Jared Hess

Jared Hess

Highest Rated: 71% Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Lowest Rated: 19% Gentlemen Broncos (2009)

Birthday: Jul 18, 1979

Birthplace: Not Available

Though borne out of an LDS subculture that produced evangelically oriented films, writer-director Jared Hess emerged with a quirky, offhanded body of work that bore little if any resemblance to that of his peers. A native of Idaho, Hess attended Brigham Young University; from a very young age, he harbored ambitions of writing and directing his own films and could often be found with a camera in his hand, so he naturally gravitated to the film school at BYU. While in that program, Hess met and began dating future wife Jerusha, then an English major, and the two started working in tandem on movie projects. The newlywed couple reportedly survived a bout with extreme poverty and a great deal of desperation (and Hess worked as a camera loader and bit part actor to bring in extra money). But in the process, the husband and wife managed to raise the $400,000 necessary for a hyper-deadpan, low-key farce called Napoleon Dynamite, about a nerdy misfit from Idaho (with the most eccentric of families) who grows determined to help a buddy win in the local high school class election. With Jory Weitz, Jeremy Coon, and others producing, the Hesses snagged a Sundance Festival bow and Fox Searchlight distribution for the movie; following its June 2004 stateside premiere, it became a national sensation and went on to gross over 100 times its initial investment. Hess' sophomore effort, 2006's Nacho Libre, embodied a step up in terms of ambition and budget. With a top-billed Jack Black (Shallow Hal) doubling as star and one of the producers, the film gently spoofed Mexican luchador films, with its tale of Ignacio (Black) a monastery cook who feeds orphans during the day, and dons a mask to fight in wrestling rings at night. As a $35-million production, the film brought in well over $80 million, and earned a fair number of positive notices from U.S. critics.Unfortunately, Hess' third outing, 2009's Gentlemen Broncos, failed to duplicate the accomplishments of its predecessors, critically or commercially. The super-cockeyed tale of a young science fiction writer (Michael Angarano) who has his novel, "Yeast Lords," ripped off by an acclaimed belletrist (Jemaine Clement), it featured bizarre surrealistic asides, with lengthy portions of the absurd sci-fi novel visualized for the audience. The movie not only failed to connect with audiences, but reportedly drew a tiny fraction of its initial investment, effectively spelling the first major downturn in Hess' career.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Insufferable Groo Producer 2018
34% Masterminds Director $17.4M 2016
29% Don Verdean Producer Screenwriter Director $31K 2015
No Score Yet Beaver Trilogy Part IV Actor 2015
19% Gentlemen Broncos Executive Producer 2009
46% The Sasquatch Gang Executive Producer 2007
40% Nacho Libre Director Screenwriter $80.3M 2006
71% Napoleon Dynamite Screenwriter Director $44.5M 2004
66% Pride and Prejudice Rev. Steve `Two Trees' Green $81.9K 2003
No Score Yet Peluca Director 2003


92% Making History
Producer Director 2017
No Score Yet Last Call With Carson Daly
Guest 2016
85% The Last Man on Earth
Producer Director 2016
32% Napoleon Dynamite
Creator Voice Executive Producer Producer 2012


No quotes approved yet.