Napoleon Dynamite’s 10th Anniversary Interviews: Diedrich Bader!

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I had a chance to cover the 10th Anniversary Napoleon Dynamite celebration at 20th Century Fox Studios, and after a nice statue dedication I was given an incredible opportunity to very briefly interview Napoleon Dynamite himself, Jon Heder (Benchwarmers, Surfs Up, Blades of Glory), the fantastic writer/director Jared Hess (Nacho Libre, Gentleman Broncos) and the brilliant Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carrey Show, Office Space, Batman: The Brave and the Bold), about the 10th anniversary of the Napoleon Dynamite and the lasting impact that the film has had.

Diedrich was the first interview I went after; I’d been a fan of his since I begged my Mom to let me watch The Drew Carrey Show. He had me laughing hard when he donned a mullet to play Lawrence in the cult classic Office Space., and of course one would be remiss not to mention that he ranks amongst the best Batman’s of all time with his work in Batman: The Brave and the Bold! He introduced me to his lovely wife, Dulcy Rogers, and the interview was underway!


ARB: I have to ask, how did they pitch this movie to you? It’s such an abstract film plot.

Diedrich Bader: You know, they didn’t pitch me the movie, they sent me the script, to this day it’s the funniest script I’ve ever read; this and Office Space are probably the funniest two scripts I’ve ever read in my life.  My agent actually tried to talk me out of it!

ARB: Really?!?

Diedrich Bader: Yeah! She was, you know…”They don’t have any money, and you’re already busy.” But I was like “I don’t care” really, it was so funny. I was reading it in bed next to my wife and I could not stop giggling. I mean, I was just laughing so hard. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it, but it’s a very funny script!

ARB: Yes it is.

Diedrich Bader: There are a lot of movies that are okay scripts, and then they end up being really funny movies, and the opposite is also true, but this script was so funny that I had to do it.


ARB: What was the most memorable aspect of making Napoleon Dynamite?

Diedrich Bader: Well I guess just how small everything was. It was a skeleton crew, you know? Just tiny, and I was the oldest guy that day, except for Uncle Rico at the end of the day, but it was just a bunch of kids making a movie and there was something really fun about that. I was used to bigger projects with huge crews and lots of trucks and this was totally different.


ARB: What about the movie continues to resonate with fans?

Diedrich Bader:  Well, I think Jared got it just right, I think it’s the awkwardness of adolescence. One of the things I said to Dulcy (his wife) was that everybody knew a kid like Napoleon in high school. Some befriended them, some did not, I had friends like this who were just outsiders and they just always made me laugh, not necessarily at them but just from their perspective, everything was so different that you just love them. You don’t want to be them exactly, and I don’t know what happened to them but they were just different and it was cool.

ARB: I know what you’re talking about; they were kind of humorously delusional and they saw themselves differently from how everyone else saw them.

Diedrich Bader: Yeah! They were heroic, you know?

Dulcy Rogers: They were very comfortable in their individuality.

Diedrich Bader: Exactly!

Thank you Diedrich and Dulcy! More interviews and coverage from the Napoleon Dynamite 10th Anniversay event coming soon!

Anytime Costumes


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