MoviesOnline sat down with Miss Piggy, Kermit, Walter, Jason Segel and Amy Adams at a press conference to talk about their new big screen adventure in Disney’s “The Muppets” which hits theaters on November 23rd just in time for the holidays. Jason exposed Miss Piggy’s diva behavior during the film’s production. Kermit admitted he still has a penchant for pigs. Miss Piggy denied plastic surgery rumors and revealed she still loves the crazy Frog. Jason and Amy discussed their big dance number on Hollywood Blvd., and Jason laughed at how easily he tricked an Academy Award winning villain, Chris Cooper, into rapping and dancing.
Q: Miss Piggy, I’d like to talk to Miss Piggy a little bit here.
Miss Piggy: Yes, of course you would.
Q: I very much enjoyed your photo spread in In Style magazine and I wondered if you’re going to do more of that? Also, how did you enjoy your couture wardrobe in this film?
Miss Piggy: I just want to say I am sorry about that spread in In Style. I’m sorry to all the ladies who have lost their homes, their husbands to Moi. People just instantly fall in love with Moi when they see me in that spread and I just want to apologize. The couture that I wore in the movie, I loved it all. I had a wonderful Zach Posen dress that I wore at the end. I’m a pig. I had just a wonderful wardrobe.
Kermit: I just wanted to say what a wonderful answer that was and thank you.
Q: Amy, is this your return since “Enchanted” to singing, dancing and music? And if so, how did this come about? And, to do this song that you and Miss Piggy sang, you don’t get to do it as a duet the way Jason does with his song. You’re on a split screen. Is this because of someone’s diva demands? Finally, Miss Piggy, you were on The Tonight Show with Mickey Rourke who seemed to be very friendly with the front of your dress? Do you have any comments?
Kermit: Yeah, he was a little friendly I understand although I didn’t see it.
Amy: (to Miss Piggy) I always defer to her.
Miss Piggy: Yes.
Amy: You first.
Miss Piggy: Well you have to understand the song is called “Me Party.” You don’t make a duet out of that. It is also true that I didn’t do any of the movie with any of these fine actors here. I did all my stuff separately and I was keyed in with them.
Amy: In answer to the first part of your question, yes, it’s my first return. (to Miss Piggy) Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt. It is my return to singing and dancing and it was a lot of fun. I got involved because Jason and Kermit sent me a DVD singing to me and they asked me to do the song and I started crying. I think I knew I’d won the deal. I was definitely doing it.
Kermit: Of course, the tears were different by the end of the film.
Q: Miss Piggy, how does it feel to be back together with Kermie? What is your relationship status?
Kermit: Can I answer that?
Q: You don’t have to answer that.
Kermit: Maybe I can comment on that after she’s done.
Miss Piggy: You don’t know what I’m going to say.
Kermit: I know but…
Miss Piggy: I was going to say how happy I am to be here and to see Kermie today. I haven’t seen you in such a long time. We’ve been so busy on the road promoting this movie and I just want to say how much I love him.
Miss Piggy: That’s what I was going to say. Were you worried about that?
Kermit: I have my own little comments. I just want to say that I’m thrilled always to perform with Miss Piggy. I think we make a great duo. It’s wonderful to be together here today and pretty much anytime we’re together and that’s all I’m going to say.
Q: So you guys aren’t planning on getting back together?
Kermit: We are together.
Miss Piggy: We are. You can’t get back together if you’re already together.
Kermit: No, you can’t. Well we have to separate and come back together but it’s too hard to get out of the room.
Q: Kermit, as a former newsman yourself and reporter for Sesame Street News, I was curious about your feelings about the press tour that you’re on right now. How does it feel to be on the other side?
Kermit: Well that’s unusual. It’s unusual for me to be on a stage answering questions from such a distinguished bunch. It’s fun. Right? We’ve got this great rock star room upstairs with a view and lots of cookies.
Walter: I can’t wait until after the press conference so we can trash it.
Miss Piggy: That’s wrong. So that’s Walter.
Q: Jason, can you talk about growing up with the Muppets and whether you were friends with them as a child. Also, will you be taking Kermit to London?
Jason: London? Sure.
Kermit: I still have my passport and I have my British driver’s license.
Jason: I grew up with the Muppets. When you’re a kid, Muppets are the entry way into comedy. They lead into harder comedy like my icon on Saturday Night Live. Muppets defined who I wanted to be as a comedian when I was a kid.
