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“Back in ’82, I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile.”
What actor doesn’t dream of at least one role for which they will forever be remembered?
For Jon Gries, no doubt, that character is “Uncle Rico” in the 2004 cult classic high school comedy Napoleon Dynamite.
Uncle Rico is a ball of confusion, hard-packed with conflicting characteristics, the classic enigma hiding inside a mystery hiding in plain sight. Like everyone else in the movie, Gries’ character’s every appearance is a subtle rasslin’ match with funny.
JON GRIES podcast excerpt: “All of a sudden, Uncle Rico’s a wide receiver (on the cartoon)! I said, ‘Wait, guys! He’s a quarterback! He makes videos of himself throwing a football! You’re messing with a pedigree here!'”
Oh, and he has his own personal time machine in the kitchen.
And Gries is so proud of Uncle Rico that he – like the rest of the cast – gladly returned to action for the new Fox animated series, “Napoleon Dynamite,” which airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m.
“That’s what I’m talkin’ about!”
What you may not realize is that for Jon Gries, Napoleon Dynamite was just one of more than a hundred film and TV appearances in a long running career. For example, did you make the connection when Gries played Ben Linus’s father, Roger, in multiple episodes of “Lost”? (The last one, in season six, had scenes that involved dynamite and a high school lesson about Napoleon. Hmm.)
Gries has five new movies in release this year, including Around June with Samaire Armstrong of “Entourage” and “Dirty Sexy Money,” Unicorn City, Natural Selection, Five Time Champion and Deep in the Heart. He has also written and directed an indie film, Pickin’ and Grinnin’.