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Watch as actor Jon Heder revives the Napoleon Dynamite character for first time since 2004

After retiring the character nearly two decades ago, actor Jon Heder has revived the iconic live-action, Napoleon Dynamite,for Australian audiences.

The character was used in a 2012-reboot cartoon reboot, but it has not been since 2004 that Mr Heder has himself been on-screen as the character.

The Canadian actor spoke to Australian Community Media (ACM) about his unusual beginnings in the film industry.

"In high school, I really started making videos with my brother," Mr Heder said.

"It was kind of our go-to hobby. If I had a school project, I did a book report on White Fang, so we did our own version of the famous White Fang," he said.

"I remember we had to do a report on drug trafficking in the US and we did some stupid video. It wasn't too far from Napoleon, we'd do ninja moves, nunchucks and just kind of messing around."

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Although the home videos are long gone now, Mr Heder admits it was this youthful on-screen endeavour that propelled him to the iconic role.

"When we made some of these videos, we probably put them on our reels to apply for film college which is where I met the directors and producers who made Napoleon," he said.

"Making those videos kind of gave me that excitement and ability to kind of step out of myself to become a different character. So, sure inadvertently, it led me [to Napoleon Dynamite].

Given his notoriety came off the back of his portrayal of a chronically socially awkward teenager, Mr Heder said it often shocks people who meet him to find he is quite well-rounded.

"After the movie came out I would show up at events or interviews or whatever and sometimes people were like, wait a second," he said.

"They looked confused because they thought it was a documentary. I mean, yeah there's a lot of Napoleon in me but this was an acting job."

It has also given rise to some unusual encounters with fans of the movie, including one who gave the star a giant can of pickled jalapeno after he stopped to take a photo with him.

"Certainly there are a lot of strange fans out there, but I've been quite blessed," he said.

"You know when you hear about other celebrities and their weird fans who send them vials of blood or pictures of their babies that they would presumably have together.

"I don't have anything too crazy like that."

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Napoleon's return to screens has been precipitated by Seek.com's Australia's Skills Superstarquest, encouraging Aussies to release videos of their sweet skills for the chance to win cash prizes.

With the lockdown continuing across much of the country, and in Mr Heder's native Canada, the actor said he had turned his increased home-time to honing his famous dance skills and improving his nunchuck-ing as well as indulging several other lockdown projects.

"For me personally, I've gotten into sewing and I've done a lot of paper mache," he said.

"Of course, I was born [to dance], I'm always working on that skill."

This story 'Sweet skills and tater tots': Napoleon Dynamite moves down under first appeared on Newcastle Herald.