Actor, Muppets Most Wanted
In the fall of 2011, Disney launched The Muppets in Toronto by bringing Kermit the Frog to town and holding a press conference. For the sequel, Muppets Most Wanted, they brought an even bigger star: the divine Miss Piggy, who plays herself (of course) in the film.
Over the course of a carefully choreographed appearance at the Shangri-La Hotel, Miss Piggy – with an uncredited assist from Eric Jacobson – discussed fashion, romance, divahood and the burden of being an inspiration to millions. The transcript that follows is straight from the pig’s mouth.
In Muppets Most Wanted, you sing a duet with Céline Dion, another globally famous diva. Was it difficult to shoot that sequence? Did the two of you have to break down your screen time opposite one another or do you have people for that?
Céline and moi are probably the closest of friends. But we hardly ever talk to each other. We have our people talk to one another. She’s wonderful in the movie – you know, she sings pretty good, too. I had to go into the studio and kinda double for her on a couple of notes. The high notes. I don’t think she’ll mind, though.
You’ve worked with everyone from Dion to Ozzy Osbourne. If you could sing with one person, who would it be and what song would you sing?
Judy Garland was known for a certain song about a certain rainbow, right? I would love to sing Kermit’s rainbow song, The Rainbow Connection, with Judy Garland and Kermit. I think that would be really wonderful, I’d like to do that sometime. I mean, you know, if it were possible.
You just mentioned Judy Garland, so let’s talk about your status as a gay icon. How do you feel about being an international gay icon?
I love being anybody’s icon. Yes! Yes! I am everyone’s icon. I am an icon to all who will have me. Yes.
Will you march in Pride this year?
Oh, sweetheart, I don’t march [laughter]. I’m always wearing high heels, and, you know, I can barely walk. They gotta cart me wherever I go.
You’re a fashion icon. Can you tell us a little about your personal style?
Hmm. Well, my style centres around making a statement wherever I go, and the loudest statement possible. I want to be unique. That’s why I wear my jewellery on the outside of my gloves.
Do you have a favourite fashion moment?
It might be in this movie. Vivienne Westwood made moi a number of outfits for the movie, including a beautiful, gorgeous, extravagant wedding dress.
Did you consult on the designs with Westwood, or did she present them to you?
I thought I already mentioned this. I try not to work. I let other people do the work I just look good.
Speaking of the wedding dress, Muppets Most Wanted has a subplot in which you try to get Kermit the Frog to the altar. Didn’t the two of you get married at the end of The Muppets Take Manhattan?
[Deep sigh.] I knew this question was coming. Okay, first of all you have to understand the difference between reality and fiction. What you’re witnessing here today, this is reality. Those are movies, what you saw before.
I did try to pull the wool over Kermit’s eyes in Muppets Take Manhattan by replacing [an] actor with a real minister – unfortunately, he’d already been defrocked for marrying farm animals. Apparently it’s not legal in many states in the U.S. It’s going to happen one day, I’m sure. And then we’ll make a documentary, not a fictional movie.
Let’s think about fictional movies. Who would play you in the biopic of your life?
Well, naturally, moi.
What if you weren’t available?
If I weren’t available? [Long pause.] Beyoncé.
Since the 1970s, you’ve been a strong female role model, and in Muppets Most Wanted you appear on-screen with Tina Fey, who’s another very strong, feminist presence in the entertainment world. Do you think the two of you have anything in common?
Well, there are so many similarities between me and Tina, yes. I would say I’ve never seen myself necessarily as a feminist icon, but as I said before, I’ll be anybody’s icon, you know? I’m really just waving my own flag, but if other people identify with moi… hey, people can dream big. I’m fine with that.