Despite Napoleon Dynamite being more than a decade old at this point (!), I have never gotten around to seeing it. This was one of those hugely improbable smash hits, like The Blair Witch Project or My Big Fat Greek Wedding (or Blair Fat Dynamite for those running out of time to read my gibberish). And yet, somehow, star Jon Heder went on to a somewhat lengthy mainstream Hollywood career.
He made these:
I was working at a movie theater when Benchwarmers opened, and the trailer was on a loop at the concession stand. Good times.
School for Scoundrels was part of Billy Bob Thornton's campaign to be liked for being unlikable, which he began a year earlier in the Bad News Bears remake. No, he started the campaign with Bad Santa. (You can tell he's supposed to be bad because it's in the title.) Actually, people are kind of ambivalent about him now...
Blades of Glory was part of Will Ferrell's campaign to make a movie out of every sport, including racing (Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which is awesome), basketball (Semi-Pro), male modeling (Zoolander), and of course competitive news-anchoring (Anchorman).
Eventually Heder went back to the great high school in the sky, where he voted for Pedro.
You can also thank director Jared Hess for Nacho Libre. Which I do, every day.
Napoleon Dynamite also features Jon Gries, who played Roger
With all due apologies to Jon Heder and Napoleon Dynamite, my favorite unlikely movie star will always be Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who gained fame as "McLovin" in Superbad.
Mintz-Plasse later appeared in two Kick-Ass movies, Role Models, and Fright Night, among other films.
And totally pulled off the fake I.D. If you feel like blaming Bill Hader for that, it's fine, because Bill Hader is awesome in everything, too.