Muppets Are Most Wanted And Kidzworld Has Them!
By: Lynn Barker
After The Muppets reunited for their 2011 film, they wondered “Hey, what’s next?” Why not a world tour? The popular entertainers are booked all over Europe in their new film Muppets Most Wanted, but when poor Kermit is mistaken for most wanted thief and criminal Constantine, he is sent to a cold Russian prison run by warden Nadya (Tina Fey) while the real Constantine takes his place!
Will Kermit’s pals realize this imposter isn’t their beloved leader? Will Miss Piggy wonder why Kermit, who was always been reluctant to take their relationship to a deeper level, has suddenly proposed to her? Will The Muppets be blamed for bank and jewel thefts all over Europe?
Kidzworld met with both human and Muppet stars in Beverly Hills recently and chatted with Tina Fey (Nadya), Ricky Gervais (who plays bad guy Dominic Badguy ..pronounced Badgee), Ty Burrell (playing French inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon) and Muppets Kermit The Frog, Constantine, Sam Eagle (American CIA officer on the case) and the unforgettable Miss Piggy.
Kidzworld: Kermit, why didn’t you want to play both parts because it would have really enhanced your acting credits.
- Kermit: It didn’t make sense for me to play Constantine ‘cause we do have a few scenes together and I don’t really work on green screen (because he is green) so we couldn’t really make that work. But plus, listen Constantine is actually a distant cousin, from Russia so he has the voice, you know?
- Constantine: Yes, but what is weird thing is I cannot speak any Russian words. It’s just an accent.
Kidzworld: I wanted to ask the humans in the group about singing and some of you, dancing in the movie. Were you nervous about it?
- Ricky: Well, I was okay with singing. I’m a failed pop star. I always sneak a song into everything I do, whether it’s David Brenn or Simpson’s but my dancing is a little awkward. I’m a little embarrassed about that. I don’t move well. But I was with a frog and I’ll do anything with a frog. That’s my motto. He is a great tap dancer, well “flap” dancer.
- Constantine: Yes, I did “flap” dancing.
- Ricky: On my head. No one’s gonna be looking at me when we’re doing that dance. They’re gonna say “there’s a frog dancing!”
- Tina: Yeah, you know you have a good voice. And my singing sounds like if you’ve ever seen the version of “Oliver” when the little boy sings and you can hear the hiss of how loud they had to turn up the microphone to hear him? My singing sounds like that.
- Kermit: No, no that’s not true. You were great!
- Tina: Well, Bret (McKenzie) wrote really, really good songs. That made us seem good.
- Sam Eagle: America and the world were spared my singing voice except for two notes. I don’t know if you noticed that. I think it was by design. I spoke my song but I was thrilled to do it.
Kidzworld: Hi Tina. In your Nadya voice (Russian accent), can you tell us why you, not Miss Piggy, are the right woman for Kermit? (Note: in the film Nadya has a big crush on Kermit). Piggy will stab you in the back later but just tell us now why you’re the right woman?
- Tina: (in Russian accent) Nadya is less work than Piggy. You can give Nadya bag of hot rocks for Valentine’s Day she will not care.
- Kermit: That’s true!
Kidzworld: So, she’s the perfect date?
- Tina: (Russian accent) Or is cheap date.
Kidzworld: Constantine, after this movie and singing and dancing, do you ever plan to leave behind the criminal life and join the Muppets family?
- Constantine: Well, this is good question. I am actually thinking about doing new Netflix original programming. I will call it “House of Toads”. I will executive produce and show run.
Kidzworld: Good luck with that. What do you guys think that kids will like most about this movie?
- Tina: I have two kids and I think they’re gonna like how funny the movie is because I think there’s a lot of jokes in the movie and kids who are like 8, 9, 10 years old they take a lot of pride in “getting” the jokes. It makes them feel big.
