THE FROG (Kermit the Frog) returns
to the big screen in 2011 in Disney’s “The Muppets.” With 56
years in show business, he boasts countless credits in television,
film, stage and online, including the recent hit viral videos
featuring the Muppets’ take on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”
(2009) and “Ode to Joy” (2008)—both Webby winners (an award
very dear to Kermit’s heart and feet). He has been honored with his
own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2002), and his song “Rainbow
Connection” was nominated for an Academy Award® and a Golden
Globe® in 1979. Kermit has appeared many times in the Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day Parade. He received the Key to the City from Kermit,
Texas, in 2005, and holds an honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters
from the Southampton College at Long Island University. He was the
first amphibian to address the prestigious Oxford Union at Oxford
film credits include “The Muppet Movie” (1979), “The Great
Muppet Caper” (1981), “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984), “The
Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992), “Muppet Treasure Island” (1996)
and “Muppets from Space” (1999). He’s also had starring roles
in the TV films “Muppets Wizard of Oz” (2005) and “A Muppet
Christmas: Letters to Santa.” In addition to hosting and starring
in the international hit phenomenon “The Muppet Show,” which ran
from 1976-1981, Kermit’s small-screen credits include “Muppet
Babies” and “Muppets Tonight.” He has appeared on a host of
variety shows, including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late
Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Late Late Show with Craig
Ferguson,” “Today” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brian.”
Kermit has also been a guest on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
and “Saturday Night Live,” among many others. Kermit’s
memoirs—“Look Before You Leap: A Frog’s Eye View of Life’s
Greatest Lessons”—were published in 2006.
resides in a swamp, where he maintains a bachelor pad.
CONVERSATION WITH KERMIT THE FROG…
should audiences see Disney’s “The Muppets”?
funny, upbeat and full of laughs for everyone… frogs, pigs, bears…
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.
is Disney’s “The Muppets” about?
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.
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
is your role in Disney’s “The Muppets”?
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.
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.
movie—and in life, really—I’m a humble frog in Hollywood who
wants to get back together with his friends and keep entertaining
does your life differ from the characters you play in the films?
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.
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.
did you want to take part in this film?
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.
is the funniest scene in the film?
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.
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.
was it like working opposite Jason Segel?
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
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.
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
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.
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.
to say: working with Miss Piggy is always a pleasure. I have to say
that ‘cause she makes me say it.
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.
the deal with you and Miss Piggy? Are you still together?
Piggy and I have a professional relationship. I think we’re
professionals; she thinks we’re in a relationship.
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.
director James Bobin.
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.
is your advice for up-and-coming frogs/actors?
make a rainbow connection with Kermit the Frog, check out
vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, his
brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams)
from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex
Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the
oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds.
To stage a telethon and raise the $10 million needed to save the
theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who
have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno
casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size
fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic
for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate.
With secret, signature, celebrity cameos, Disney’s “The Muppets”
hits the big screen Nov. 23, 2011.