Aaron Ruell

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Aaron Ruell
Aaron Ruell by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Ruell at the San Diego Comic-Con International in 2011.
Born Derek Aaron Ruell
June 23, 1976 (1976-06-23) (age 41)
Fresno, California, United States
Occupation Director/Photographer
Years active 2001–2012

Derek Aaron Ruell (born June 23, 1976 in Fresno, California), is an American director and photographer. He is most recognized for his performance as Kip Dynamite in the indie movie Napoleon Dynamite.



Ruell is an accomplished commercial director and photographer. As a director he is represented by Biscuit Filmworks in Los Angeles. He was recently declared one of the most promising new directors in the world of advertising by Shoot magazine, and "one of the emerging directors to know now" by Creativity. He has directed commercials for clients ranging from T-Mobile to Nintendo and Coke to Burger King.

He was the only filmmaker to have two films, Everything's Gone Green and Mary, which he wrote and directed, premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.


Ruell is best known for playing the role of Kipland Dynamite in the movie Napoleon Dynamite. In 2007, he starred in On the Road With Judas, which premiered in the Dramatic Competition section of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Ruell played a successful New York businessman who led a double life as a computer thief.

Ruell studied film at Brigham Young University.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Ruell was born and grew up in Fresno, California, where he attended Clovis West High School. He also served an LDS Mission to Guatemala but is no longer active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was at one time a member of the Los Angeles Latebirds, an official Moped Army branch.[citation needed]


Year Film Role Other notes
2004 Napoleon Dynamite Kipland Ronald "Kip" Dynamite
2006 The Problem with Percival Social Worker Short film
Think Tank
2007 On the Road with Judas Judas
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Suupa Voice Role
Episode: Brothers in Arms
2012 Napoleon Dynamite Kip Voice Role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Teen Choice Awards

  • 2005: Nominated, "Choice Movie Rockstar Moment" - Napoleon Dynamite


External links[edit]