Growing up in general is difficult for everyone. Ordinarily during the stage of your life when you`re going through your adolescence and you`re completely awkward and uncomfortable, the rest of the world isn`t watching you with bated breath. It`s different when you`re an actor and you choose to work your way through that period because it only makes it worse. Taking 5 years off was the best decision I`ve made so far, for myself and for my career. People always say, But you could`ve been so famous by now if you would`ve just worked during those 5 years!" I`m not in it for the fame and it`s definitely not worth it to me to have the fame but no sense of who I am whatsoever. I didn`t want to become so many of the young people I`ve worked with who have money, fame, and success but don`t know who they are as people. At the end of the day, just because one of your films does well at the box office that doesn`t make you a good person. It doesn`t make you strong, smart, or secure either. I`d rather have those three things and know that if I decided to quit this job tomorrow that I could make it comfortably through the rest of my life because I know myself very well, then have fame and a bunch of money that`s never going to buy me a manual to ME." - On why she quit acting for 5 years.
If I based all of my decisions on what everyone else had to say, I wouldn`t be where I am now. You`d drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone else. In this business people always have something to say about what you`re doing. Sometimes it`s positive, sometimes it`s negative. In the end, you just can`t give a sh*t. You`ve gotta go with your gut and do what`s right for you, ya know?
I hope that they see this film as sweet and endearing, and I hope that they take away that being yourself is the most important thing, not trying to be something that you`re not. Whether that means that you`re a popular kid or a geek like the kids in the movie, being true to yourself is worth more than any money you can ever have. - When asked what she hoped audiences would take away from watching Napoleon Dynamite. (From Venice Magazine June 2004)
No, because I chose to have the childhood that I had. I was not pushed into the business by anything other than my own ambition and my own dream of wanting to act. And I think that even though I don`t have a bunch of cool stories about those great proms, I have great stories of my own about places that I`ve gone to that a lot of people have never gotten to go to. I`m so grateful for the experiences I`ve had. I`ve had great opportunities, and have met great people. I`m completely satisfied with how I grew up and the choices I made. - When asked whether or not she felt that she missed out on a normal childhood. (From Venice Magazine June 2004)