It’s note very day that one gets to interview Kermit the Frog. I was invited to interview Kermit after watching Muppets Most Wanted, so take a look at what Kermit has to say about his most recent movie!
“Who would’ve thought that one small frog from the swamp could be a movie star?” There might be more famous celebrities out there, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a more beloved one that Kermit the Frog. Who doesn’t like Kermit? Why do the Muppets continue appealing to subsequent generations? What’s the secret? Well, Kermit doesn’t believe there is one. “I think we’re all just who we are. And people respond to that. They see themselves in some of us. We try not to do anything that children can’t watch. Can’t come to. And we try to make it funny enough that adults can come to.”
That’s the secret about The Muppets that’s probably not really a secret. They’ve always appealed to adults just as much if not more than to children. I recall a sight gag during a key moment in their most recent film, Muppets Most Wanted, in which the roof sign of a cab in Eastern Europe changes to “Plotpointsberg.” I mean, Peter Sellers was a guest host on the TV show!
But in this day and age, I think Kermit knows The Muppets still have to appeal to kids. “It’s wonderful to see parents [to whom] I might have taught their ABCs and now they’re bringing their kids around.” Just don’t let the kids know Kermit “doesn’t eat a lot of vegetables,” being a frog and all.
Kermit doesn’t walk into a room so much as glide into it, seeing as how the long-time performer Steve Whitmire is attached to him and doing the walking. There’s an inherent unspoken agreement that goes into interviewing Kermit the Frog, and darn it if one’s questions aren’t directed to this two-foot amphibian! And why not? Kermit is warm and gracious and without the slightest hint of malice. Over 35 years in the business and his head can still fit through the door.
A self-described southern gentleman, when asked if he’s ever thought of settling down with Miss Piggy, he responds, “You don’t date somebody as long as I’ve dated Miss Piggy and not consider it. The truth is, there’s all kinds of issues with that. Not the least of which is I’m not sure that it’s legal to marry a pig… She’s got it all figured out, but there are still unanswered questions.” Consider the possibilities. Gives whole new meaning to the word ‘mash-up.’ Yet Piggy still has a hard time telling him and Constantine, the villain in the new film and dead ringer for Kermit, apart. “All she sees is green,” Kermit informs us while battling a raspy throat after a whirlwind press tour that’s taken him all over the world. He’s tired, but likes the opportunity to catch up with old friends. Constantine being one of them. “Constantine and I have known each other a very long time. He’s actually one of my relatives from the swamp.” And speaking of old friends, when asked if Kermit sensed any resentment from them because of diminished or non-existent screen time, he told us, “Of course. Everybody wants to be onscreen. And there are a handful of Muppet characters who didn’t make the cut. But I assume…they will end up in future movies, they just didn’t get into these.”
He would like director James Bobin to helm future projects, should there be any, but fears he might not be available because he’s directing another big film. “He’s off with Johnny Depp shooting against a bluescreen for three years (Through the Looking Glass). I’d love to have James back. He’s really learning who we [Muppets] are and how we work. He’s terrific.” He’s even more excited about the work Bret McKenzie did handling the music on this film and his potential return in future films. “The music in this [the sequel] is better than in the last one.”
So what does the future hold for Kermit and the Muppets? “We would all [like to be on television],” he tells us. Is Mixology still on the air? Just wait, Kermit. I’ve got a feeling a time slot is about to open up. As for other media opportunities, he’s not sure if Muppet Babies will ever be back (Suck it, Skeeter!), and he’d love to appear in a certain space opera franchise that just happens to be owned by Disney as well. Instead of worrying about now being only Disney’s second-most famous amphibian to Yoda, he’d like to be considered for the role. “What I’m really hoping is that with [the Disney acquisition of Star Wars], I might be up for the role. If I were to… talk backwards, the role I might get.”