New Muppet Stuff
Piggy Goes POP
April 2005: Miss Piggy promoted The Muppets' Wizard of Oz in the UK's POP magazine, where she modeled this new outfit. The caption read: "Peacock feather dress, woven hat and watch all by Prada; six-row Lucea bracelet with white gold and diamonds by Bulgari; pearl necklace by Chanel Fine Jewellery; gloves, shoes and ring Miss Piggy's own."
The interview by Murray Healy is really funny, and it's not available anywhere, so I'm just gonna go ahead and post it here, with nobody's permission but my own.
Miss Piggy models Prada for POP
Maybe it's because she's the product of an era when stars were bigger, brighter and far more volatile. Maybe it's because her path to fame was a slow, tough, uphill slog, treading the boards in the Seventies in a flea-bitten vaudeville theatre fronted by her boyfriend, Kermit the Frog. Whatever the reason, Miss Piggy is famously difficult: brittle, capricious and not afraid to answer questions she doesn't like with a slap in the chops. This is one occasion when I'd actually prefer to do the interview by phone.
Instead, we meet at a secret location in central London, the day before she's due to be shot by Mert and Marcus wearing an outfit made specifically for her by Prada. With eyes as big and blue as Hockney's swimming pools and fists as tough as old boots, she is, by turns, charming and terrifying. She's easy to flatter, and easier still to offend. The interview proves to be a bit of a minefield, as you might expect. A mere five minutes into our exchange, she makes it clear that she's not happy with the way things are going. "Usually moi would take umbrage at such impertinent questions," she snorts. Luckily for me, "I'm all out of umbrage this week. Come back next week -- I'm getting a whole new shipment of umbrage, plus several boxes of righteous indignation and fuming rage." This is Miss Piggy at her most magnanimous? I'd hate to meet her on a bad day.
Threats and intimidation are never far away. At one point I ask her if she ever goes back to Hog Springs, which, according to my research, is her hometown. Big mistake. "I assume that is a joke, such as it is," she hisses. "I assume that vous are heavily insured in the likely event that something untoward should befall you?" And then she moves in closer, snout to nose, those twin blue pools big enough to find yourself floating face-down in: "That's as subtle as I get, so take a hint, buster."
And yet, she's worth it. She's a unique character in Hollywood these days: for all her self-aggrandising and propensity for pretension (what's the deal with those French pronouns?), there's a curious integrity about her. She doesn't hog the limelight -- there have been no desperate publicity stunts, no reality TV appearances, no OK! deals, no Heat headlines (although there was a Tatler cover, way back in 1982). She's honest and direct, and won't be silenced: there's no press attaché in the wings waiting to step in the moment she says anything contentious -- not even the most hardened Hollywood press rep would dare. In an age when the entertainment industry is littered with anodyne, studio-controlled puppets, Miss Piggy remains refreshingly real.
Many stars these days suffer from over-exposure, but you seem to be able to keep the media at a distance -- how have you managed this?
A strong right jab and a quick left uppercut -- works every time. Of course, as a star, one sometimes wants exposure (as when I'm pushing my new movie The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz), in which case I am very accessible to the media... to the point of following them home after work, if necessary.
You appear even younger now than you did in the Seventies -- what's your secret? Have you ever gone under the knife? Are the rumours about your snout job true? (And the botox and the lipo?)
Of course I look younger than I did in the Seventies; I am younger than I was in the Seventies. (Trust moi, that dear sweet Stephen Hawking knows more about time than he's letting on. Kissy kissy, Stephen!) I have never gone under the knife (though if I had one handy, vous would be in serious trouble). "Snout-job"? Never. Botox? Let's just say, moi knows what it's like to "crack" a smile. Lipo? No. Moi's proportions are perfection, so why give anything away?
Where are you living these days?
Moi has a pied-a-terre in Manhattan, a cottage in Wales, a beachfront manse in Malibu, an A-Frame in Aspen, a bungalow in Bel Air, a duplex in London, a triplex in Paris, and a superiority complex in Vienna, to name but a few. In style, these homes vary greatly and change frequently, but when it comes to decorating I like to create a pre-postmodern, overpriced, under-furnished ambiance, with plenty of throw pillows and no place comfortable to sit.
Let's talk about Kermit. Your relationship with him is as legendary as Taylor and Burton's. How is that going right now? Was there ever any truth in the rumours linking you with Link Hogthrob back in the Seventies?
Kermie and moi have a perfect relationship. Our love is mutual. I love him. He loves moi. And I love moi. As for those rumours linking moi to my Pigs in Space co-star Link Hogthrob, all I can say is: Hahahahahaahaha (gasp) Haaaaha-hahah!!!!!!
