Who is Aaron Ruell? He first hit the big time playing quirky Kip Dynamite in the 2004 indie comedy Napoleon Dynamite. His hilarious performance earned Aaron an MTV Movie Award. Though he continues acting in films and TV shows, Aaron has also established himself as a director and photographer. He brings strong visual skills to directing commercials, music videos and TV episodes. As a photographer, Aaron is acclaimed for his creative conceptual portraits in black and white.
But what is Aaron Ruell net worth? While early internet estimates inaccurately put his net worth around $8 million, more recent and credible sources estimate Aaron Ruell’s net worth is approximately $300 Thousand as of 2022. The massive success of Napoleon Dynamite likely earned him a healthy sum initially. However, he has lived a relatively quiet life in recent years focused on directing and photography work rather than high-paying acting gigs.
Though best known as quirky Kip Dynamite, Aaron Ruell has proven he is a multi-talented entertainer. This article will provide an overview of Aaron’s varied career, from his early life to his current directing and photography pursuits, and examine how he accumulated his estimated $300 Thousand net worth.
Here is a bio table for Aaron Ruell:
|Full Name||Aaron Daniel Ruell|
|Birthdate||June 23, 1976|
|Birthplace||Fresno, California, USA|
|Occupation||Actor, Director, Photographer|
|Breakthrough Role||Kip Dynamite in Napoleon Dynamite (2004)|
|Spouse||Yuka Ruell (m. 2007-present)|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Net Worth||$300 thousand (estimated)|
|Notable Films||Napoleon Dynamite, Fun with Dick and Jane, Yes Man, Transformers: Age of Extinction|
|Notable TV Shows||3rd Rock from the Sun, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Walking Dead|
|Photography Style||Black and white conceptual portraits|
|Awards||2005 MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance|
Aaron Ruell’s Early Life and Career Beginnings
Aaron Ruell was born on June 23, 1976 in Fresno, California. From an early age, he showed an interest in the arts and attended the prestigious Roosevelt School of the Arts for high school. This magnet arts school allowed Ruell to hone his creative talents in acting, photography, and directing.
After graduating in the mid-1990s, Ruell began pursuing an acting career with minor roles in commercials and short films. Some early credits include commercials for companies like Intel and Tostitos. He also appeared briefly in indie films like Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss and Treasure Island.
However, it was in the late 1990s that Ruell started gaining more traction as a comedic actor. He landed small parts on funny TV shows like 3rd Rock from the Sun and MADtv. Ruell also met filmmaker Jared Hess in this period, forming a friendship that would soon lead to Ruell’s big breakout role.
That role came in 2003, when Aaron Ruell was cast as the offbeat Kip Dynamite in Jared Hess’ Napoleon Dynamite. The quirky indie comedy became a sleeper hit and catapulted the 27-year-old Ruell to fame. His hilarious performance earned praise and new opportunities in both acting and directing.
Success with Napoleon Dynamite
Aaron Ruell’s career changed forever when he landed the role of Kip Dynamite in 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite. The offbeat indie comedy, made on a tiny $400,000 budget, became a pop culture sensation. Ruell’s quirky performance as Napoleon’s socially awkward, chapstick-loving brother-in-law Kip stole many scenes.
As the martial arts obsessed Kip, Ruell got to show off his physical comedy skills in ridiculous action sequences. Unforgettable scenes involve Kip showing off his nunchuck skills and breaking boards to impress his online girlfriend LaFawnduh. Ruell also displayed hilarious frustrated reactions to Napoleon’s shenanigans as his exasperated brother-in-law.
While Jon Heder as the titular Napoleon drew much praise, Ruell stood out for his eccentric supporting turn. Critics highlighted Ruell’s knack for physical humor and commitment to playing oddballs. His dynamite performance landed Ruell the 2005 MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Male.
