Interview With Muppets Most Wanted Director James Bobin

I had the opportunity to sit in an interview with James Bobin, director of the Muppets Most Wanted movie. I will admit I was quite fascinated by all the work that truly goes into a movie. After visiting sets and talking with people behind the scenes I realized how much work goes into making the magic happen.

James Bobin

Here are some snippets from our interview with James Bobin:

QUESTION  :    So what is the difference between shooting the first movie and then the second movie?

JAMES BOBIN   :    Oh, for me obviously it was the slightly, uh, the first movie I’d never worked puppets before, so it was a very big experiential learning curve of how to frame shots, how to make this world feel realistic, that these puppets were alive, breathing people who are interacting with humans and the world’s just, the world we live in, the recognizable world we live in happened to have puppets in it. That idea I love, and that’s a very important part of it.And that was quite, the–– the training of the first movie was just getting, I think just getting to that level for me was an achievement. I could make a movie that like worked on that level. And so for this one I just wanted to push that a bit further. Because the last movie is kinda set in the theater for a lot of the final act. And the last, you know, most of it was and so I thought this time, well, we should just get out and about a bit more and just do some slightly more adventurous, bigger stuff. And, obviously, the fact that the movie’s kind of a caper movie with some criminal stuff in it, feels like you–– you can do bigger action sequences.

And, obviously, you never want to put the words “puppet” and “action sequences” in the same sentence [LAUGHS] as a director, ’cause that is very hard. But I like the idea of trying difficult stuff. It’s ambition about the movie I really like about it, it feels like a very different film to me. And the way I love both movies equally, but this film–– film I feel like has slightly more ambition which I love about it and I think that’s when you’re doing a sequel there’s all sorts of things you have to deal with. One of them is you want to try and make a different movie. You don’t want to make the same movie twice, and that’s very important. Yes?

 

QUESTION  :    How much filming do you actually do?

JAMES BOBIN   :    A lot, I mean, it’s, the principal photography, which is a good money 95 percent of the film was in London. We shot on a––a, the stages at Pinewood, uh, which is just about a half an hour outside London, and then even places like Berlin and Madrid are also shot in or around London. Because going to Berlin with the entire Muppet cast and crew would’ve been a very expensive endeavor in doing it. And London is, as you know, a very ancient historical city, and therefore has lots of different architectural styles in it.

So you can kind of get a rough idea, “this looks a bit like Madrid,” ” this looks a bit like Berlin,” and certainly enough with some, you know, added set dressing and stuff, you could really feel like you’re there. And so most of the movie was shot in London, and in or around London. Which is kinda nice because the Muppet show back in the ’70s, uh, was made in London and not many people know that, you know. I mean, it feels like a thing that just, well it felt very much like a homecoming for Muppets.

Because of the Muppet Show being from London, these guys felt like they were coming back. And they actually ended up hiring, uh, a lady called Louise Gold, who is the only female puppeteer and who back in the ’70s worked on The Muppet Show and hadn’t, is always, and still puppeteering but, and being back in London now I could hire her again to do the characters that she did in the show in the ’70s. So she–– she reappears in this movie as, um, Annie Sue Pig, which the Muppet fans amongst you will know as Miss Piggy’s great rival from Series 4 and 5 Muppet Show, has this kind of blonde afro. And she’s back in the movie, ’cause Louise Gold was available. And that’s a really fun thing. 

QUESTION  :    Do you approach celebrities to do cameos, or do they come to you and say, “I want to appear in the movie?”

JAMES BOBIN   :    Uh, the, generally we write them in for the right specific idea in mind, then we have a person, or a type of person in mind, quite often it’s the actual person who we write in. Like, you know, the Usher is gonna be played by Usher, that’s a good, that’s that joke, you know? Uh, and but sometimes there are roles which are just like “a guy who’s delivering something,” or “a waiter” or something where by it could really be anybody. And then we start finding out just subtly who are Muppet fans. And people who we know, and we hear about who like the Muppets.

For example, of course Christoph Waltz I knew, we heard liked the Muppets, and I thought, “Well if here’s a Muppet show today, obviously what you do with him, his name is Waltz, you are going to do a Waltz with him somewhere,  and somehow that came about that way. So it’s kind of, it’s mostly us writing people in, but sometimes we hear about people that want to be in the show too.

QUESTION  : On the last film you were just the director, on this film you’re the writer and director. How does that transition feel to this?