Jason: Well I’ve told Kermit. He really was my idol. Kermit’s like the original Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart or something.
Kermit: Just shorter and greener.
Jason: Yeah, exactly. So I sort of modeled my career after Kermit and the rest of the Muppets.
Kermit: That’s very sweet. I’ve heard you say that. It’s a very nice for you to say.
Jason: I know.
Kermit: It’s a little scary but it’s pretty nice.
Q: Will there be a sequel to this?
Jason: I’m superstitious about talking about a sequel until this one comes out, but I don’t know right now. I mean, the goal was to set the stage for the Muppets to take the torch and do a million more movies and TV shows, so hopefully we’ve accomplished that.
Kermit: And we have to be very careful when we get the torch.
Jason: That’s right.
Q: Jason and Amy, what was it like doing the big finale on Hollywood Blvd.?
Jason: Well the dance number came very naturally. You can see by my body. I’m made for dancing. I’m very alive and agile and I was happy to be able to help Amy sort of get her footing.
Amy: I really love Jason. We actually learned that dance in about an hour on the same day that we shot it. I’m telling you Jason is actually much more talented than he gives himself credit for. He’s actually a very, very good dancer, and as a partner, he was quite a natural I have to say.
Jason: You were afraid I was going to drop you.
Amy: He only dropped a couple reps. He didn’t drop me but he did lift my skirt up by accident once.
Jason: It was an accident!
Amy: That was embarrassing. It was a lot of fun.
Jason: That was actually a special night for me too. We filmed that the night of my birthday and Hollywood Blvd was filled with thousands of extras and I walked out and all of the Muppets sang me Happy Birthday which was like the greatest moment in my life. It was fantastic.
Q: What birthday was it?
Jason: That was my 31st birthday. I know I look younger but…
Q: Walter, how did you find your talent for whistling?
Walter: The whistling thing? In addition to The Muppets, I loved the old Andy Griffith Show. I always tried to whistle that catchy theme and a lot of times I’ve been mistaken for a tea kettle when I was first learning.
Kermit: I’ve been mistaken for a muffin myself.
Walter: Actually the worst thing that happened growing up is someone mistook me for a pinada.
Kermit: Oh my goodness!
Miss Piggy: Did that knock the snot out of you?
Walter: Actually it was just after Halloween and I had just had a bad cold, so yes.
Jason: That’s disgusting!
Q: Amy, you are to Disney now what Annette Funicello was back in the 50s and 60s.
Amy: Why thank you!
Q: You’re truly amazing. But for Walter, how does it feel to be so embraced and welcomed by the Muppets?
Walter: Well how else could it feel? It’s unbelievable. I keep pinching myself. I have bruises to prove it. This sort of thing doesn’t happen every day, certainly not to me. It’s just been overwhelming and a real dream come true.
Kermit: We’re a pretty easy bunch to come into, you know. We’re pretty accessible.
Miss Piggy: Really?
Q: Walter, what was it like working with just the Muppets in general and being on stage in The Muppet Show? And for Kermit…
Kermit: Kermie. I’m standing naked in front of you so you can call me what you like, figuratively and literally.
Q: Since the fundraiser is done with, are you inspired to do more of The Muppet Show in the future?
Kermit: You go first.
Walter: I guess you’re asking about The Muppet Show in the movie? Oh my gosh, what an experience that was. They recreated the whole Muppet Theater. It was kind of mind blowing really. It brought tears to my eyes walking in the first day and seeing the set. It was just remarkable.
Jason: And I believe that Muppet Show theme song was the first time it had been recorded in 30 years.
Kermit: Probably, something like that, yeah.
Jason: It was really inspiring for all of us. I think everyone got choked up.
Kermit: Some of it was because of the quality of that set had me choking up.
Kermit: We had a wonderful time and we should probably put that question to all of you if you think it’s a reasonable time for something like The Muppet Show to come back. [loud applause from all the journalists]That would be fun after all these years. I hope that happens. We really do put up red curtains in our little theater. That all depends on what you write about the movie.
Walter: So be kind.
Kermit: Be nice! Yes!
Q: For Jason and Miss Piggy, as a writer how did you conceptualize the storyline? What was your inspiration? And when you got to Miss Piggy’s part, how difficult was it to carry through or was she the editor of her part and how often did you have to send rewrites to her?
