Tan France keeps getting mistaken for Taika Waititi, just goes with it

at the after-party for Elton John AIDS Foundation 28th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party - Part 2, The City of West Hollywood Park, West Hollywood, CA February 9, 2020. Photo By: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection
Tan France is promoting his new show designer competition show on Netflix, Next in Fashion, which he co-hosts with Alexa Chung. It’s different than project runway in that the contestants already work in major design houses and are some of the best designers around the world. I haven’t seen it yet but I like Tan France on Queer Eye and might give it a chance. He was on Fallon this week and told a cute story about how people mistake him for Taika Waititi, which I can see. He said his hair looks like Taika’s when it’s not poofed up like that. The best part is that he met Taika and Taika said he gets mistaken for Tan too. Here’s what he told Fallon about that.

This is Tan France TV hair. When I don’t have this hair it’s really curly like Taika’s. People started doing this about a year ago, where they go “is it you?” And they’ll start to take the picture and it’s very clear they think I’m Taika. So I’m like “I’ll just lean in.” Americans don’t know how to distinguish accents. He’s from New Zealand. I’m from England.

I saw Taika at a party a few months ago. I [told him] “people keep mistaking me for you and he was like ‘they do it to me too.’

I was like ‘do you change your accent?’

‘No it’s America they don’t know the difference.’”

[From Late Night with Jimmy Fallon via YouTube]

Tan also said that when people see him with the rest of the Queer Eye guys they try to grab him and lift him off the ground. He’s smaller than the rest of the crew and apparently people try to pick him up all the time. So when people run up to him he says “please don’t lift me.” They also ask him to French tuck their shirts. That’s when you just tuck in the front and not the back. I learned that from him on that show! I tuck my shirts like that too. He said that someone followed him into a bathroom once and asked him to French tuck their shirt, right at the urinal. That’s kind of ridiculous but I would be hitting him up for fashion advice too. I wouldn’t mistake him for Taika or try to pick him up though. Who even does that? I just looked it up and Tan is 5’9”. That’s not that short!

Here’s that interview:

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

photos credit: Avalon.red and Getty

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26 Responses to “Tan France keeps getting mistaken for Taika Waititi, just goes with it”

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  1. FHMom says:

    Good thing they both have a sense of humor. It must get old after a while, though.

  2. Chica71 says:

    Filed under the heading,” All _______ people look alike” and “I don’t see color”

    • Slowsnow says:

      Righttt?!?! They look nothing alike godammit.

    • SM says:

      I know, right.

    • Allergy says:

      I have trouble telling many white people apart too. Like my nieces who all have straight long hair – when I see photos of their sports team I very often can’t “find” them! Nearly everyone has a pale round teenage face and long straight hair, they look like clones.
      When people have the same hair it seems to throw me off, no matter what race.
      I don’t think Waititi and France look alike though.

  3. Scollins says:

    I’m a fan. I watched Tan’s new show and enjoyed it. 5’9” just doesn’t seem right as he always appears smaller onscreen.

    • TrixC says:

      Yeah,I don’t believe he’s 5’9”. Maybe more like 5’6”. And he and Taika don’t really look anything alike, it’s sort of depressing that people confuse them.

    • Yeahok says:

      Maybe he counts the extra 3 inches of hair!

  4. Astrid says:

    I enjoyed the new show although I think the winner was possibly pre-determined? Watching the designers meet the brief for the various competitions was interesting.

  5. Harla says:

    I love the rings he’s wearing!!! I’m a huge jewelry fiend and always zero in on what jewelry someone is wearing and the ring he’s wearing on his right hand ring finger has me greatly intrigued.

  6. Carol says:

    They don’t look alike when side by side, but if I only saw one of them in an unexpected place, I could picture myself being unsure. I never approach celebrities so I don’t have to worry about embarrassing myself.

  7. Emma says:

    I met him this summer on his book tour, and he’s so nice and down to earth. Also, a lot smaller in person.

  8. Cel2495 says:

    Love the show! Binge watched it a few weeks ago and awaiting for the 2nd season!

  9. The Recluse says:

    I have no problems telling these guys apart. Taika has a wider face. It helps that I am already a fan, so I know his face well.

  10. Sarah Bee says:

    I think that Alessandro Juliani (Dr. Cerberus on Sabrina) resembles Taika Waititi.

    • clairej says:

      Yes definitely! They are so alike. Almost like they had Taika in mind. Both nice looking men.

  11. Nottoday says:

    LOVE. TAN. FRANCE. I will watch anything he is in, but Next In Fashion was genuinely good. And it was heartwarming to see that kindness seemed to be a huge factor along with the talent.

  12. Nina says:

    I love Tan but I am going to have to side-eye that ‘5’9″‘ business. I can’t tell you how many dates I have been on with guys who listed themselves as 6′ in their online profiles and the following happens:

    Him: Wow, you are really tall! You are over 6′!
    Me: No, I’m 5’10”
    Him: You can’t be because I am 6′ and you are even taller than me.
    Me: I assure you, I am 5’10”. I have been 5’10” since the 7th grade.
    Him: You must be, like, 6’2″

    The math of male height often follows this journey:

    Him: I am 5’6″ but, you know, I am that is practically 5’8″. Definitely when I wear my shoes, I am 5’8″.
    Him: -enters 5’8″-
    Him: 5’8″ is basically 5’10”. I really am more like 5’10”, all things considered.
    Him: -deletes 5’8″, enters 5’10”-
    Him: Actually. Since I have such good posture, I might as well round up to 6’. 5’10” is 6′!
    Him: -deletes 5’10”, enter 6′-

    I ended up marrying a man who is 6’6″.

    • Moneypenny says:

      Ha ha ha!! OMG, I could’ve written this myself. I tell this story all the time! I’m 5’11 and so many guys think I’m 6’2 because THEY are 6′. No honey, it was a big deal for me psychologically as a teen to not hit 6′. You, buddy, are 5’9.

      • Nina says:


        My aunt was 6′ but she would tell people that she was 5’12” because it sounded shorter.

    • CJ says:

      I’m only 5’8″ and I used to get that all the time when I was dating! Shorter men would insist that I was “at least” 5’10” (and I never wore heels on dates). No honey, you’re just under 5’8″. It was so bad that I actually had in my dating profile “men under 6ft, whatever your height is, subtract three inches and that’s your real height” lol. Dating is a riot.

  13. Clara says:

    I really have to select my shows these days (Drag Race, a couple of housewives franchises, Superstore, Schitt’s Creek), but I sure did binge watch Next in Fashion. Tan was his most adorable self, Alexa was funny, and their dynamic looked great. The garments were next level, too.

  14. Thea says:

    I haven’t watched next in fashion yet. I like him on queer eye, but I read his book and found him annoying. Lol.

  15. Alyse says:

    Lol as a Kiwi, can confirm that Americans always hear my accent and think I’m English… MAYBE Australian if they’re a big Hemsworth fan

    Europeans guess I’m Scandi or German because I’m a blonde who “speaks really good English, but strangely”