The sleeper hit ended up earning over $46 million at the box office on its miniscule budget. Not only did the success earn Ruell new fame, but also likely a sizable chunk of change financially. Napoleon Dynamite transformed the career trajectory of then 27-year-old Ruell. Doors were now open for more comedic roles in films and TV, while also providing directing opportunities. Ruell credits the role with giving him the flexibility to pursue his artistic passions.
In addition to acting and directing, Aaron Ruell has established himself as an accomplished photographer in recent years. He first got into photography as a hobby during breaks from filming Napoleon Dynamite. However, Ruell quickly realized he had an aptitude and passion for it.
Ruell is now known for his creative conceptual portraits, often shot in moody black and white. His images feature quirky themes and surreal imagery. Subjects are captured in intriguing scenarios and poses. Ruell cites influences like Man Ray and Guy Bourdin in his photography style.
The actor-turned-photographer has had his artsy images featured in galleries across the United States. His work has also been published in magazines like Juxtapoz, Beautiful/Decay, and American Photo. Ruell had his first solo exhibition of photography in 2013 called “Nepoleon.” His striking photographs can also be seen in ad campaigns he has directed.
What is Aaron Ruell Net Worth?
It is estimated that Aaron Ruell has a net worth of approximately $300 thousand as of 2022. The huge sleeper success of Napoleon Dynamite likely earned Ruell a substantial sum, possibly a few million, back in 2004. Income from subsequent acting roles, directing gigs, and photography work over the past two decades have added to his worth. While no longer at the peak of his fame, Ruell has maintained steady work in entertainment and established his reputation as a photographer.
Aaron Ruell’s Personal Life
Though he captured attention with his quirky on-screen roles, Aaron Ruell has kept his personal life out of the spotlight. Ruell married his wife Yuka, who is from Japan, in 2007. The couple met through a mutual friend when Yuka was studying abroad in Los Angeles. They now have two daughters together and live in the Los Angeles area.
Ruell is known for fiercely protecting his family’s privacy. He keeps his daughters’ lives completely out of the public eye. The family does not make public appearances together. Ruell also maintains a very limited social media presence with no personal accounts.
In interviews over the years, Ruell has emphasized the importance of family time over his career. He relishes getting to coach his daughters’ soccer teams and having dinner together each night. Ruell strives to give his girls a normal childhood despite having a famous father.
When he’s not working on projects, Ruell enjoys hiking, cycling, gardening, and cooking for his family. Though viewed as a quirky comedian on screen, Ruell lives a quiet domestic life focused on family time away from Hollywood. He values his privacy.
FAQs About Aaron Ruell
Aaron Ruell is undoubtedly best known for his breakout performance as peculiar brother-in-law Kip Dynamite in the 2004 indie comedy Napoleon Dynamite. His offbeat portrayal earned him an MTV Movie Award.
While the exact figure is unknown, industry experts estimate the surprise success of Napoleon Dynamite likely earned Aaron a few million dollars at least. The tiny $400,000 film went on to gross over $46 million.
Some other notable films Ruell has appeared in are Fun with Dick and Jane starring Jim Carrey, the comedy Yes Man alongside Jim Carrey, and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Ruell has guest starred in comedic TV shows like 3rd Rock from the Sun, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Workaholics, and Drunk History. He also appeared in an episode of The Walking Dead.
Credible reports estimate Aaron Ruell’s current net worth is around $300 thousand as of 2022. Initial Napoleon Dynamite earnings plus later acting, directing, and photography work comprise his wealth.
Yes, Aaron is an accomplished photographer now, specializing in moody black and white conceptual portraits. His work has been featured in galleries, magazines, and ad campaigns.
Ruell has been married to his wife Yuka since 2007. Together they have two daughters and live a low-key life focused on family time.
He resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and children. Ruell intentionally keeps his precise location and family life very private.
Ruell still works consistently as an actor, director for film/TV, and photographer. However, he maintains a much lower profile compared to the peak Napoleon Dynamite fame days.
Ruell did not leave the film or acting entirely. He has just chosen to be more selective about acting roles after the major success of Napoleon Dynamite early in his career. He has diversified into directing and photography.
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