Jason: I’ll start with the first part of the question because the second part is very delicate frankly. I tend to get into trouble when I answer this question. The idea of the movie was actually fairly simple. What do the Muppets do best? They put on a show. So I knew ultimately the movie was going to be about putting on a show. That’s the real spirit of the Muppets. They always had a great villain so we thought of Tex Richman, the evil oil baron. And then, once Chris Cooper came into our minds, it was very simple. And then, what occurred to me was that it’s been 12 years since the Muppets were last on the big screen, and I wanted to acknowledge that this movie was bringing them back to the forefront of comedy where they belong because they should have been making movies this whole time – grand, big dance movies with song and dance numbers like the old MGM style musicals. It was about getting the Muppets back together sort of as a metaphor of getting back onto a big screen where they belonged. As for Piggy’s part, she wanted it bigger. I’m not going to lie to you. And she wanted a very strange credit sequence where we would all be introduced and then it would say “And Miss Piggy” but then that would just stay on throughout the entire movie.
Miss Piggy: Exactly! I saw nothing wrong with that. And you know what? I did not demand any rewrites though. I want to go on record about that. But that’s probably just because I didn’t really read the script.
Jason: She just says what she wants.
Miss Piggy: I just show up on the set and people say their lines and then I say whatever comes into my head.
Kermit: So the rewrites were basically around Miss Piggy’s improvisation.
Q: Miss Piggy, I was wondering after the long days on set, what do you do to maintain your flawless appearance and what sort of beauty tips can you share? And then, for Kermit, after all this time, has it gotten any easier being green?
Kermit: Well I’ll definitely let Miss Piggy answer first and your answer may have some bearing on that.
Miss Piggy: I’ve never really had a problem with aging. It’s not that I have wrinkles. The truth is that stuff they inject into your face and your lips…
Kermit: It’s called Botox.
Miss Piggy: No, not that stuff?
Kermit: Not that? Oh…
Miss Piggy: Restylane. That stuff comes from my people. They get that from pigs.
Kermit: You might like to try nitrates and nitrites, too. For me, you’ll get that on the way home.
Jason: That’s a ham joke.
Kermit: When I first sang that song about being green years ago, it was about being comfortable in your own skin, and I think it might have helped that a little bit, and I think we’re all more comfortable there. Now it’s sort of the battle cry of the environmental movement which is fine because I’m quite low on the food chain and I’m very close to that environment we’re trying to take care of. That’s getting a little easier too. It’ll be interesting to see what’s next.
Walter: Oh, you mean about people being green.
Walter: You were green before it was hip.
Kermit: I was.
Walter: You were hop before it was hip hop.
Kermit: That’s right. There’s a little more hop in the hip, I believe.
Q: Miss Piggy, it’s been many years since we’ve seen you and the years have been kind. I don’t want to imply that you’ve had some work done so perhaps you could quash any rumors that are there. And for Jason, it struck me that Gary and Mary who are not married went on vacation and stayed in the same motel room in a Disney film.
Walter: Separate beds.
Q: Separate beds, but I thought Walter needed a place too.
Amy: Walter was our chaperone. Walter always makes sure nothing is going to happen.
Walter: That’s right.
Q: I was wondering if this is breaking new ground for a Disney film?
Kermit: Wow, I like that question much better than your first one.
Miss Piggy: With Kermit, you see, he doesn’t have any hair so it can’t really turn grey.
Kermit: If I turn grey all over, that’s a whole different story.
Miss Piggy: You’d probably be in some classroom somewhere.
Kermit: You can avoid the question, but I think you should answer the question about whether or not you’ve had any so-called work done.
Miss Piggy: Moi is perfect, perfect in every way.
Kermit: That’s not answering the question.
Miss Piggy: Let’s just say I’ve gotten a little more perfect over the years.
Q: Jason, of the older films, do you have a particular favorite or one that maybe inspired you more than others for the themes for this particular film?
