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Kermit glad to be back with pals on the big screen

Kermit Frog tries persuade Miss Piggy help save Muppet Theater from being torn down scene from “The Muppets.”

Kermit the Frog tries to persuade Miss Piggy to help save the Muppet Theater from being torn down in a scene from “The Muppets.”

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Updated: December 26, 2011 8:18AM

It’s not easy being green — or staging a comeback.

That’s exactly what Kermit the Frog and his pals are attempting with “The Muppets,” their first big-screen foray since “Muppets in Space” orbited theaters in 1999. In their newest adventure, Kermit’s felt-covered entourage reunite with the help of humans Gary and Mary (Jason Segel and Amy Adams), as well as a new muppet named Walter.

Kermit (with some assistance from veteran puppeteer Steve Whitmire) discussed returning to Hollywood from the swamp, dating Miss Piggy and crushing on “Parks and Recreation” actress Rashida Jones.

Q. What’s it been like working with the gang on this film? It feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve seen you.

Kermit: It’s been like 10 or 12 years. It’s a good reason for the gang to get back together. Fozzie was actually hibernating, and we had to pull him out because it’s winter time. There were lots of logistics like that we had to deal with before filming, like getting all kinds of permits for farm animals, you know, because that’s what a lot of us are.

Q. Where does this film find Kermit the Frog in life?

Kermit: It finds me in a rather unusual place. I’m like Hugh Hefner in frog skin. In real life, I’m a very simple frog. When I’m not working, I just go back to the swamp. In this movie, I’m still playing Kermit the Frog, oddly, but it’s like another version of me. I wanted to stretch myself dramatically. It’s about time I got taken seriously in Hollywood.

Q. The stage (where “The Muppets” movie was filmed) was first used in “Phantom of the Opera” in 1924 and is reportedly haunted. Any spookiness during filming?

Kermit: Yeah, this isn’t actually the real Muppet Theater. It looked enough like where we did the real “Muppet Show” that we thought it would make a good set. Things do happen. One day, I got locked in my dressing room for hours. I don’t think that was a ghost though. I think that had something to do with Miss Piggy not wanting me to come out at that moment.

Q.What is the relationship status with you and Miss Piggy these days?

Kermit: Piggy and I keep in touch. We do have a relationship of sorts. It’s just not that whole married thing. We never actually got married. There’s been confusion about that. Maybe you can clear that up when you write this story. I’m a bachelor. I’m still playing the field. It’s always great getting back with Piggy. She can be a little dramatic at times.

Q. You have several celebrities providing cameos in the film. Who has been your favorite?

Kermit: Well, we had Mickey Rooney of all people. He did a small piece, and so did Alan Arkin. These are guys that we would’ve worked with in the early days of “The Muppet Show,” but I must say there’s a special place in my little froggy heart for Rashida Jones. If you get a good look at her, you’ll understand why. Don’t tell Miss Piggy I said that, though.

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