New 'Muppets' Feature Goes ET
- Source: Hollywood Online,
Miss Piggy, Exposed
Most leading ladies wouldn't dream of sitting for a news interview while
having their legs waxed. But Miss Piggy isn't your ordinary diva;
appointments were backed up at the leg-waxing garage. The princess of pork
may try to hog the spotlight, but this hoity-toity oinker really isn't a ham.
Her newest role is as a talk-show host in the feature, "Muppets From Space"
(which opens July 14), an extraterrestrial send-up from Jim Henson
Productions. Gonzo -- joined by Her Nibs, Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat,
Fozzie Bear and other beloved Muppets -- goes on a quest to find his real
parents, whom, he discovers, are space aliens. Jeffrey Tambour is the human
lead; and there are cameos by David Arquette and Kathy Griffin, among others.
In the spoof, Miss Piggy covets Andie MacDowell's job of TV anchor. "My
character is sometimes devious and a teensy bit pushy. But of course moi
am not really like that. One has to be an 'ActRESS' to pull that off --
which moi ain't. But I am the glue that holds the integrity of the movie
together!" says the Corpulent One (performed by actor-director Frank Oz, a
four-time Emmy winner).
Miss Piggy, lolling at the waxing shop, has never been the model of
modesty, but that's part of her porcine charm. Though more than touchy and
grossly self-important, the tubby star has proven to be irresistible to one
Kermit the Frog. They tied the knot in an earlier Muppets movie.
"Kermit is a darling. He's desperately in love with me," beams Miss Piggy.
"We were legitimately married by a priest. But so his female fans won't get
jealous, I asked him not to say we're married. It's just a facade so he
won't hurt all the women."
Of course, the couple can duke it out too. "Once I got angry in the kitchen
and threw every dish at Kermy," confesses Miss Piggy. Speaking of flying
saucers, "Muppets From Space," produced by Brian Henson, son of Muppets
creator, the late Jim Henson, boasts several new Muppets, including Pepe
the Giant Prawn and Bobo the Bear. And Miss Piggy wields her karate chops
to strong-arm actor Josh Charles ("Sports Night"), and she spritzes Ray
Liotta with a mind-altering chemical.
However, insists the chubby celeb, who does have a reputation for bullying,
"I'm not an action star in this movie. We're not talking Mel Gibson here!"
No, certainly her biggest challenge was arising for the 8 a.m. makeup
sessions. "That was much too early for moi.
"Noon," she says, "would have been better." Miss Piggy was, however, more
than pleased with the expert styling of her blonde glamour wig. "But blonde
or brunette, it makes no difference," she insists. "Pigs have more fun.
Trust me on that!"
Before finding stardom, the smug swine could be found wallowing in the
trenches. Early on, she even stooped to sell gloves in a department store.
("Never pigskin! That would be like selling gloves made of you . But I did
push pink a lot!"). At her lowest, she posed for a bacon ad. Finally,
finding some success as a hand model, it behooved her to enter a beauty
pageant, where she met Kermit.
Miss Piggy truly fleshed out her career when she joined the Muppets on TV's
"Sesame Street" in 1969. She then won a meaty part on the syndicated "The
Muppets Show," televised from 1976 through '81. One of her most cherished
turns was dancing a "Swine Lake" pas de deux with Rudolf Nureyev.
Miss Piggy has co-starred in the five Muppet movies, but, alas, pigs aren't
eligible to tote home Oscars. Will she crusade to change the rules? "That
would be too self-aggrandizing for moi," she says. "But an award will come
at the appropriate time -- if the judges know what's good for them! Moi's
acting comes from within."
Oh, did she study the Stanislavsky method? "No, I never dated him -- Stan
wasn't there when I was around."
As customary with superstars, Miss Piggy is a veritable glutton for
primping and preening. "One of my secrets is taking wonderfully warm, silky
baths. You must add very smooth bath oil -- and if you're hungry, some
oregano," she advises. "But it's extremely important to have a box of
chocolate bon-bons at the side. They help release toxins in the pores."
A workout regimen is, as expected, missing from the stout star's agenda.
"Fortunately, pigs are blessed with bodies that don't need exercise. Moi am
toned beautifully. I don't believe in being skinny," she says. "No one
wants to see those bony little models anymore. They want an honest person
like moi, with just a little bit of chub. Moi knows I'm plump, but that's
the way moi's frog likes moi. He wants something to hold onto -- if you get
Indeed, Miss Piggy is in hog heaven when Kermit massages her ample pig's
feet. "Moi is a lady and doesn't speak of wild times, but we do kick in a
Oddly enough, Miss Piggy's long-term goal has little to do with career. She
seeks "love, companionship and children. But don't tell Kermy about the
children," she says. "He doesn't know yet. Luckily, pigs have no biological
clock -- so there's time."
But for now, Miss Piggy is most proud of the respect she's won. "Pigs are
not always treated that way. But, after going to charm school for many
years, moi finally did get men's respect -- due to my (strong) right arm!"
Surely this screen idol has it all. The best thing about being Miss Piggy,
however, is not living high on the hog, she says. "It's the adulation and
knowledge of how many people love moi as moi am, because moi am not only a
superstar but also earthy and grounded. It's how one lives one's life,
makes one's decisions, and is a truly generous, caring person. Of course,
I'm none of those -- but I get by anyhow!"
by Jane Wollman Rusoff, L.A. Times Syndicate