OK, let's move on to more recent events... You're playing the good and the bad witches in The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Why aren't you playing Dorothy? Were you annoyed when the part went to Ashanti? Was it a matter of -- and I don't know how to put this delicately -- age?
I must agree, vous certainly do not know how to put that delicately. Which is really too bad, since it is not fair to suggest that Ashanti was obviously too old to play the far superior part of the witches. Ashanti is a lovely actress and a marvellous singer who reminds me of myself, only less so. In any case, she makes a marvellous Dorothy, which is only one role, whereas moi plays four -- count 'em, four! -- roles as Glinda the Good Witch, The Wicked Witch of the West, and the Witches of the South and East. We're talkin' major screen time -- and four times the acting awards. Mark your BAFTA calendar, sweetie!
Quentin Tarantino stars in that film too. Is it true you were considered for a part in Kill Bill because of your advanced martial arts skills?
Yes, that is true, but dear Quentin felt that moi was a teensy bit too violent and decided to go with Uma Thurman, whose martial arts skills and on-screen beauty were less, how we can say, lethal. However, I am happy to report that Quentin has asked Kermie and moi to appear as Mister Green and Miss Pink in his next picture, Reservoir Frogs. I'm hoping it's a musical.
How are your karate skills these days? Where do you exercise? Do you have a personal trainer?
Moi keeps up my karate skills by doing interviews like this. It's amazing how many of these media events result in a dropkick or forearm smash. Would you care for a demonstration? No? Well, maybe later. As for exercise, moi has an excellent personal trainer who works out for me. Running ten miles and spending two hours at the gym every morning feels marvellous, especially when someone else is doing it.
I know the current generation of Hollywood stars revere you as an icon, but what do you make of them? Do you agree that there's less personality in Hollywood these days, because the studios find larger-than-life characters hard to control?
Moi adores the current generation of stars, particularly Colin and Tom and Brad. And it is just wonderful to be revered by them as an icon (though, if you ask moi, the occasional backrub and evening out on the town beats reverence every time). As for Hollywood, it will always have room for larger-than-life personalities as long as I'm in town... and I'm not going anywhere, so Julia, Nicole, Gwyneth and Cameron better just back-up their star trailers and find someplace else to park.
You've worked with so many amazing talents -- Mel Brooks, Bob Hope, John Cleese in your movies, and endless Hollywood stars on TV. What advice do you give them?
My advice is always the same: don't even think about getting between moi and the camera.
Do you know Yoda?
Of course I know Yoda. I know everyone in Hollywood who's short and green. Yoda is a good friend, a marvellous dancer and surprisingly good at charades -- but, between vous and moi: funny he talks.
I love your Sow and the City column -- it's wonderfully indiscreet. Have you got any delicious morsels from within the A-list that you can share with us?
Thank vous for your kind compliment about my Sow in the City web log (or "blog," as we of the internet cognoscenti call it). It can be found at Muppets.com, our brand new website. Did I mention that every time someone visits Muppets.com, moi gets a piece of the action? My agent Bernie negotiated that deal for me, and I must say it certainly has been rewarding, in that Hollywood I-don't-do-anything-and-I-
still-get-paid-for-it kind of way. Did I mention the website is Muppets.com?
Oh, good. As for juicy details, I would love to share those with you here, but then you might not visit Muppets.com, and where's the return on that? So, if you want names named, dirt dished and the latest news about moi, come read Sow in the City at Muppets.com. (I hope that wasn't too forward. I hate when celebrities shill for their own profit.)
Have you ever been tempted to sell out and endorse hair or beauty products in tawdry television advertisements? Have such companies offered big bucks to be associated with you?
Moi endorse hair and beauty products? Do tawdry television advertisements? Why -- do you know someone? Tell them to look me up at Muppets.com. Bernie will be happy to entertain any and all offers. And if moi is not available, Bernie will do the endorsement himself. He's got great hair.
What is the greatest achievement of your career to date?
Getting through this interview. Oh, I jest! I'm simply looking at my watch and noticing we've been here for hours. Seriously, I'd have to say that my greatest career achievement is simply being consistently fabulous in everything I do -- on stage, screen and on the internet (at Muppets.com). That, and being the frog's main squeeze.
Is fame a blessing or a burden?
I have never understood those who consider fame a burden. Fame is a blessing, and one that moi gladly shares with all of those dear, sweet fans, followers, groupies, hangers-on, fawning sycophants and obsessive weirdos out there who've helped to make me the famous person I am today. Thank you all... but don't touch.
Is beauty a blessing or a burden?
Beauty is a blessing and a burden. One must celebrate the blessing of being beautiful, and yet bear the burden of attracting freaks who want to sunbathe in the reflected gorgeousity of moi's porcine pulchritude. But, then again, who can blame them? Can I go now? Ta!