The world’s most famous frog has leapt from the swamp to the Hollywood screen – and into our hearts. Here, he reveals all in this frank interview.
What is your earliest memory?
‘Being a tadpole in the swamp with several thousand brothers and sisters. And, of course, the day I dropped my tail. Puberty really sticks with you, even for a frog.’
What makes you cry?
‘The Swedish Chef’s meatballs (he serves them with a tennis racket, and they really sting if he hits you), Miss Piggy’s karate chop (which speaks for itself), and any time I have to be away from the people – and and animals – I love.’
Do you have a dark side?
‘Only at night. However, in Muppets Most Wanted there’s a frog named Constantine who looks like me, and who just happens to be the World’s No. 1 Criminal. If I had a dark side, it would look like him.’
You and Miss Piggy have a tempestuous relationship – why have you stuck with it over the years?
‘We have fun together. We really do. And from what people tell me, we have a real chemistry on screen. I can’t imagine my life without her. And she won’t let me imagine it that way either.’
What is your strategy for working with a diva?
‘Easy... Just. Say. Yes.’
Would you compare Miss Piggy to the great screen stars such as Monroe and Garbo?
‘Miss Piggy is like Marilyn and Garbo and Hepburn and all those great stars rolled into one. Which isn’t to say – or even suggest – that Miss Piggy is large. Not at all. She’s just densely packed with talent. Which isn’t to say she’s dense. Not at all. She’s just full of the kind of... Y’know what, Miss Piggy is one of a kind.’
Who is the hardest Muppet to control on set?
The obvious answer is Animal – he’s wild and is constantly running through walls and over guest stars. But, in truth, Animal is a real sweet guy, a gentle soul (who loves bunnies). So I’d have to say the hardest Muppet to control on the set – or off – would be Miss Piggy. She makes outrageous, unreasonable and impossible demands. But, y’know what, we still love her.’
Who is your greatest inspiration?
‘I worked with a great filmmaker and artist named Jim Henson. I’m not sure what exactly he did, but he was always there to give me a lift or lend a hand. He made it fun to be on the set every single day – and he taught me how to ride a bike. I’d have to say, Jim is my greatest inspiration – in movies and in life.’