Celebrity Scoop: Jon Heder


Jon Heder grew up watching "The Simpsons" and studied animation in college, so seeing himself animated in Fox's "Napoleon Dynamite" is surreal.

"It is pretty weird," Heder says. "It looks like the character and me and my voice."

Heder has played other roles, but it's the role of the uber-geeky Napoleon in the 2004 movie that made him famous. Though some actors try to distance themselves from such a definitive character, fearing typecasting, Heder enjoys revisiting the high-school kid.

"It's awesome," he says. "I started my career doing that character. I think that is what helped me. He is such a great character, a funny, iconic figure. It is pretty exciting to be that character, to be the one who brought him to life and to continue in the cartoon."

Unlike Napoleon, forever stuck in high school, Heder has gone on. He attended Brigham Young University, served as a missionary in Japan for two years and speaks Japanese."I am as fluent as I can be," he says. "I still speak it. I don't get as many opportunities as I would like. Almost every project I do they slip it in a little bit. I try to keep it up."

As an actor with an art background, Heder reflects on the new show.

"I am Dynamite Simpsonized, which is weird to see because they are such different worlds," he says. "This is such an animated world, and part of the charm of 'Napoleon' was it felt so much like the real world. There really are characters in that movie who are fleshed out. At the same time (they) are kind of cartoonish. They feel real because it is all subtleties. A lot of the subtlety is gone (in the TV series). The pace moves quicker. There are jokes."

Favorite movies: "Raising Arizona," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "The Fisher King"

Favorite books: "World War Z" by Max Brooks, "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell

Favorite music: "Led Zeppelin, that is my favorite of all time. Fleet Foxes."

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