JAMES BOBIN   :    Yes, yes two hats. Uh, it’s fine, what you find about it, though, is often you’re, you’re writing brain is writing checks so you’re writing brain can’t cash. And in this sense then often as a writer you have like the sky’s the limit, you can do anything. And you really want to try and, you know, be as ambitious as you possibly can. And then your directing head’s going, “Wait a minute, this is gonna be really difficult, and take a longer time and be very expensive.”

So you have to be, you know, on both, generally the writing head always wins because you want to try to make the movie the best as you possibly can.  But at the same time for me it–– it feels slightly more of a personal one because obviously you can’t help but be, you know, when you write it’s really you. And so for me this felt slightly more, I guess,  well it’s more of a comedy so it felt more personal to me ’cause I want a comedy. But,  I’m not, but to be fair, on the last one as a director you also often help out with just a bits of writing here and there.

So I did a bit of writing on the last one. It wasn’t a completely new experience. And I also have been writing for a long time so it’s not my first go, wasn’t the first movie, this is something I’ve been working on for a while and I knew Nick really well, and he’s our good friend outside of work. He’s just my friend. And so I knew working with him would be a, you know, and that’s one of the most important things about writing partnerships is having just a friendship. Because, you know, it’s like your friends, you just get on and you laugh together and we just write stuff down, and that’s the movie.

QUESTION  :    Have you started on the next Muppet movie?

JAMES BOBIN   :    [LAUGHS] No, too tired, sorry, no no no, no no no, I’m exhausted. Ask me again in another year’s time, but no no on, they’re sadly not, but, I mean, maybe, who knows. I love working with these guys, and as you know they’re my heroes, so I really loved it. So I don’t know when in, in what capacity it would be, I don’t know, but I would love to do more ’cause this is really fun. I mean, I’m incredibly lucky to have this job, it’s like my dream so, you know, I’m so pleased. 

James Bobin

Muppets Most Wanted is in theaters now! Also, check out all of the fabulous toys on AMAZON!

 

All photos are © Louise from Mom Smart, please do NOT use photos without permission! ( Thank you Louise for allowing us to use them!) I received an all expense paid press trip to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

Muppets Most Wanted Movie Review #MuppetsMostWantedEvent

Muppets Most Wanted

Do you have plans to see Muppets Most Wanted today? If not, then you really should! I am not kidding, pile the family up in the car and head out to the theater because this movie is pure entertainment! From catchy songs that are completely Muppet worthy to a great plot, this movie is for everyone!

The cast and filmmakers may have created an all-new genre for “Muppets Most Wanted.” “We have  comedy. We have a caper. And we have songs. To me, it’s an action comedy-musical—and I don’t think there are many of those around.” -James Bobin “Muppets Most Wanted” Director

Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon, and Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard.

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To me the real star of the movie was Constantine, even though he was the bad guy ( pronounced bad guy, not bad-gee. You will see in the movie what I mean!) He had to not only kick some major butt at the Gulag to escape but also had to impersonate Kermit the Frog. Can you imagine how hard that would be? During a Muppets Most Wanted  press conference on March 9th Kermit explained exactly how Constatine got the role. It turns out he is a distant cousin from Russia. It is a good thing they are sort of kin, because I don’t think he would have been able to pull off such a hard role.

“In film, I am Number One Criminal,” says Constantine, who joins the Muppets for the first time in “Muppets Most Wanted.” “I have a secret plan with Number Two to steal the crown jewels of London. This plot has never been done before—well, at least not with Muppets.”

Criminal number two is played by Ricky Gervais, who does double duty by also pretending to be the Muppets tour manager. The tour hits venues in London, Madrid, Berlin and Dublin because apparently if you are going to steal national treasures, those are the places you need to be. Criminal Number Two, also known as Dominic Badguy (pronounced bad-gee, see what I mean?) masquerades as the Muppets world tour manager and tricks them into going to all of these places so him and Constantine can pull off capers. Our little muppet friends have no idea this is going on or that Constantine is impersonating Kermit. This makes for some hilarious hijinks and songs!

“I’ve been a fan of the Muppets for about 35 years, but this is my first time acting opposite a frog, but it’s probably the best experience of my life. This is a big Hollywood production. The sets are amazing. The effects are great. It’s a really funny caper plot.”-Ricky Gervais, Dominic Badguy

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Tina Fey played Nayda, the Gulag prison guard. Tina Fey did an amazing job acting along side of the Muppets and I really loved her song! It was one of my favorites in the movie! According to Kermit she really, really got into her role-

“Tina is fantastic and so funny,” adds Kermit. “My only problem was that she really gets into character, and I really don’t think she had to leave me locked up when we finished shooting each night. But what can I say? She’s an artist.”

