At this point in his career, you'd think Heder would feel a little resentment toward Napoleon. However, as the actor told Vulture, that couldn't be further from the truth.
"I never resented him. I loved the character from day one. I get asked that a lot: 'Oh, I guess you're over it.' And I was like yeah, I want to do other things. But I definitely feel like being so close to a character and being able to help create that character and bring him to life. [The character] really affected a lot of people. It has a big fan base. And that was such a big thing to me: I always dreamed of being in the entertainment business and entertaining people. I look at other instances in the past at other actors who have portrayed certain characters, and again of course I want to continue to try to do other things, but I know that that may be the role that I become known for."
It is still hard to imagine that someone like Heder, who seemed poised to appear in more big-budget comedies, completely dropped off the map. However, he says (or claims, anyway) that it's just because he was being "picky" about his career, some of it due to his beliefs as a Mormon.
"I still am [picky]. I enjoy success and I certainly want the projects I did to do well. But I realized how happy I am trying to be somewhat normal without becoming huge. But I did get a lot of offers, especially back then, of stuff that I'm not comfortable with. A lot of the projects just seemed too raunchy. Quite honestly, a lot of it was that: the raunch factor. I've never been interested in doing those kinds of projects."
Heder goes on to discuss Napoleon in more detail, as well as his thoughts on fellow Mormon Mitt Romney. You can read the full interview over on Vulture. "Napoleon Dynamite" the series airs this Sunday night on FOX.