Jon Heder makes foray into original Web programming

Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:58pm EDT
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jon Heder got his big break with the 2004 teen hit movie "Napoleon Dynamite." Ice skates then propelled him to even greater heights in the comedy "Blades of Glory," co-starring opposite Will Ferrell.

Having made his mark in both indie films and mainstream Hollywood fare, including "Monster House," "Surf's Up" and "School for Scoundrels," Heder has now made his first foray into original Internet programing with "Woke Up Dead," a zombie comedy thriller.

Now taping in Los Angeles, the Web series from Electric Farm Entertainment stars Heder as Drex, a 20-something college student who wakes up one morning to find himself inconveniently dead. "Woke Up Dead" will debut in October on in 23, four to five-minute episodes.

Q: It seems like this is a zombie flick, only on the Web?

A: "It plays with the conventions of the zombie-horror genre. Drex doesn't believe he's a zombie, but his friends start to realize he may be as he has no heart rate, all his vital signs are gone, and he has this hunger for brains. So it's a tweak on the whole genre. It's not that horrific, although there are a few scenes that get pretty bloody."

Q: How much of you is there in Drex?

A: "The weaker parts of myself (laughs). He's complaining a lot, but he has a lot to deal with -- problems with girls, annoying roommates, no money, no job. And now he's dead, it just makes it all even worse."

Q: What was the appeal of doing a Web project?   Continued...

<p>Actor Jon Heder talks during a news conference at an ice skating rink to promote his film "Blades of Glory" in Sydney June 6, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne</p>