Napoleon Dynamite Star Shares What His Character Would Be Up to Now

Jon Heder things Napoleon Dynamite has had a rough couple of decades.

It's hard to believe Napoleon Dynamite was released 20 years ago. The little indie film that could, Napoleon Dynamite was a sensation when it was released back in 2004, earning over $46 million at the box office on a $400,000 budget and giving movie fans several iconic quotes that many still repeat today. The story of Napoleon Dynamite the movie is one of triumph, but the story of Napoleon Dynamite character is probably a little sadder.

Jon Heder, who starred as the dancing Iowan, recently brought the character back for an ad campaign with Ore-Ida to help sell tater tots. Speaking with E! News about the campaign, Heder was asked about what Napoleon might be up to in 2024, and the actor thinks things haven't been going well for his beloved character.

"I don't think it's looking pretty for Napoleon," Heder said. "I think Napoleon's life is more drama than comedy. I think he is battling some health issues and has thinning hair."

As if things don't seem bad enough for Napoleon, Heder went on to say that he doesn't believe the character ended up with his crush, either. Things were looking up for Napoleon and Deb at the end of Napoleon Dynamite, but Heder believes they're no longer together.

"But he's still trying to win her back," the actor explained. "So maybe there's an adventure there.

Heder starred in Napoleon Dynamite alongside Efren Ramirez (Pedro), Jon Gries (Uncle Rico), Aaron Ruell (Kip), and Tina Majorino (Deb). Diedrich Bader was probably the most well-known actor to take part in the ultra-low budget indie, portraying martial arts instructor Rex. 

After Napoleon Dynamite was released, Heder appeared in several high profile comedies in the span of a few years. He had major roles in films like The Benchwarmers and Blades of Glory, working with established comedians like David Spade and Will Ferrell. He's continued working in the years since, working heavily as a voice actor of late.

In fact, Heder reunited with Napoleon Dynamite writer/director Jared Hess for a new animated movie earlier this year. Hess co-wrote and co-directed Thelma the Unicorn for Netflix, an animated musical that featured award-winning artist Brittany Howard in the lead role. Heder voiced Reggie, one of the film's main characters. He was also nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year, with his Ninety-Five Senses earning a nod for Best Animated Short Film.