Jason: Sure. Well the first three are the ones that I grew up on. And I think there’s something about them that’s lodged in my brain and a sense of humor somewhere. “The Muppet Movie,” “The Great Muppet Caper” and “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” and they each influenced it a little bit. I kind of borrowed one of my favorite jokes from “The Great Muppet Caper” in terms of Walter and I are brothers and we don’t really feel the need to explain it. Just like we never explained that Kermit and Fozzie Bear are identical twins. When I was growing up, I thought that was one of the funniest jokes I’d ever heard. And then you have the idea in Manhattan Melodies that they’re putting on a show in “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” That was part of the putting on a show element. The meeting the gang along the way came very much from the original Muppet movie. So it really is sort of a mix and paying homage to those three films.
Q: Seeing you just brings a really nice smile.
Jason: Oh thank you so much.
Q: I’m very excited that this film is being released just in time for the holidays. For all of you, what are your plans for this holiday season?
Kermit: Oh wow, what are you going to do, Walter?
Walter: Well I’m going to go out to the movie theater and watch “The Muppets.”
Kermit: Is that all you’re going to do the whole time?
Walter: That’s exactly what I’m going to do the whole time.
Kermit: So you’re just going to watch and then go out and buy another ticket and go back in?
Walter: You got that right, sir. I can’t wait. Jason is coming with me.
Jason: That’s right. One of the good things about the Thanksgiving release is it’s a great place to go with your entire family where you don’t have to speak to each other. That’s what I love the most about the Thanksgiving movies.
Kermit: I always go back to the swamp.
Miss Piggy: What? You go back to the swamp?
Miss Piggy: Well then who’s that that they fill with helium and send down the avenue in New York on Thanksgiving Day?
Kermit: Well that’s a bigger rubber version of me.
Miss Piggy: Oh!
Kermit: I don’t think we should go any further with the bigger rubber version of me. We’re not allowing Amy to talk. What are you doing this holiday?
Amy: That’s alright.
Kermit: You have a beautiful child.
Amy: I do. I’m going to be spending it at home with her. You guys are welcome to come over. I’m sure she’d love to see you again.
Miss Piggy: Oh that’s a wonderful idea. Having children, a wonderful idea.
Q: What is Miss Piggy doing for the holidays?
Kermit: What are your plans?
Amy: Well she’s coming over to my house.
Kermit: Why don’t we get together?
Miss Piggy: Well, I would dear, but I have to work.
Kermit: You’re working during the holidays?
Miss Piggy: I have to keep promoting this film. I’m going to be on a plane. Plane food!
Q: Miss Piggy, do you feel living in Paris has refined you any? And for Jason, being such a huge fan, we’ve heard how emotional it was for you making this movie. Now that the release is getting closer, what are the emotions now and are you as nervous for people to see this as you were for people to see all of you in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”?
Jason: For sure.
Kermit: Inspired by me.
Jason: Yes. I’d like to say Kermit is the inspiration for the opening scene of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” I’ve never seen him in pants.
Kermit: Full frontal naked.
Jason: That’s right.
Miss Piggy: I would have loved to have lived in Paris for awhile while shooting this movie, but unfortunately we shot everything on a Hollywood backlot except for the car shots. I think they actually took a car to Paris but they did not take Moi.
Jason: That was one of my tricks when I wrote “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” I made it take place in Hawaii. When I wrote the Paris scenes, I thought free trip to Paris, but then they said “No, we have Paris right here on the backlot. We’re good.” So it was a bummer. But yeah, I’m not so nervous about the movie coming out because everyone who’s seen it seems to love it. I think what I’m more excited about is this thing that’s born in your brain five years ago and it stays in your brain for a while and then it slowly moves to an editing room and you’re stuck there with five or six people watching it and finally it’s going to get sort of born and everyone’s going to get to see it and enjoy it. I’m just so proud of it. It’s the thing I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of without a doubt.
Walter: It’s nice that it worked out that way.
Jason: Yeah, no kidding.
Walter: Things that stick in your brain, either they become movies or they become tumors.
Jason: This one worked out alright.
Q: For the whole panel, can you talk about getting a chance to revisit some of those great old songs like “Rainbow Connection” and “Phenomenon”?
Kermit: I never stopped singing that song in the last twelve weeks.
Miss Piggy: And you sing it so well.
Kermit: Well thank you. It’s wonderful to have the chance to reintroduce that particular song to our new younger audiences. I think it’s so heartfelt.
Walter: I think “Phenomenon” is as relevant today as it was back then. It’s got really inspirational lyrics.
