Kermit The Frog interview: "Keep the UK united"

Kermit the Frog

The green giant of the Muppets phenomenon talks Ricky Gervais, Scottish independence - and Reservoir Frogs

Your new film is called Muppets Most Wanted. What do you want most of all?
I want to keep doing what we’re doing – singing, dancing and making as many people happy as we can.

You’re very ‘Kermitted’ to that, are you? Funny. Is Fozzie the one who told you that joke?

It is pretty unoriginal. But is that what all the other Muppets want most as well? You mean the show going on? Yes, I think that all the Muppets feel that way, too. So far, we’ve been able to do that for a long time, and I’m hoping the show just keeps on going!

What I want most of all is a follow-up to The Muppet Christmas Carol. Why did you never make The Muppet Christmas Carol 2? We considered it but apparently Mr Dickens never wrote a sequel, so we decided to leave well enough alone.

It’s become a festive tradition to watch it with the family at Christmas. Do you do that too? Yes, we do. That was a great experience, especially getting to work with the great Sir Michael Caine. I still think he played the role of Scrooge better than anyone else. And we hope he’s finally recovered from making the movie with us.

He’s just one of the many greats you’ve worked with. Has any other entertainer performed with both Johnny Cash and Lady Gaga? I don’t think so. At least no frog entertainers.

Or acted alongside Orson Welles and Ricky Gervais? Another astute observation. I’ve certainly been blessed working with everyone from Orson and Ricky to John Cleese, Robert De Niro and Celine Dion.

Was Ricky Gervais a natural fit for the Muppet family? Ricky is a perfect fit. He’s funny, witty, silly and a real scene stealer. And he was happy that he was only allergic to about half the cast.

What’s his role in the new film? Ricky plays our tour manager, Dominic Badguy. And it turns out he lives up to his name. Muppets Most Wanted picks up right where our last movie ended. Everything is going great until I get nabbed and replaced by a frog named Constantine who looks just like me – and happens to be the World’s Number One Criminal.

Don’t frogs suffer from mistaken identity a lot? How can you tell the difference between a frog and a toad? That’s easy. Pigs like frogs, not toads. If you see an amphibian with a pig kissing him, it’s a frog, not a toad.

More often than not you play yourself. Do you feel you’ve been typecast? Yes, I guess I have been typecast. But y’know, I’m lucky to be working. There aren’t a lot of parts out there for short green leading men. If you don’t believe me, ask Yoda.

Would you like to play more dramatic roles? It doesn’t get more dramatic than being cornered by an amorous pig. What did you have in mind?

I would love to see you in a Tarantino or Scorsese film. Have they ever been in touch? I worked with Quentin on a TV movie we made. He’s great. And yes, we did talk about doing Reservoir Frogs sometime in the future. I’d play Mr Green.

The new film brings the gang back to the UK… We love the UK! We’ve made several movies here and, of course, this is where we shot The Muppet Show.

Like David Bowie, are you hoping the United Kingdom stays united? Absolutely. Although, I understand that Miss Piggy is willing to serve as Queen of Scotland if there is a split. So you may want to guard your castles.

Do you like it here because Britain’s so wet? Especially this year, with all the flooding… For me London is like a second home – cool, damp and foggy, just like the swamp. As for the flooding, it’s good for frogs but not people. Be careful out there.

As you said, you filmed The Muppet Show here in the 1970s. Were we the first to embrace you so enthusiastically? Yes, the British people really ‘got’ our humour. Heck, you folks even get Fozzie’s jokes but it was the great impresario, Lord Lew Grade, who gave us our first big break… and we’re forever grateful to him and to everyone here in England.

Does that make us Brits more like Muppets than any other nationality? Well, I know for a while the term ‘Muppet’ was used here to describe someone who was… well… a bit like a Muppet. So I guess there must be a lot of Muppets in the UK.

What makes someone a Muppet? A complete and total lack of inhibition combined with a quirky sense of humour, a willingness to risk everything for the spotlight, an ability to keep going no matter what or who stands in your way, and accepting others for who they are. If that’s you, then you’re one of us – which I hope you’ll take as a compliment.

It’s natural to refer to the Muppets as being a family. Is that how you see yourselves? I guess we are kind of like a family. We care for each other and love each other. And yes, we disagree and sometimes don’t get along but when it really matters we’re together and there for each other. And that, for me, is what makes any family a family.

Have you found the rainbow connection yet? I’ve got great friends, a pig who loves me and fans all around the world. So yes, I’d say I’ve found the Rainbow Connection. But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop searching. Cause there’s always more magic and wonders out there.

Muppets Most Wanted is in cinemas from March 28

Kermit’s support of a United Kingdom caught the attention of many tweeters. See below for some of the best...

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