The cast of the indie classic “Napoleon Dynamite” came to campus Feb. 4 for a screening of the film and Q&A session. The cast is on tour in honor of the film’s 15th anniversary.
Jon Heder, who played Napoleon Dynamite, Jon Gries, who played Uncle Rico, and Efren Ramirez, who played Pedro, came to the Performing Arts Center for the event. When asked about why the film had such a large cultural impact, Gries attributed its success to the relatability of the film and its characters.
“Ultimately, it is a film about inclusion,” Gries said.
As different as all of the characters in the film are, he said, they are able to work together to achieve their goals, no matter how small.
Fifteen years after its premiere at the 2004 Sundance Festival, the film is still a favorite for many due to its core themes of friendship and acceptance.
According to Ramirez, it’s “timeless.”
“This film is about friendship and it’s about accepting our similarities and our differences,” Ramirez said. “Each character is very unique and different, and even in the end we can see that there is a payoff for every single character in the film.”
Heder said that one of his favorite aspects of the film is its ability to be passed along through different generations.
The event attracted a variety of attendees, from students seeing the film for the first time to original fans of the film.
Materials engineering junior Lory Bell said she first saw the movie when she was around nine or 10 years old and instantly became a fan, even attempting Napoleon Dynamite’s dance routine at the end of the film.
“Everyone loves the movie,” Bell said. “It’s a classic.”