A few years ago Walter could walk down the street with ease. He could wait in line at Starbucks without incident. But with the success of The Muppets, that’s all changed. Now it’s common to see Walter talked about on the evening gossip shows. They all wonder who he’s dating and if it’s true that success hasn’t gone to his head just yet. Well, I’m happy to report on the set of Muppets Most Wanted, Walter was as nice and friendly as I remember, and it’s pretty clear he’s still having the time of his life working with Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the other Muppets.
During a group interview on a break from filming, Walter talked about what it’s like to be embraced by the Muppets community, whether he misses Jason Segel being on set, what it’s like working with Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
WALTER: Oh, gosh. To be so embraced… it’s a life-changing event. It’s really wild being back here in Los Angeles where my whole journey began in the first film. It’s humbling. It’s a bit like a homecoming here. Yeah, being back in LA is like comin’ home. Being embraced by The Muppets, what can I say? It’s a dream come true over and over. Every day I have to keep pinching myself. I’m covered in bruises, which is why I wear long sleeves.
Is it all smooth sailing for Walter now that he’s living his dream?
WALTER: Are there still challenges? Certainly there are still challenges, yeah. I don’t want to give too much away. Are you asking about the film or just my life in general?
In the film.
WALTER: In the film! Oh yes, right. It’s certainly not smooth-sailing as it were. I get seasick quite easily… we don’t do anything on boats… (laughs) sorry, terrible joke. I continue to do my own stunts in this film and that’s always a lot of fun. Very painful, but good.
Who have you most bonded with?
WALTER: Of all the guys? Oh, my gosh, who have I most bonded with? I’m close with all the fellas… I suppose Fozzy and I have a close connection. It’s so weird to be friends with somebody I was a fan of first. It’s kind of amazing. Every now and then I have to step outside of myself and say “Oh my gosh, I’M FRIENDS WITH FOZZY BEAR! Okay, be cool, Walter, be cool.” It’s a fine line.
Who was the biggest personality surprise, who maybe wasn’t exactly like you thought they’d be?
WALTER: Rowlf the Dog, surprisingly enough. It’s right there in his name, “the dog.” Rowlf will sometimes come up to me and look at me like he’s never seen me before. Then he sniffs me and he goes, “Walter!” (laughs) I was not ready for that.
In the last film we learned you have quite a talent for whistling. Is that something that comes back in this film as well?
WALTER: Actually, I do whistle one time in the film. I understand that sometimes the way movies work, sometimes things can get cut and it’s possible I won’t whistle at all, but in the making of the film I did whistle once. Quite well. At least, I will once the guy who does my whistling puts it in in post because I’m a hack. (laughs) I’m just teasing.
How are you doing without your brother, played by Jason Segel in the last movie? He’s not with you this time, are you independent now?
WALTER: Yeah, kinda. I’ve grown up and moved on. I miss him, though. I will always have a special place in my heart for Jason Segel, my movie star brother, but I think he’s doing great. We’re both doing great.
You’re still wearing the watch.
WALTER: Yeah, do you guys see that? (holds up his arm) Ask me what time it is.
(all) What time is it?
WALTER: Oh, it’s about Kermit time! He talks to me sometimes, too. (holds wrist up to his ear) What’s that Kermit? Ooooh, yes, I think I’m doing okay. I haven’t messed up any of the answers yet. What’s that? Agh! I hate it when he goes, “Yaaaaaaaay” in my ear.
How is it working with Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell on this film?
WALTER: That’s three very different questions! Let me start with Ricky. Ricky is a great guy. He’s really funny and he’s a huge fan, too. He’s kind of like a human Walter. He’s got this great laugh, too. Have you guys ever heard Ricky’s laugh? It’s like “hahahahaha” and it’s like that from the moment we get on set to about three or four o’clock. Then the laughter dies. I think he gets a little tired. No, he’s great. Tina… my gosh, is there no end to that woman’s talents? Her singing and dancing in this film is really something. Ty Burrell, I love him in Modern Family. He plays a very different character in our movie. He’s very versatile and very, very tall. I got a little crick in my neck looking up at the man. He’s unbelievably tall. He’s a giant in the industry.
In this movie you have a little bit of a smaller role than in the other one.
WALTER: Well, sure. Yeah.
So what is your role in this film?
WALTER: Ah! Well, I play the character of Walter, who is new to The Muppets… (laughs) Actually, I discover a secret in this film. I discover something that is very, very wrong and I enlist the help of Fozzy and Animal comes along and we make it right. It’s actually a pretty dramatic turning point in the movie. I’m very happy with my role in the film. Heck, if they just let me bring water to the guys on the set, I’d be happy. Are you kidding?!
Miss Piggy did criticize your coffee-bringing skills. She said you need to work a little harder on that.
WALTER: Yeah, she still thinks I’m the coffee boy. She’s another one who doesn’t remember me, but it doesn’t seem to help if I ask her to smell me.
WALTER: It’s not quite the same. I should probably end on that. That was pretty funny. Quit while I’m ahead!
Who do you hang out with after shooting is over?
WALTER: After shooting is over? I hang out in a box. That part I was also not expecting.
Here’s more from my Muppets Most Wanted set visit:
- 14 New Behind-the-Scenes Image from MUPPETS MOST WANTED
- 30 Things to Know About MUPPETS MOST WANTED From Our Set Visit
- Kermit Talks New Musical Numbers, Becoming an Action Hero, Miss Piggy’s Diva Antics, and More on the Set of MUPPETS MOST WANTED
- Miss Piggy Talks Romance, Working with “Extras” Like Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais, Her Solo, and More on the Set of MUPPETS MOST WANTED
- Producer Todd Lieberman Talks Casting Ricky Gervais, the Sequel’s Connection to the First Film, the Music, and More on the Set of MUPPETS MOST WANTED