Taika Waititi came up with the perfect way to avoid being asked about Rita Ora wedding rumours.
The 46-year-old actor – whose relationship with the 31-year-old pop star is surrounded by speculation they could be tying the knot – appeared on This Morning alongside Lightyear co-star Chris Evans to chat about the Toy Story spin-off.
Towards the end of the chat on Monday’s episode, presenter Phillip Schofield couldn’t resist trying to ask Taika about the rumours, coyly wondering if more congratulations were in order after wishing Chris a happy birthday.
At the first mention of ‘wedding bells’, the actor quickly changed the subject and started to remove his earpiece as he quipped: ‘You can congratulate me, it’s [his birthday] in August! Let’s talk about my birthday.’
He then feigned technical difficulties, joking: ‘What? You’re breaking up. Gone!’
Phil tried to regain a bit of control as Holly Willoughby and Chris Evans laughed along, and said: ‘Should I not ask about Rita? Regardless, she’s gorgeous, we love her here, she’s always a great guest and congratulations!’
Earlier in the interview, Phil had reminisced about his four years living and working in Taika’s homeland of New Zealand early in his career, and the actor couldn’t resist teasing the host.
‘The tables have turned with this interview. It’s all about you now,’ he said.
Taika and Chris did get to talk about the new movie, which tells the tale of Space Ranger Buzz in what would have been the film Andy and his friends watched which in turn inspired the action figure featured in the Toy Story franchise.
It means Chris is taking up the mantle from Tim Allen – who voiced the story in the four movies and various spin-offs – but his co-star suggested it’s not quite that simple.
‘Technically, let’s think about. In the official timeline or when the film was made and then the film came out, technically Chris did it first, and then Tim Allen did a copied voice of Chris for the toy,’ he joked.
Chris added: ‘Basically, stop copying me Tim Allen!’
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.