Kermit & Miss Piggy talk new Muppets movie
There’s Brangelina, Kurt & Goldie, Romeo & Juliet…and Kermit & Miss Piggy. The famous duo first appeared together in September of 1976 on the premiere of The Muppet Show. A successful movie franchise began in 1979 with The Muppet Movie and six more movies after that. The last of these movies to appear in theaters was Muppets from Space in 1999. Nine years later, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller pitched an idea for a new Muppets movie, The Muppets, which was developed and filmed and will now appear in theaters on November 23, 2011.
Kermit & Miss Piggy, fresh off the successful LA premiere of The Muppets, answered some questions about getting the gang back together for the first time in 12 years as well as the touchy subject also known as their on-again, off-again romance, the stuff of romantic legends.
(Interview courtesy of Disney®)
Why should audiences see Disney’s “The Muppets”?
Kermit: It’s funny, upbeat and full of laughs for everyone… frogs, pigs, bears… even people. For new fans, it’s a chance to see the Muppets in action on the big screen. And for old fans, it’s a chance to get together with old friends… and get a little crazy together.
What is Disney’s “The Muppets” about?
Kermit: Well, it’s the story of this incredible Muppet fan named Walter who comes to Hollywood to meet us… and ends up having to get all the Muppets back together to put on a show and save Muppet Studios. I guess it’s the first Muppet movie that’s really from the point of view of a fan. Jason Segel, who is a really big Muppet fan in real life, co-wrote the movie. He wanted to show what it would be like if the world’s biggest Muppet fan—along with his brother Gary (played by Jason) and friend Mary (played by Amy Adams)—came to Hollywood to meet us.
Miss Piggy: It’s moi’s story, of course. It’s about how I am working in Paris and Kermit and the other Muppets come over and beg me to come home. I run the complete gamut of acting—from smiling to frowning. It’s got Oscar® written all over it—and I’m not just talking de La Renta. I have heard rumors that there’s another storyline in the movie that doesn’t involve moi, but who really cares about that?
What is your role in Disney’s “The Muppets”?
Kermit: I play me, Kermit the Frog. I’ve played other parts, like Bob Crachit in “A Muppet Christmas Carol” and Captain Smollett in “Muppet Treasure Island,” but I think “me” is my favorite part. Playing a frog named Kermit might be type casting, but there aren’t a lot of great parts for amphibians, so I was happy to get the part. In the movie—and in life, really—I’m a humble frog in Hollywood who wants to get back together with his friends and keep entertaining people.
Miss Piggy: Moi plays moi. It’s a casting no-brainer. Naturally, all of Hollywood’s top actresses tested for the part—Roberts, Streep, Winslet, Jolie, Bullock—but in the end they decided that there is only one moi and I’m it! In the movie, I portray the plus-size fashion editor of Vogue Paris—I’m in charge of a whole office full of editors who all want to look just like moi. But of course, Kermit wants me back with the Muppets to save the day and put on some big show. Can I resist? Well, see the movie and find out.
How does your life differ from the characters you play in the films?
Kermit: Well, on the big screen. I’m 16 feet tall. But in real life, it’s closer to 18 inches. So, I’d have to say the biggest difference is more height—and better lighting. Seriously, though, my life on screen and off screen is about the same. In real life and on film, I’m surrounded by chaos, craziness, and romantic pigs—just like any other Hollywood star.
Miss Piggy: In real life, my wardrobe is much, much bigger and more expensive, but I’m a lot like what you see on the big screen. The camera does add a few pounds—when people meet me in person they’re always amazed at how svelte I am. Take my word for it.
Why did you want to take part in this film?
Kermit: I understand they considered other actors—George Clooney, Tom Hanks. But in the end, when it comes to playing short, green and amphibious, I’m still Hollywood’s go-to guy. According to director James Bobin, when I read for the role of “me,” I nailed it.
Miss Piggy: It was written especially for moi. And they said I could keep all the shoes.
What is the funniest scene in the film?
Kermit: I like the scene where everything goes crazy and no one knows what to do. It’s total mad chaos…..Hmm, come to think of it, that describes most of the movie. I can’t pick JUST one scene—all the other scenes would get jealous. But I really do like the big finale. Lots of singing, dancing, laughing… and, I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s happy, too.
