When a film makes number 14 of Bravo’s Top 100 funniest movies, you know it is one to watch out for. Napoleon Dynamite is a cult classic for sure. If you meet some of the dedicated and die-hard fans of the film, you will surely be sold on the idea that it is one of the best things to have ever been on TV. Jon Heder, the lead role, sure makes it easy to fall in love with the comedy film.
Who is Jon Heder?
Jon Heder is an American producer, actor, comedian, writer, and filmmaker. He was born on the 26th of October, 1977 in Fort Collins, Colorado. His parents are James Heder (a physician) and Helen Herder. He is actually an identical twin to his brother Daniel. He also has two older siblings, Rachel and Doug, and two younger brothers, Matt and Adam.
The hilarious actor grew up in Salem, Oregon, from the age of two. He eventually went on to attend Walker Middle School, and later graduated in 1996 from Salem High School. Heder went to Brigham Young University and graduated in 2002.
The Cult Classic Napoleon Dynamite
Napoleon Dynamite is an American comedy film released in 2004. It was produced by Chris Wyatt, Jeremy Coon and Sean Covel and directed by Jared Hess. Jon Heder stars in the lead role of the title character, Napoleon Dynamite. The film follows the life of a 16-year-old Napoleon Dynamite, a socially awkward and geeky high school kid juggling the many issues and dilemmas in his life.
Napoleon lives with his grandmother Carlinda Dynamite and brother Kipland Dynamite in Preston, Idaho. He is an aloof teenager who spends most of his time daydreaming in school and doodling mythical creatures and superheroes. He is an alienated kid at school and gets bullied, often particularly by one sports jock Don.
His already messy life takes a turn for the worse when his dear grandmother gets injured in an accident. He is then forced to live with his uncle Rico, who keeps a tight leash on him. Rico and Kipland soon engage in a get-rich-quick scheme where they sell items door to door.
In a bid to escape all the craziness at home, Napoleon decides to befriend a new kid at school, Pedro- a transfer student from Juarez, Mexico. He also befriends Deb, a dynamic young girl who operates several small businesses to raise money for college. Napoleon and his new friend launch an elaborate plan to run for class president, which Pedro eventually wins through the ingenuity of Napoleon dynamite by performing his now-famous solo dance routine.
How He Landed the Role of Napoleon Dynamite
Jon Heder met the director and writer of Napoleon Dynamite way before the film came together. The two were taking some classes together at Brigham Young University and were doing a few projects together. Together they made the short film Peluca which also follows the life of a dorky kid who skips school with his friends, ends up winning a lottery ticket, and then they go shopping.
The film Napoleon dynamite was based on Peluca, but Dynamite is the superior version. Many people did not like the cinematography for Peluca, and critics have pointed out how overused some of the slang was in the film. Napoleon dynamite is, however, a classic that checks all the boxes for a great movie.
Speaking on how the name Napoleon Dynamite came by, Jon Heder said the director, Jared Hess, had met an old guy called Napoleon Dynamite in one of his trips, and he had decided that was a cool name for his first film! Heder also thought the name was excellent for his character.
On Filming, Setting, and the Cast
Jon Heder and his team took 22 days to shoot the film. They had to do fewer takes as there weren’t many pre-rehearsals since most of the actors in the film were cast last minute. Most f the crew that helped in the film were their fellow graduates at BYU, and some were still in school.
Heder has revealed that most of his lines were scripted; he only threw in a few extra words here and there, but not too much. They decided to shoot the film in Preston, Idaho, where Jared grew up, and because the story was centered on his childhood experiences.
Jon got married to his college sweetheart Kirsten Bales on 23rd November 2002; they both attended Bigham Young University. Together they have four children, and they remain staunch members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Well, according to Napoleon Dynamite, Nerds Rule! If you are one, you would particularly enjoy this film more. Jon Heder is a brilliant actor, and even though he has taken up more serious roles now in his career, we will always know him as the dorky, awkward kid from Napoleon Dynamite.