Jared and Jerusha Hess
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009)|
|Born||Jared Lawrence Hess
July 18, 1979
Glendale, Arizona, U.S.
|Born||Jerusha Elizabeth Demke
May 12, 1980
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Jared Lawrence Hess (born July 18, 1979) and Jerusha Elizabeth Hess (née Demke; born May 12, 1980) are husband-and-wife American filmmakers known for their work on Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Nacho Libre (2006) and Gentlemen Broncos (2009), all of which they co-wrote and directed (Nacho Libre was co-written with Mike White). They also produced music videos for The Postal Service's third single, "We Will Become Silhouettes" and The Killers' 5th annual Christmas Charity single "Boots".
Jerusha was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and Jared was born in Glendale, Arizona. Jared is a graduate of Burton Elementary School located in Kaysville, Utah and attended Burton Elementary while living in Fruit Heights during his youth. He also attended Manhattan High School in Kansas for two years, before transferring to Preston High School, from which he graduated in 1997. Many scenes from Napoleon Dynamite were filmed there.
Jared and Jerusha Hess are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have one son, Eliottt, and one daughter, Greta. They currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Hesses are fans of the Garfield comic strip. Due to this, Nacho Libre was released on the same day as Garfield 2 and Napoleon Dynamite was released on the same day as Garfield: The Movie.
While at BYU, Jared wrote and directed a student film entitled Cardboard Only, which is about a seven-year-old Idaho farm boy who struggles to escape boredom while wearing a cardboard box over his head. During his time at BYU, Jared also wrote and directed a short film entitled Peluca, which became a prototype for Napoleon Dynamite and featured much of the same cast and plotline, including Jon Heder as Seth, "super nerd extraordinaire."
Besides his efforts on Napoleon Dynamite and Peluca, Jared has worked as a camera assistant in a number of films and has played minor roles in a few LDS comedies. These include The Singles Ward, The R.M. and Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy. Their second movie Nacho Libre, starring Jack Black, was released on June 16, 2006.
Jared and Jerusha Hess's third major film, Gentlemen Broncos, was released in 2009. It is about a teenager who aspires to be a writer, but after attending a fantasy-writer's convention, he finds that his idea has been stolen by an established novelist. The film stars Michael Angarano as the teenager, Jemaine Clement as the established novelist, and Sam Rockwell as the story's fictional title character who appears in book-come-to-life sequences. The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews.
In 2010 Jared Hess created ads for the Utah State Fair which were run on the radio, but refused on television. The Utah State Fair representatives claimed they refused to run them due to sexual overtones, while Hess claimed the failure to run the ads was because the main actor in them was an African-American. The main actor was Marcus T. Boddie.
Jared and Jerusha Hess are also among the executive producers of the Napoleon Dynamite TV series that aired in 2012. In addition, Jared voiced Don Moser, a returning character originally portrayed by Trevor Snarr in the film.
Also in 2012, Disney hired Jared Hess to direct The Pet along with producer Scott Rudin.
Directed by Jared Hess:
- Peluca (2002) (short film)
- Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
- Nacho Libre (2006)
- Gentlemen Broncos (2009)
- Loomis Fargo (2015)
Directed by Jerusha Hess:
- Austenland (2012)
- ""Napoleon Dynamite" Helmer's New Comedy". Worst Previews. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Article on pulling of the adds
- 5 MOS (July 5, 2011). "Jerusha Hess to Direct Romantic Comedy with 'Twilight' Author Stephenie Meyer Producing (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- Review of Austenland
- Stuart Oldham, "Disney, Rudin pic "The Pet" Adopts Hess", Variety, Feb. 29. 2012
- article about Jared Hess directing Loomis Fargo
- second article on Hess directing Loomis Fargo
- Jared Hess at the Internet Movie Database
- Jerusha Hess at the Internet Movie Database
- PixelSurgeon interview with Jared Hess
- Fox Searchlight profile