Taika Waititi says co-hosting MTV EMAs with Rita Ora ‘combines our strengths’

Taika Waititi says he and partner Rita Ora are “combining our strengths” by co-hosting the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) together.

The Oscar-winning director said he and Ora were “best friends” and would rather work with one another than with “a bunch of dicks in Hollywood”.

The awards ceremony, which is being held at the PSD Bank Dome in Dusseldorf, Germany, on November 13, will be the celebrity power couple’s first time working together.

They first sparked relationship rumours last year after appearing alongside each other on red carpets but have kept their partnership mostly out of the spotlight.

The 94th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
The Oscar-winning director said he and Ora were ‘best friends’ and would rather work together than with ‘a bunch of dicks in Hollywood’ (Doug Peters/PA)

Speaking to the PA news agency about his reason for accepting hosting duties at the EMAs, Waititi joked: “Rita, that’s the only reason.”

“It’s gonna be great that we get to do something like this together, and she’s done it before,” he said.

“We’re both really good at working crowds and doing things publicly like this. I think it’s just kind of combining our strengths. It’s going to be fun.”

Waititi said he didn’t “know a lot about contemporary music”, adding: “But that’s not going to be my job.”

He told PA that he and Ora had not planned what they would wear for the ceremony, but he would not be opposed to wearing matching outfits, adding that it would be “pretty rock” to turn up in a T-shirt.

The patter would initially be scripted but the chance of them sticking to the script was “very low,” Waititi said.

“It’s there as more of a backup,” he told PA.

“Getting the opening stuff out of the way is probably the main thing really, just to kind of get into the crowd and just get things rolling.”

Waititi said that unlike award shows in the TV and film industry, the EMAs did not “take themselves too seriously”.

He told PA he hoped there would not be serious drama such as the infamous Will Smith slap incident at this year’s Oscars, but added: “I do think I could fight a bunch of those musicians.

“I’ll say it right now, I’m not afraid of any musician.”

The 2021 MTV EMA awards – Budapest
The awards ceremony on November 13 will be the celebrity power couple’s first time working together (Ian West/PA)

Waititi also hinted at upcoming joint projects with Ora “in the moving picture world” as well as some relating to the singer’s new music, which is due to come out next year.

“We just want to keep working together on stuff because we’re best friends,” he said.

“Why not work with people that you get on with and that you want to be around rather than a bunch of dicks in Hollywood you can’t wait to get away from?”

Ora made her EMAs hosting debut in 2017 at the OVO Wembley Arena in London and during her career she also received several EMA nominations, as well as the 2017 Power of Music Award as part of the Artists for Grenfell initiative.