- Ricky: Yeah, it doesn’t patronize kids. It aims higher. I remember when I was a kid watching the Muppets (on TV), I had older brothers and sisters and they were laughing and I sort of knew that it was cool as well so I think kids relate to that. They like things that adults like.
Kidzworld: Human cast members, were your kids excited that you were doing a film with The Muppets?
- Ty: My kids are still so unimpressed by me. So far it’s one minute of “why is daddy on screen?” and 90 minutes of “I’m hungry”.
- Ricky: I haven’t got children but when I found out I was doing this film I just went and hung around schools telling kids “You don’t know who I am yet but do you know the Muppets? Oh, yeah you wait, you’re going to be impressed (that I’m in their movie)”.
- Tina: (My kids are) very excited to see the movie, but as far as me being in it, it’s mostly like, “oh, you’re on the poster. Now you be Queen Elsa”. They just want me to be Queen Elsa (from Disney’s Frozen).
Kidzworld: Kermit, what are you most proud of about your performance in this movie?
- Kermit: Well, you may be surprised to hear this but I’m actually stretching myself quite a lot as a dramatic actor in this thing. I did many, many scenes with Tina. One particular scene stands out to me. It was a closed set. It was the scene where she licks me. I just wanna clear it up right here with the press that Tina is happily married. (Her husband) Jeff was there during the shooting.
- Tina: Yeah, my husband was there being very kind of controlling and creepy. And I’d never done a scene like that before either. To have a whole crew there, I was nervous and Kermit really put me at my ease. But, (after licking the frog), I did hallucinate for three or four hours.
Kermit: Sorry, I thought the toxins were low.
- Tina: It was pretty trippy.
Kidzworld: Ricky, how did you enjoy playing an agent or manager with a bad guy agenda in the film?
- Ricky: It’s quite nice playing a slime ball, a villain. I like that. I’ve liked playing flawed characters. It’s fun.. sort of an exorcism. You’re sort of saying, “See I’m not really like that myself”. You are sort of saying “look, I can’t be like that or I wouldn’t be joking about it”. It was great fun for me and I bonded with this (character) immediately. I’ve loved the Muppets for 35 years.
(Note: Miss Piggy joins the press conference “fashionably late”. Everyone greets her).
- Piggy: Tina I heard you licked Kermit on a closed set. That’s the last thing you lick, sister! (Tina is suitably scared).
Kidzworld: Yikes! Miss Piggy, what was it like working and singing with Celine Dion?
- Miss Piggy: Well, working with Celine Dion it was a pleasure. It was a joy for her naturally. I’m only too happy to let her ride my coat tails up to the Oscar stage. Yes, it was a joy. We only spent a little time together but it was very meaningful to her.
Kidzworld: Oookaaay. What designer are you wearing today ‘cause you look fabulous.
- Miss Piggy: Oh, thank you. Thank you. This is an original Stefano from Hoboken.
Kidzworld: Did you like your Vivienne Westwood wedding gown?
- Miss Piggy: Yes, yes. Vivvy, she made moi a beautiful gown. Yes, made out of recycled plastic bottles. Took a little while to get over that but you know, as they say something old, something new, something recycled, something …
- Kermit: Blue?
- Miss Piggy: Something or other.
- Kermit: Well, lucky for me, she didn’t get to keep the wardrobe.
- Miss Piggy: Well, I could call Viv! I’ve got her on Speed Dial.
- Kermit: No, no, that’s okay. I think the dress is probably disintegrated by now.
- Miss Piggy: I don’t think so. I think the half-life for plastic is pretty long.
- Kermit: Yeah, what about the half-life for a pig/frog marriage?
- Miss Piggy: Forever!
- Kermit: I don’t even think it’s legal.
- Ricky: When you get married and have children, are they pigs or frogs?
- Kermit: We haven’t actually consummated that experiment so we don’t really know.
Catch The Muppets Most Wanted on March 21st!
Muppets Most Wanted Trailer