You can’t have a caper without the law being after you. Muppets Most Wanted has the best “on this side of the law” duo ever. Jean Pierre Napoleon and Sam Eagle. Jean Pierre Napoleon ( a laid back Interpol agent) is played by Ty Burrell and of course Sam Eagle is played by, well, Sam Eagle. These two were so funny together and I loved their scenes. Their song together was my favorite out of the movie, which really surprised me. But it is such a fun song and was really funny to watch! They don’t see eye to eye at all and that makes for some fun comedy.

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In the grand tradition of the Muppets, the film features a host of cool cameos. Among them is Danny Trejo, Tom Hiddleston, Celine Dion, Salma Hayek, Sean Combs, Christoph Waltz and Ross Lynch.

All in all this movie was amazing and a perfect sequel to the 2011 Muppet Movie. I really liked how this one was more about the Muppets and not so heavy on the humans. While humans tie it all together, we are fans of the Muppets and seeing them was the real treat. Also, they pulled out a lot of stops and you see things you haven’t seen very much of ( feet, just for an example) in other Muppet productions. My favorite Muppet movie is “A Muppet Christmas Carol” but I have to admit this one totally rivals that one! It is a must see movie for the whole family, including teenagers because they will see some familiar faces!

Muppets Most Wanted opens in theaters today, March 21st. Get your tickets on Fandango.com now! Also, make sure to follow Muppets  on Twitter for all the latest information!

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This post is part of an on going series of posts where I received an all expenses paid press trip. I received no other compensation and my thoughts are 100% my own!

Muppets Most Wanted Q&A With Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Constantine #MuppetsMostWantedEvent

World Premiere Of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" - Red Carpet

I have been a fan of The Muppets, Miss Piggy in particular, for many, many, many years. Yes, I am really that old, lol. So being in a Q&A session with Kermit, Miss Piggy and Constantine during the #MuppetsMostWantedEvent was a dream come true!  You could tell this was a big moment for all of us because when they walked in the room a hush fell over it. I couldn’t believe that Miss Piggy was right there, right in front of me and she looked fabulous as usual! I couldn’t wait to hear what they had to say about their new movie – Muppets Most Wanted – and other fun stuff!

And of course we had to start with an amazing question, something that would wow them and tell our readers about the movie. I waited to hear what the  first question would be! Would it be to Miss Piggy about her song with Celine Dion in Muppets Most Wanted? Maybe it would be to Constantine asking him about what it was like impersonating Kermit. Or maybe, just maybe it would be to Kermit, asking him how it felt to play next to the infamous Tina Fey. The possibilities were endless and finally someone spoke up and asked:

Q   :  Constantine and Kermit, is it boxers or briefs?

Omg, I never even thought about that question, but I wanted to know the answer and thankfully Kermit and Constantine did not disappoint!

KERMIT :  Oh I’m definitely boxers myself, although I’m nothing right now.

CONSTANTINE :  I just like to go free and easy.

(Miss Piggy looks at Kermit and says)

MS. PIGGY:  Do not lie to all these people.  I said you can’t lie to all these people.  They can, they can see the answer right now.

KERMIT :  Well yes, I mean–

CONSTANTINE :  I am more honest than you. I wear nothing.

KERMIT :  No I do like to wear boxers.  Every chance I get.

And that my dear readers started one of those most amazing and fun interviews I have ever been a part of! Did you know that it is possible Miss Piggy may be a future Mom blogger? It’s true but be forewarned, there is a minor spoiler during this part of the interview!

Q   :  So we saw Ms. Piggy’s dream sequence.  Your future together, you guys get married and you have a cute little pink frog. Any plans to make that come true?

KERMIT :  Well to the extent–

MS. PIGGY:  Yes.

KERMIT :  that Ms. Piggy–

MS. PIGGY:  Oh I’m sorry that, that was for him.

KERMIT :  Oh I was gonna’ say that–  then you can be a mommy blogger.

AUDIENCE: Whoaaaaaa!!!!

MS. PIGGY:  You are the future me.

This was such a fun interview and really, me typing questions and answers doesn’t do it justice! Vanessa, owner of Queen of Swag, was nice enough to share her audio files. So I made a little video of the interview so you could hear all the fun yourself. I even included pictures of the premiere so you would have something to look at while listening! I guarantee you will laugh as much as we did!

Don’t forget to follow the Muppets on Facebook and Twitter!

Muppets Most Wanted starts in theaters everywhere tomorrow! Buy your tickets now!

