Idol Chatter

The huge success of the indie hit “Napoleon Dynamite”–the oddball story of a geeky Idaho teen and his friend Pedro–has brought actor Jon Heder, currently starring in the movie Benchwarmers, a slew of new comedic movie roles, along with a great deal of attention to his Mormon faith. I think it’s safe to say that no Mormon has gotten this sort of attention in Hollywood since perky blonde Julie Stoffer from “The Real World: New Orleans.” Heder was the focus of a recent USA Today article as well as a feature in this month’s issue of Premiere, and in both interviews, he discusses how his Mormon beliefs affect what roles he picks as well as how he speaks.

According to the Premiere article, Heder won’t take any film roles that involve swearing, violence, or excessive sexuality. Heck, that’s not exactly news, since even when he was totally punk’d by Ashton Kutcher and thought he was accidentally sent to a business meeting at a brothel, he didn’t use a flippin’ cuss word once. Still, the magazine interview makes a big deal out of Heder initially turning down his role in the upcoming flick “School for Scoundrels” because of the amount of profane language it had. (Supposedly, producer Harvey Weinstein had an affinty for the use of the “MF” word in the script.) Eventually, the script was re-written and his co-star, Billy Bob Thornton, supported Heder’s stance by commenting , “I think it’s kind of refreshing to see somebody who has values in the movie business.”

Despite such endorsements, Heder sounds like he is not completely comfortable with all of the attention on his religious beliefs and is a little concerned his squeaky-clean image will have Hollywood believing he is a long-lost Osmond brother. “It’s tough now, because am I like an ambassador (for Mormonism) now? I was representing the church on my mission (Mormons are required to go into the mission field for two years), and now I’m representing the church again in some ways,” Heder said in the USA Today profile.

You’re flippin right, you are, Jon. Gosh. But you’re also speaking up for some of the rest of your fans who don’t think all comedy needs to be raunchy and R-rated. S-a-a-w-e-e-t.

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