Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Visit from Napoleon

Last night, yours truly had the distinct pleasure of holding audience with Messrs. Jon Heder and Aaron Ruell, also known as the Dynamite brothers. Well, me and about 700 other people. Those dynamic go-getters at the UK Student Entertainment Board landed a couple of big fish, the two stars of Napoleon Dynamite.

When I got there 15 minutes before showtime, there was a line of people stretching down the hall of the Singletary Center and nearly out the door. Thankfully they delayed starting the program until about 7:15. They warmed the audience up by showing clips of the movie on a video screen...audio was horrible but practically everyone in the audience was reciting the lines in unison anyway. Speaking of the audience, it was naturally mostly college kids but I was surprised by the number of 8-12 year olds and middle-agers in attendance.

After the clips were done, the UK professor who was emceeing the event came out and introduced the guys. The stage was sparse, just three chairs for the three of them arranged in a semicircle and a table with plenty of water bottles. The show started with an interview portion, followed by a slide show, and finally a Q & A session with the audience.

Some tidbits:
  • After about 10 different questions from 10 different people, I think we all ascertained that the movie was based on experiences by the director and written thusly, not improvised by the actors or of some other origin.
  • Despite what everybody else said (probably for the benefit of his ego), Jon Heder does look quite a bit like Napoleon in real life. All you need to do is perm his hair and put some glasses on him. The voice is unmistakable.
  • Haylie Duff brought a "rat-like" dog with her to filming that broke free and was promptly snatched up by a hawk. True story.
  • UK needs to devote more budget to microphones. Two of them stopped working over the course of the show. They had to bring out a wired mic, which I assumed was the last one they had.
  • The guys did go into character a couple of times, Heder to do a couple of dance moves (after much cajoling) and Ruell to sing his wedding song. Both had tremendous reactions from the audience.

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