Whatever Happened to the Cast of “Napoleon Dynamite?”

There are still people going around with buttons and all kinds of things that say “Vote Pedro” thanks to the movie Napoleon Dynamite. But one has to wonder how such a movie made the kind of impact that it did when it truth it was kind of a slow and lethargic film. Of course if you really look at it you tend to realize that it’s all about growing up awkward and unpopular while the rest of the world seems to have a great time with itself at your expense. At least that’s what some people got out of it. The cast helped make the movie something special but it was still amazing to see just how popular this film became both during its release and after.

Here’s what the cast members are up to now.

Shondrella Avery – Lawfunduh

Shondrella has split her time pretty evenly between TV and movies, but really the only one of note that she seems to have starred in apart from Napoleon Dynamite was End of Watch. After that it looks like she hasn’t done much since around 2016.

Sandy Martin – Grandma

Sandy’s career actually got started back in the late 70’s and she’s had a long and very busy time of it since. Even after Napoleon Dynamite she’s gone on to have an even longer career. She’s even shown up in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia more than once.

John Gries – Uncle Rico

John is another actor that got his start in the 70’s though it’s safe to say he held his age very well for a while. He starred in The Rundown just a year before taking up the mantle of Uncle Rico, and has been extremely busy ever since. He’s had roles in the Taken movies with Liam Neeson and he’s had so many roles it would take another article just to list them all to be honest.

Diedrich Bader – Rex

Bader is one of those guys that you see just about everywhere at least once. He’s had so many roles in his career that trying to list them all, TV and film, would take awhile. A lot of times he’ll show up just once, like in EuroTrip as a mugger, while in others he’ll be more of a permanent fixture, like in Office Space. But no matter what capacity he shows up in he’s bound to be good for a few laughs since he’s just that kind of guy.

Aaron Ruell – Kip

To be honest he really hasn’t done much since Napoleon Dynamite, just a few roles here and there on film and on TV. In fact 2012 seems like one of the last times he did anything worthy of note when he did a voice role for the Napoleon Dynamite cartoon.

Haylie Duff – Summer Wheatley

It’s fair to say that she’s had a pretty busy schedule since the movie and has been keeping herself busy doing a lot of TV movies since then. The older sister of Hillary Duff, the noted pop star, has been a part of the industry since the late 90’s, but her breakthrough roles didn’t come until after 2000. Since then she’s been keeping herself fully immersed in the life and doesn’t seem like she’s going to let up any time soon.

Efren Ramirez – Pedro

Efren has kept pretty busy ever since his role in the movie and has shown up in some very influential and somewhat crazy films such as Crank and Crank 2: High Voltage. He’s also taken on the role of a box boy in Employee of the Month, showing that he’s got a true comedic side and not just the quiet, somewhat apathetic attitude that made Pedro so noteworthy among fans.

Tina Majorino – Deb

A lot of people can easily pick Tina out of films like Corrina, Corrina, Waterworld, and even When A Man Loves A Woman, but after Napoleon Dynamite she definitely went on to take more TV roles than she did in films. She stayed a pretty popular character and in some cases is still considered to be since she’s been steadily working ever since.

Jon Heder – Napoleon Dynamite

You can easily claim that Napoleon Dynamite sparked this guy’s career since after the awards and accolades he went on to do numerous roles in films such as The Benchwarmers and many others. He’s becoming quite the voice actor as well as he took up the practice some time ago and has proven to be very good at it. How this movie ever went the distance and touched so many people in such a profound way is still hard to imagine, but the fact remains that Heder was and still is considered to be the only guy that could have pulled it off.

It’s encouraging to see that even the present generation still remembers this movie and tends to emulate it a bit now and again.


  1. seriouslydude March 16, 2019
  2. Tom March 16, 2019

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