Return of the Muppets!

TFK chats with actor Jason Segel about his role in Disney’s new Muppets movie

Nov 09, 2011 | By TFK Kid Reporter Jack Wetzel
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The Muppets are back! After more than 10 years away, the lovable, fuzzy characters are finally returning to the big screen in Disney’s The Muppets, in theaters November 23. The story follows Muppets fan Gary (played by Jason Segel), his girlfriend Mary (Enchanted star Amy Adams) and his brother and best friend Walter, as they try to save Muppet Theater from the evil oil baron Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). The movie reunites the entire Muppets gang, including fan favorites Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. It also introduces Walter as the newest addition to the Muppets family.

Jason Segel, who cowrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, says he’s a big Muppets fan in real life. TFK Kid Reporter Jack Wetzel sat down with the actor in Beverly Hills, California, to chat about the movie.

TFK:

Growing up, you said you watched the Muppets. Do you have any memories you can share?

TFK Kid Reporter Jack Wetzel spoke to actor Jason Segel about the new Muppets movie.
COURTESY WETZEL FAMILY
TFK Kid Reporter Jack Wetzel spoke to actor Jason Segel about the new Muppets movie.

JASON SEGEL:

I just remember being a kid and watching it with my family and seeing that my parents were enjoying it the same way I was enjoying it. It wasn’t just a show for kids, sort of like The Simpsons today or the Pixar movies. It was a perfect mix [for] adults and kids.

TFK:

What was it like performing with the Muppets? Who is your favorite Muppet?

SEGEL:

It was really cool. I’m much taller than all of those Muppets, so I had to do a lot of sitting so they could kind of be the same height as me. It was really fun to see these guys do their thing after such a long time. Fozzie was my favorite.

TFK:

Did you do anything special to prepare for your role as Gary?

SEGEL:

I just tried to remind myself of what I was like when I was a kid, because Gary is very kid-like. He has wide eyes and a big smile. It was pretty easy. We just had to be Muppety.

TFK:

What was your favorite scene to film?

SEGEL:

I think it was the scene for the “Man or Muppet” song. That was really, really fun. Getting to do a big musical number with the Muppets was pretty exciting.

TFK:

You also cowrote the screenplay for The Muppets. Since these aren’t your original characters, did you feel pressure to please long-time Muppet fans?

SEGEL:

Yeah. Luckily, I’m a long-time Muppet fan, so I knew that I had the background to try to do justice to those characters. I really wanted to honor what the Muppets [creators had done] before me.

TFK:

What sparked your interest in acting? Did it start when you were a kid?

SEGEL:

I did a high school play when I was 17 years old, and that’s where it all got started for me. I had a great high school acting teacher who changed my life.

TFK:

What advice do you have for kids that want to go into acting and writing?

SEGEL:

It’s all about hard work. Some people think, “I’ll just become an actor so I don’t have to have a real job! It’ll be fun and easy!” But you have to work hard at anything you want to do if you want to succeed. So just be prepared for a lot of hard work.

Holiday Movie Guide: Click here to watch an interview with Chloe Grace Moretz from Hugo.