrus’ writer Rollo.’
Rita did little to quash speculation that she and Taika had secretly tied the knot, after she was seen wearing a gold band on her ring finger.
Some-ring to tell us? Rita did little to quash speculation that she and Taika had secretly tied the knot, after she was seen wearing a gold band on her ring finger
When did marriage rumours begin?
It was reported in June that the couple were to wed one another after almost simultaneously popping the question.
The British singer and the filmmaker were said to be planning an imminent, low-key ceremony abroad before celebrating with their fellow A-listers in a big London bash later this year.
It is understood that Rita, who is working on several films and The Voice Australia, and Taika, who is planning a string of movies, hope to tie the knot once their work commitments have wrapped up.
A friend told The Sun: ‘This isn’t about them doing a big showy thing and crowing about it beforehand. It’s just about them being in love and deciding the time is right to formalise their relationship. They couldn’t be happier.
‘They didn’t do a whole, “Will you marry me?” thing and an Instagram post. There’s no ring or big build-up. They just got closer and closer and eventually said to each other almost simultaneously, ‘I want to marry you.”
In August, the couple, who began dating in March 2021 after meeting in Australia, were said to be moving so fast in their relationship they started discussing marriage, a source told New Idea.
‘Taika calls Rita ‘wifey’ all the time and chats about how he’s going to be her first and last husband,’ the insider said.
‘Everyone around them downplays it as flirty banter, but [Rita is] definitely hoping he’s for real,’ they continued, adding that she is ‘absolutely obsessed’ with her Thor director beau.
At the time, Rita had reportedly started joking about getting married in a ‘quick, hippy-dippy’ Californian ceremony, and then celebrating with a bigger party at a later date.
Couple: It was reported in June that the couple were to wed one another after almost simultaneously popping the question (pictured in March 2022)