The Truth About Taika Waititi's Marriage

While Taika Waititi might only be a name you recognize ever since a little movie called Jojo Rabbit hit theaters in late 2019 and went on to take awards season by storm, he's been a celebrity in his native New Zealand for a while now. And for years, New Zealanders recognized him not only as a cinema phenom, but as one half of an industry power couple alongside his wife and fellow filmmaker and producer Chelsea Winstanley. Or rather, they were a power couple — and haven't been for a while. 

According to a March 2020 story in the New York Post, it seems that the Oscar-nominated actor/director/writer and the Academy Award-nominated producer have called it quits. Not only that, but it seems like the split isn't recent: As per the Post, the former couple separated as early as two years ago and have kept it mostly under wraps ever since.

So, what's the story behind Waititi and Winstanley's split?

Taika Waititi and Chelsea Winstanley first met through work

Rumors surrounding the couple's marital status first began brewing earlier in 2020 when Taika Waititi made appearances during awards season without Chelsea Winstanley as his red carpet date. Similarly, Winstanley opted to take her mother to the Oscars instead of her former paramour, per Extra.

The fact that Winstanley and Waititi walked the red carpet separately was a noted one — the pair has been married for six years and has known each other for longer. According to the New Zealand Herald, they met over 20 years ago when Winstanley interviewed her future husband for a documentary on Māori artists. (Winstanley is Māori; Waititi is Māori and Jewish, and identifies as a "Polynesian Jew," according to a 2019 interview with Vulture.) 

Since then, the two collaborated frequently, with Winstanley serving as producer for Waititi's 2019 horror mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and for Jojo Rabbit, which Waititi wrote, directed, and starred in as an imaginary, whimsical version of Hitler.

After reuniting years after that initial interview on the set of the Waititi film Boy in 2010, the couple tied the knot in New York City in 2012 and went on to have two children, 7-year-old Te Hinekāhu and 4-year-old Matewa Kiritapu.

Social media fuels separation rumors for Taika Waititi and Chelsea Winstanley

Rumors surrounding the pair's separation were further spurred by a cryptic caption Chelsea Winstanley used for an Instagram post, which featured the producer and her mother at the 2020 Oscars.

In the caption, Winstanley called her mom a "way better date than a seat filler" and gave a shoutout to "those of who have sent me sweet uplifting messages," though whether she meant since her separation from Taika Waititi or since the Oscars ceremony is hard to say. (Since the New York Post first broke the story, the Instagram photo seems to have been deleted from Winstanley's account.)

Fans of the pair grew even more suspicious after another clue surfaced on social media, according to Metro U.K. After one fan tweeted a photo of a portrait they had drawn of the couple, Winstanley responded cheekily with the hashtag "#notmyhusband," furthering doubts on whether her marriage was still intact. That tweet also appears to have since been deleted.

Taika Waititi is moving on from his marriage — but he's not the only one

While neither Taika Waititi nor Chelsea Winstanley have officially commented on the separation, it looks like they're both soldiering ahead and moving on — and might even be dating new people.

Waititi has been spotted alongside a woman named Polly Stoker, who the New York Post reported was confirmed as the actor's current girlfriend by unnamed sources. Waititi purportedly sat next to Stoker — who met the director while working as an assistant in his 2016 movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople — during the 2020 Oscars, though they did not walk the red carpet together, and were most recently spotted together at a Lakers game in March.

As for Winstanley? It's unclear as to whether she's currently dating, but she's certainly not letting the split sully her creativity. In 2018, the same year the couple ostensibly split, the producer told the New Zealand Herald: "I'm just sick of women portrayed as living in the shadow of their partners, that's all. I made one film with him, I was a film-maker before I met him and I continue to do my own stuff."

We hope that the exes remain friends and good co-parents to their children. If anything, we're excited to see what projects both Waititi and Winstanley will work on next — regardless of if they collaborate or not.