Muppets Most Wanted Red Carpet Premiere At The El Capitan Theatre

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When I think back to walking the red carpet at the Muppets Most Wanted Premier held at the El Capitan Theatre,I still can’t process it all. It seems like one big dream. I know I was there, the pictures prove that but it almost felt as if I was watching myself experience it. When people ask me what it was like my first word is “fast”. You have to move quickly because they wanted the background clear for the stars. Our group was walking the same time as Tina Fey and wow, it was super crazy. You heard a lot of “move along” “clear the area” but in the midst of it I was still able to get the shot above. I also soaked it all in. At one point I actually looked over at Tina Fey and saw all the lightbulbs going off. It was crazy with all the explosions of light! I would have been blinded for sure.

I had photo buddy, Rachel, from Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom and we took each others picture. It was funny though because in the hustle and bustle we forgot I was holding her big, bright pink phone, and all the pics have me holding it, lol!

Even though I am completely awesome and have a lot of star like qualities, people weren’t there to see me! Shocking, I know but they were there to see the stars of the movie and they did not disappoint! All of them arrived in style and stole the show!

Tina Fey arriving in classic black and looking stunning!

World Premiere Of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" - Red Carpet

 

Ricky Gervais doing selfies with the crowd!

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Miss Piggy and Kermit

World Premiere Of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" - Red Carpet

Tina Fey, Constatine, Miss Piggy and Kermit pose for a group photo!

World Premiere Of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" - Red Carpet

After all the excitement of the stars arriving we were ushered into the El Capitan Theater to await the movie premiere. I will tell you all about the movie on the 20th of March but for now I will say it was AWESOME! They had an organist who played a whole bunch of Disney songs before the movie started and I could sing most of them, lol. The lights went totally down and who do we see? None other than Statler & Waldorf!

World Premiere Of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" - Red Carpet

That was so amazing and I could not believe that they were right in front of me. Well, not really in front of me, I was way up in the back of the theater, BUT, they were there and my heart was going a mile a minute! They told some jokes and had everyone laughing and then it was time for the movie! I munched on popcorn and watched with glee because these were childhood friends. It was so exciting to see them back and doing another movie.

After the movie we were escorted to Muppets Most Wanted premiere after-party. I was so nervous going there but so excited. If you had told me 5 years ago I would be doing anything like this I would have laughed. But there I was, getting ready to party with the stars. Life at that moment was absolutely perfect! Let me tell you, if you get  a chance to go to something like this, go! The food was amazing, and everywhere. The Muppets travel to different countries and the food was centered around those countries. I got a picture, but it’s not the best, sorry.

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Some of the dishes included- Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie ( which was amazing), Beef Wellington with Popovers, and Fish n chips ( which were served in paper cones, so cute!) After we ate we ran around looking for stars and were not disappointed.

I honestly could not believe I was at the same party as Ty Burrell —

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and Tina Fey!

World Premiere Of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" - After Party

Since the premiere was family friendly there was a lot of fun things for kids ( and adults who act like kids *raises hand*) to do. There were nail stations to get your nails done, coloring stations, you could have your picture taken with the interpol car and lots more!

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I had so much fun and the #MuppetsMostWantedEvent is one thing I will never, ever forget ! This post is living proof that you never know where life will take you!

I haven’t forgotten today is St Patricks Day! So from my Muppet friends to you:

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Don’t forget to follow the Muppets on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Disclosure- I received an all expense paid press trip for this event. All opinions are 100% my own!

 

 

 

OPI Nail Tutorials Featuring Exclusive Polishes Inspired By The Muppets Most Wanted Movie

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If you have been following the blog then you know I am getting my nails done by OPI during the Muppets Most Wanted press junket. I am super stoked about it and I know a lot of people think it is silly, but I don’t care! I can’t wait to see how my nails look when they are painted with Let’s Do What We Want 🙂

To get ready for the movie OPI has released some exclusive nail tutorials that you can do yourself for the movie or just to show how much you love the Muppets! They are fairly easy and you can do them yourself. Or if you are like me and can’t even paint your nails without making a mess you can print them out and take them to the salon. Either way you go you will  be Miss Piggy fabulous and the envy of your friends!

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Don’t forget to share your mani with OPI on twitter using the hashtag #OPIMUPPETS.

Also to stay up to date with my AMAZING trip follow me on Twitter and look for the hashtags:

#MuppetsMostWantedEvent

#CaptainAmericaEvent

#ABCEvent

Film hash tags:
#DisneynatureBears
#MuppetsMostWanted
#CaptainAmerica
#PirateFairy