Kermit, Miss Piggy and Constantine (as well as Ricky Gervais and director James Bobin) were in London to talk about The Muppets sequel Muppets Most Wanted. Here are some of the highlights…
On Kermit’s role in Muppets Most Wanted
Kermit: I think of myself as getting to do a little bit of an action role in this, it’s something I haven’t done before. In order to prepare for that role I watched all of Bruce Willis’ movies, and when that didn’t work I just went to his hairdresser.
On Ricky Gervais landing a role in the film
Ricky Gervais: It’s not a job, is it? This is like fun. I’m a big kid and I can’t believe my luck. I’ve been a fan of the Muppets for thirty years, I used to watch them on Sundays with my family. So yeah, this was a good call to get. I didn’t know this guy[Constantine] before, but now he’s one of my best pals.
Constantine: Yes. We are buddies. You will give me your email address right? I keep asking for it, but he does not give it. How are we supposed to stay in touch?
Ricky Gervais: I think about him a lot. And I say to my girlfriend: “I wonder where Constantine is today?”. Usually in a bag.
Constantine: This is correct.
On Constantine being the bad guy
Constantine: There is part of me that kind of enjoys being the bad guy, and enjoys being hated. I was written that way, so what can I say?
Kermit: We don’t hate him. It’s just a story of the movie. He’s actually an old pal from the swamp. Ricky’s he’s best friend now, he’s a good guy.
Ricky Gervais: In the movie he’s evil. But I think doing this movie and meeting me has thawed his little heart of stone. SHowing him love has made him quite a cuddly little thing.
On the cameos in Muppets Most Wanted
James Bobin: Largely we write those roles in the script, and often we write the name of the particular person. What we find is because there is a great love for the Muppets, the people we ask tend to say yes. Which is really rare.
On Miss Piggy’s beauty
Miss Piggy: I’m so distracting, I’m distracting here at the press conference. They can’t take their eyes off me.
Ricky Gervais: You had to pretend to love her in the movie, didn’t you?
Constantine: Yes. It was my best acting.
Ricky Gervais: She’s a bigger diva [than the actresses he has worked with], and she won’t mind me saying that because she is sort of proud of it.
Miss Piggy: Mmm, it’s a compliment.
On childhood idols
Kermit: For me it was probably Walter Brennan. A great American actor. Nobody has a clue who I’m talking about, do they? I don’t know, I was inspired by so many people. I had great grandparents, old frogs. Old frogs are great inspirations.
Constantine: There is a great safecracker named Thomas Demato, there is an explosives expert, Tommy ‘The Toenail’ Lewis, Al Pacino in The Godfather Part III…
On filming Muppets Most Wanted in the Tower of London
James Bobin: Famously you’re not allowed to film there pretty much ever. And they have turned down everyone who has asked before, but somehow when you have the Muppets with you and you ask for favours, people tend to change their minds.
On deleted scenes
Ricky Gervais: They filmed about four hours of this that they had to cut down.
James Bobin: We had a lot of material in that film.
Kermit: The great thing about James is he tells you that before you shoot the scene.
Muppets Most Wanted is released in UK cinemas on 28th March 2014.