Miss Piggy: The scene where Kermie begs me to come back to Hollywood with him is the funniest scene. I’m hilarious; and the frog isn’t half bad either. There are so many very funny scenes in the film… and guess what, moi is in all of them! Coincidence? I don’t think so.
What was it like working opposite Jason Segel?
Kermit: Jason is not only a great comedian, but as a co-writer of the movie, he’s great to work with. If you forget your lines, he can make up new ones. Jason’s a swell guy. He really loved the Muppets before we worked together…and he still loves us after. That’s a true fan. And he has such a fantastic sense of humor. He can find funny everywhere… even in Fozzie’s act.
Miss Piggy: Jason is a sweet, sweet man… and a very funny comedic actor. Of course, when I heard he wrote the movie and could write my part even bigger, we became best friends forever.
Kermit: Chris plays the villain, Tex Richman, yet he’s really the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. That’s an incredible feat: being a good guy and playing a bad guy. When it comes to acting, it’s not that easy being mean.
Kermit: Amy is incredible. She’s so beautiful and talented and funny. I’d love to make every movie with her…. but Miss Piggy won’t let me. She’s also a great actress: she can sing and dance, and she has three Academy Award® nominations. I’m hoping she gets an Oscar® for Disney’s “The Muppets.” If not, I’m willing to paint myself gold and stand on her mantle.
Miss Piggy: Amy and moi are so much alike, except for the fact that she’s been nominated for an Academy Award® THREE TIMES and I’ve gotten bupkis! (Entres nous, I think they just don’t want to nominate anyone outside their species). There was a little tension at first, but once Amy learned about not touching the frog, we became fast friends. We hang together whenever we’re in the same city, which up to now has been… let’s see… never.
Miss Piggy, what is it like working with Kermit?
Miss Piggy: What can I say about Kermie and moi? Separately we’re fabulous and together we are absolute legends—like Astaire & Rogers, Tracy & Hepburn, Oprah & Stedman.
Miss Piggy: Walter is delightful! He worships the Muppets and especially moi. And as everyone knows, I absolutely adore being worshipped.
And you, Kermit? What is it like working with Miss Piggy?
Kermit: I have to say, working with Miss Piggy is always a pleasure. I have to say that ‘cause she makes me say it. This was a different kind of movie for us. Normally, Piggy and I are together right from the start. But in Disney’s “The Muppets,” Miss Piggy is over in Paris and we have to go get her. That was challenging for me. France is tough for frogs… with legs.
What’s the deal with you and Miss Piggy? Are you still together?
Kermit: Miss Piggy and I have a professional relationship. I think we’re professionals; she thinks we’re in a relationship. Actually, Miss Piggy and I are good friends, but just friends. We like each other a great deal, but we are not romantically involved—despite her best efforts.
Describe director James Bobin.
Kermit: James has a quirky sense of humor. Just watch his work on “Flight of the Conchords” and you can see this isn’t someone who sees the world like everyone else. Not being normal helps when you work with the Muppets. He’s a consummate professional—and we’re not, so we really needed him.
What is your advice for up-and-coming frogs/actors?
Kermit: Never say croak.
Miss Piggy, you are a fashion icon. What is your secret?
Miss Piggy: I have a few fashion secrets:
- Never wear anything that requires a hoist to get into.
- There is no such thing as too much accessorizing.
- If it’s expensive, it fits.
- Style comes in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, the bigger you are, the more style you have.
What do you do in your free time?
Miss Piggy: Shop. Eat Chocolate. Pose for photographers. Rinse. Repeat. I’m a diva. I have people to schedule my free time. You have no idea how time consuming that is.
Are you and Kermit together?
Miss Piggy: Of course we’re together. In the movie, we seem to be apart, but that’s just for dramatic tension. In real life, we’re fabulously happy and the longest-running interspecies couple in all of Hollywood.
Why should audiences see Disney’s “The Muppets”?
Miss Piggy: Because moi is in it! What a silly question! It is the best movie I have ever made…and therefore the best movie ever made. Other than that, it’s got a lot of laughs and you’ll have a good time. Are those enough reasons for you?