It has already been 10 years since the cult movie Napoleon Dynamite hit theaters. To celebrate, the cast of the movie reunited to unveil a bronze statue of Napoleon Dynamite at the Fox Studios lot in Los Angeles, ABC News reported.
John Heder, who played the title role, was present, together with Efren Ramirez (Pedro), Tina Majorino (Deb), Diedrich Bader (Rex), Haylie Duff (Summer), Sandy Martin (Grandma), Shondrella Avery (Lafawnduh), and Carmen Brady (Starla). Writer and director Jared Hess was also there, and Tina the Llama, whom Napoleon called a "fat lard" in the movie, also made an appearance.
The bronze statue of Napoleon was wearing his iconic "VOTE FOR PEDRO" shirt, trousers, and his famous moonboots.
After the unveiling, the cast and director sat down for a discussion with the fans.
Napoleon Dynamite was Hess' first feature-length film. The movie, which was shot in Idaho, had a budget of $400,000 and grossed $46 million nationwide.
Trevor Goth, Sundance's Director of Programming said in January, "We recognized early on that Napoleon Dynamite was made with a ton of heart. In my 20 years on the programming staff for the festival, it is the only feature film submission that I immediately re-watched. 10 years later, the film continued to resonate with audiences, proving the truly timeless magnificence that is Napoleon Dynamite."
Huffington Post interviewed John Heder and Jared Hess on how the movie became a cult phenomenon. Heder admitted that he will never escape the character of Napoleon Dynamite.
"Obviously, my life is saturated with people talking to me as if I'm him."
Heder also said that majority of the movie was taken from the director's own stories while growing up.
"His brothers really worked at a chicken farm. Lyle the farmer was Lyle the farmer, who really shot a cow in front of a bunch of kids on a school bus."
Hess noted that much of the dialogues in Napoleon Dynamite are transcripts of talks that he had with his brothers while they were growing up.
Napoleon's dance routine was also discussed. Hess said that his wife, Jerusha, who is a co-writer for Napoleon Dynamite, knew that Heder could dance.
"There's some Michael Jackson sprinkled in there, and moves that I saw other people do. But mostly that's what I would do in the mirror after taking a shower."
Heder, Hess, and the entire crew of Napoleon Dynamite were not expecting the movie to be a big hit. They joked around on set and said that no one would ever see the movie, but to them, that did not matter. Now, 10 years after the movie's debut, John Heder says that no other project he's ever done has reached the level of Napoleon Dynamite.
"Obviously, it's my biggest film," Hedder said. "To this day, I'm pinching myself. Like, I made a movie and people saw it. More than a few people."
A 10th anniversary edition of Napoleon Dynamite was released on Blu-ray and DVD earlier this year.