Who snogs a frog

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

“I’ve never re­ally seen my­self as a leader of the fem­i­nist move­ment. I leave that to oth­ers. I re­ally care mostly about my­self and pro­mot­ing my own agenda”

The new film once again ex­tends the strange metafic­tion of Piggy and Ker­mit’s re­la­tion­ship by sug­gest­ing that her beloved Kermy has pre­vi­ously jilted her at the al­tar. The cou­ple’s on-screen, off-screen two-step has fre­quently blurred the line be­tween bi­og­ra­phy and fic­tion.

She ac­knowl­edges cer­tain par­al­lels with mod­ern head­line-grab­bing celebri­ties. Long be­fore Heat mag­a­zine reg­u­lated the prac­tice among re­al­ity TV stars, Kermy and Piggy lived out a very public soap opera. But that, she in­sists, is just who they are: “I don’t mind play­ing my­self. I pre­fer it ac­tu­ally. There’s no­body else who can play me as well.”

So this isn’t one of those con­ve­nient Hol­ly­wood sham mar­riages? And things are rosy be­tween Ker­mit and her­self?

“Oh yes. Ex­cept when he squeezes the tooth­paste from the mid­dle of the tube.”

Still, her ex­treme ad­her­ence to post­mod­ernism has, on oc­ca­sion, cre­ated con­fu­sion: “No no no no no no,” she clar­i­fies later. “Moi is not plus-size. Moi is play­ing the ed­i­tor of plus-size Paris Vogue.”

Does that mean she knows what trends we should watch out for?

“Well, I think ev­ery­one next win­ter will be wear­ing coats.”

She im­me­di­ately dis­misses in­ter­net spec­u­la­tion that she and Angelina Jolie at­tend the same Thai plas­tic sur­geon. Her beauty regime re­quires nei­ther Bo­tox nor any other in­va­sive pro­ce­dure: “I just de­cided a long time ago that I wasn’t go­ing to get any older,” says Miss Piggy. “Age­ing just isn’t for me.”

One of the few celebri­ties to speak out in favour of phone-tap­ping in jour­nal­ism, she sug­gests that new tech­nolo­gies and an old­fash­ioned bear trap rep­re­sent the best way to en­snare and keep your man: “I have no prob­lem with phone tap­ping,” Piggy says. “I ac­tu­ally have a GPS chip im­planted on Ker­mit.”

But surely she, of all peo­ple, must tire of see­ing pri­vate, per­sonal de­tails re­gur­gi­tated as tabloid head­lines?

“Huh. Wow. I never thought of it work­ing the other way around.”

Over the years Piggy has played Mrs Bob Cratchit in A Mup­pet Christ­mas Carol, Ben­jam­ina Gunn in Mup­pet Trea­sure Is­land and all four witches in Themup­pets Wizard of Oz. She greatly pre­ferred the screen­play for the new film, hav­ing thrown it away with­out read­ing it.

Her de­vo­tion to method act­ing has re­put­edly alarmed like-minded fel­low thes­pi­ans, in­clud­ing Daniel Day-lewis. “I walk on and do what­ever I feel like,” she ex­plains. “I find that is the best way to play moi. No­body can truly cap­ture the essence of moi like moi.”

It’s been 10 long years (“not long enough”) since Piggy last worked with the Mup­pets crew. She is aware of their foibles. An­i­mal isn’t try­ing to get into trou­ble, she ex­plains, “he just does”. Other Mup­pets re­quire care­ful han­dling: “I don’t mind work­ing with the Swedish chef,” she ad­mits. “I just don’t want to eat any of his food.”

The movie is a big deal for these sec­ondary Mup­pet play­ers, but for Piggy, who has al­ways worked steadily, it’s a step down. What’s her se­cret? Why has she col­lab­o­rated with Dolly Par­ton and the Jonas Broth­ers where other Mup­pet ca­reers have stalled?

“Well, I love the screen le­gends – Garbo, Marilyn, Dietrich – and I feel that I’m a con­tin­u­a­tion of that time­less legacy.”

Re­cent TV ap­pear­ances with Jay Leno and Chelsea Lately re­mind us that the karat­e­chop­ping Miss Piggy was once a great – nay, the great – fem­i­nist icon. It was Piggy who cod­i­fied and trans­lated the ideas of sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion sis­ters Su­san Son­tag and An­drea Dworkin into mass en­ter­tain­ment. How does she now feel about her new third-gen­er­a­tion heirs, I won­der? Is she dis­il­lu­sioned with the move­ment?

“I’ve never re­ally seen my­self as a leader of the fem­i­nist move­ment,” she trills. “I leave that to oth­ers. I re­ally care mostly about my­self and pro­mot­ing my own agenda against the agenda of any other group of peo­ple. I’m cer­tainly flat­tered to be viewed in that way. But only when it works for me.”

She looks down at her neck and fin­gers a string of fine pearls: “Kermy bought me these on his credit card,” she snorts del­i­cately. “He just doesn’t know it yet.”

THE MUP­PETS

Meaty role: Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit in

2009

2010

2011

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