From Tina to Tots: Catch Up with the Cast of 'Napoleon Dynamite' 10 Years Later


Photo: Snap Stills/Rex USA

Napoleon Dynamite turns 10 on Wednesday, so we “guess you can say things are getting pretty serious.” On June 11, 2004, the delightfully strange tale of an awkward yet confident high-schooler dancing his way through life hit theaters.

Made on a budget of $400,000, the film went on to earn $44 million at the box office and has grown into a comedy classic, thanks to its quirky characters, ridiculously quotable conversations and a finicky llama named Tina. School elections and tater tots will never be the same thanks to Napoleon and the rest of the crew.

To celebrate the movie’s anniversary, the cast reunited at Fox Studios in Los Angeles and unveiled a bronze statue of the titular character – complete with tetherball. PEOPLE was there to catch up with the former residents of Preston, Idaho, and see what they are up to now.

Jon Heder

Dynamite Role:

The one and only Liger-tamer Napoleon Dynamite

Favorite Movie Moment: “My favorite scene from the movie has always been the Rex-kwondo scene,” Heder admitted through chuckles. “Rex beat up poor little kids – smacked them around.”

What’s Next? Heder is working on an array of independent films and is recording a voice character for the upcoming Disney series Pickle and Peanut. “I play Pickle. I’m really excited for that,” he shared.

Efren Ramirez

Dynamite Role:

Transfer-student- turned-class-president Pedro Sénchez

Favorite Movie Moment: “For Pedro, I really like when he says, ‘If you vote for me, all of your wildest dreams will come true,'” Ramirez told PEOPLE.

What’s Next? “I’m working on Bordertown with Seth MacFarlane – the creator of Family Guy,” he shared. “It’s a new show and it comes out next year.” Ramirez is also working on the film Endgame with Modern Family‘s Rico Rodriguez.

Haylie Duff

Dynamite Role:

Pedro’s popular girl competition Summer Wheatly

Favorite Movie Moment: “I mean the dance is just hands down one of the best scenes ever,” gushed Duff.

What’s Next? Duff is keeping busy! “I just got engaged, I have a new blog called ‘The Real Girl’s Kitchen,’ and my first book just came out last October,” the actress dished. “We just premiered on the Cooking Channel – The Real Girl’s Kitchen show.”

Tina Majorino

Dynamite Role:

Master multi-tasker and Scrunchie-aficionado Deb

What’s Next? Fresh off the Veronica Mars movie, fans can see Majorino in the TNT miniseries Legends starting August 13.

Aaron Ruell

Dynamite Role:

Napoleon’s chatroom-savvy brother Kip

What’s Next? After romancing LaFawnduh, the actor has gone behind the camera, spending the past 10 years pursuing directing and photography.

Jon Gries

Dynamite Role:

Kip and Napoleon’s scheming, steak-loving Uncle Rico

What’s Next? After appearing in the first two Taken films, Gries will reprise his role as Casey for the franchise’s third installment due in 2015. Until then, Gries has several films slated for release this year.

Jared Hess

Dynamite Role:

The Writer/Director/Mastermind behind Napoleon Dynamite

Favorite Movie Moment: “I think my favorite scene is the chicken farm scene where Napoleon gags on orange juice full of egg yolks. I used to work for the old farmer that talks about finding Shoshone arrowhead,” Hess revealed. “He lived in my neighborhood and I really loved that guy.”

What’s Next? Hess has followed his first film with other endearingly odd movies like Nacho Libre and Gentleman Broncos. Currently, Hess is working on Don Verdean, starring Sam Rockwell, and Loomis Fargo with Kristen Wiig and Owen Wilson.

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