Jason: One of the important things about the movie and the witches brew that we had to try to balance was we wanted a fair amount of nostalgia for our generation that grew up with the Muppets, but we also have to acknowledge that there is a generation of kids who were just being introduced to the Muppets. And so, if it had just been a nostalgia fest, it really wouldn’t have meant anything to kids who didn’t experience it the first go-around. We have a really healthy mix of old songs and then new songs written by Bret McKenzie that are in my opinion just right in the spirit of the Muppets. He really found the wheelhouse. In my opinion, “Flight of the Concords” is very Muppety on its own. It’s about two wide-eyed innocents making their way through tough New York who were never mean to anyone and it’s very much how I feel about the Muppets. It was a really good union of styles.
Q: You had some great cameos. Was there anyone who couldn’t partake in the movie because of scheduling conflicts. Also, what was Chris Cooper’s reaction when you said he was going to rap?
Jason: I will say this. When Chris Cooper started rapping and dancing, I privately thought to myself “Wow, I’ve really tricked everyone.” You know what I mean? It was just first of all, I’m working with the Muppets and I get to make a new Muppet movie, and I’ve got an Academy Award winning villain rapping and dancing. It just seemed like this is the craziest thing that has ever happened.
Kermit: I think Chris is kind of a Method actor on set. He just scared the bejesus out of me. He never quite broke character between takes so …
Miss Piggy: He’s not evil or mean but he is scary in real life.
Q: For the Muppets, were any of the supporting Muppets trying to take the spotlight when you were shooting?
Kermit: Always. We encourage that.
Walter: Every since The Muppet Show it’s always been about us trying to upstage each other. I think we encourage that.
Jason: One of the fun things about the Muppets I find just as a fan is that it feels like this controlled chaos that could bubble over at any minute and that’s the fun part of it. Crazy Harry is blowing things up all the time.
Walter: Didn’t Crazy Harry actually try to steal the spotlight. I mean like literally?
Jason: Literally. Yes, he did.
Miss Piggy: It was missing the last day.
Walter: That explains it.
Q: Miss Piggy, you and Kermie have been together for a while now. What advice do you have for finding and keeping a good guy?
Miss Piggy: Well, implanting one of those GPS chips in his skin. That’s a really good way of keeping track of him.
Kermit: In a place that the guy can’t find or reach.
Q: Kermit and Miss Piggy, how was working on this film different than working in the past on the television shows and the other movies? And for Walter, Jason and Amy, what did you take away from this experience that was different from the other movies that you’ve worked on?
Kermit: Different? Well, it’s a new year. There was new food. It was wonderful. One of the great things about the work we’ve done over the years is that we get to work with wonderful celebrities and this time we had Jason and Amy and Chris and all those folks. I always cherish those experiences. That’s what movies are for. That’s the stuff we look back on as we move forward. Walter is with us now. I hope our friends like what we have out there.
Walter: For me, it was actually my first experience. I’m hoping the first of many more. I was just really amazed by the professionalism and just how incredibly crafted this whole…I mean, just speaking of the film as a piece of art. It’s just so deliberate and crafted and gone over with a fine tooth comb. I think that speaks to the professionalism of everybody that worked on it and Jason and Amy.
Kermit: Save it for the Academy.
Walter: I just got played off.
Amy: (to Miss Piggy) Can I go first?
Miss Piggy: Go!
Amy: For me, it was my first family film that I did after having a daughter and it was really, really cool to work with the Muppets. They were a big part of my childhood. So every day was sort of me reliving my childhood while I had a child now. That was really cool and really special. It’s going to be fun to introduce her to these guys and to know that I had a relationship with them. I’m just excited. I’m excited that she has a film that she can watch as well.
Kermit: We were singing songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show between takes and it was wonderful.
Amy: I had a blast with these guys. They’re amazing.
Miss Piggy: I can’t wait for the next movie to have the same experience as Amy. (to Kermit) What do you think?
Kermit: I think that’s wonderful. Yeah. We’ll work on it.
Jason: For me, it was like, you know, there’s a lot of reasons to choose what movie you’re going to do next and nothing can ever be like doing something you love. That was the lesson I took away from it. I was working with my childhood idols and with I think the best actress of our generation and …
Miss Piggy: Thank you!
Jason: … Amy is amazing. She really is. Every day was a joy. That’s what I took away from it.
Walter: We hope you guys like it. We really do. That means a lot to us.
“The Muppets” opens in theaters on November 23rd.