Everyone — the lovers, the dreamers, and Oscar-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie — got dolled up to watch the world premiere of the Muppets Most Wanted alongside the titular stars last night in Hollywood.
“This is a bucket-list sort of item,” said Tina Fey, who plays a warden at the Siberian gulag where Kermit The Frog is wrongly imprisoned after his lookalike nemesis Constantine slaps a fake mole on his face in the Disney sequel hitting theaters March 21, when Entertainment Weekly caught up with her on the carpet at the El Capitan Theatre. “I met Lorne Michaels. I met John McEnroe. And now I have met the Muppets. There is no one left from my childhood [to meet] except for maybe Dr. J.”
She wasn’t the only cast member who considers working alongside Jim Henson’s genius creations a career high. “This is an apex moment for me. There’s never been anything where I got to be this involved with a group of characters that I grew up with and that bring up such fond memories and feelings,” Ty Burrell explained. “They have pulled off that really difficult task of keeping the spirit of the original, playing up the nostalgia and making it current.”
WWE wrestler Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl, a lifelong fan with 39 themed tattoos on his leg to prove it, is thrilled by the franchise’s reboot and believes today’s audiences find the same rainbow connection with the Muppets thanks to the wide variety of characters. “There’s a Muppet for everyone to love and relate to. Actually, I can see pieces of me in a lot of the different characters depending on my mood.”
It naturally left us wondering which Muppet the cast and their famous guests think they have the most in common with. Below, they pick their personal spirit puppet.
Tina Fey (Nadya): “Scooter. Probably. Because he has a lot of backstage responsibilities and glasses.”
Ty Burrell (Jean Pierre Napoleon): “It’s probably Fozzie Bear because he floats so many jokes out and has such a low volume of success. Unfortunately I relate to that. That’s probably closest to my experience in this business.”
Bret McKenzie, music supervisor/songwriter: “Right now The Swedish Chef is my favorite although I don’t know that I relate to him. We both like cooking. I like meatballs. I am not Swedish though. No, the reason I am hot on the Swedish Chef right now is that when I was working with all Muppets in the studio on the songs, The Chef guarantees comedy. It is like hit after hit after hit with that guy. The audience can’t get enough of him. And he is a great cheat for a songwriter. If you can’t find a rhyme for a word you really want to use, just call in the Swedish Chef to do that part and you can use a made-up word. That’s why I relate to him. We both are guilty of making up words.”
Danny Trejo (cameos as himself): “Animal because he just goes for it, which I like to think I do in all my roles, and he knows from the very beginning that Constantine is impersonating Kermit. I like to think I am that good of a judge of character.”
Josh Groban (cameos as himself): “The musical ones like Animal and Dr. Teeth and Janice for obvious reasons. As a fellow Scandinavian, I like the Swedish Chef very much. We are both equally terrible at cooking as well.”
Nick Stoller, executive producer/screenwriter: “Probably Fozzie Bear because I am always terrified that I am telling terrible jokes and people are just laughing to be polite. Even now, inside I’m like, ‘I don’t know if she liked my answer or not. She probably thinks I’m stupid.’ I struggle with inadequacy issues.”
Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl (Prisoner One): “I have been a die-hard fanatic all my life. I have 39 Muppet tattoos on my leg, so that is a tough question. If we were talking about my WWE character, I’d go with Animal because he’s wild, crazy, shouts things, tackles people, and you never know what he is going to do next. He’s easily my favorite and was my first tattoo.”
Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine): “Animal. He’s a bit of a diva just like me. He lifts a lot and is very, very strong. He also has a big temper just like me. I am either the nicest guy in the world or I am turning over tables. You won’t like me when I’m angry. I’m like a black Hulk. I think Animal has those same two sides.”
Tia Mowry (Instant Mom): “Miss Piggy. She was always the style icon I aspired to be with her gowns, tiaras, and really cute tiny shoes. She was always rocking a nice pearl and really well-applied blush. She’s also a great role model. She’s a working woman with very strong positive body image and confidence. She’s funny, in control, and full of grace. What more could you want out of a lady?”
And why let the humans have all the fun? We got some of the classic characters to exclusively reveal which famous personality they felt (pun intended!) most like:
Kermit the Frog: “Tom Hanks. He’s the everyman; I’m the everyfrog. If he were green, we’d be twins.”
Miss Piggy: “Meryl Streep and moi are both incredibly talented and revered in Hollywood. One difference: She’s got Oscars…and I’m STILL WAITING, Academy!”
Fozzie Bear: “Robin Williams, except I hear he’s got more fur than me.”
Gonzo: “Jack Black! The man is wild, crazy and fearless just like me. Gee, I wonder if he dates chickens too?”
Animal: “Keith Richards! Rock & roll! Rock & roll!”
Swedish Chef: “Høøski frøø dee smøørgasbord øøf de Gordee Ramsey, de Paula Deen, un dee Emeril! Bam! Bam! Yøøbetcha!”
Rowlf: “Rin Tin Tin. Lassie. Snoop Dogg. It’s hard to choose just one.”
Check out EW’s Instagram account for photos from Tuesday night’s premiere.