When it comes to iconic TV characters of yore, few hold up in the pop culture pantheon quite as well as Miss Piggy. The hilarious, outspoken, and at times brash Muppet, known for her diva behavior and penchant for designer labels evokes pangs of nostalgia whenever her name is uttered—and, even in the wake of The Muppet Show, the legend lives on. Her latest project is The Phantom of the Opera, a puppet-filled book adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s French novel by writer and playwright Erik Forrest Jackson, out today from Penguin Workshop. Miss Piggy stars as Christine and joins ex-boyfriend Kermit (Raoul), Uncle Deadly (the phantom), and others in the legendary story, inspired by real-life events at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris.
Here, more from Miss Piggy on the new release, her favorite designers, and working with an ex.
What piqued your interest in the Phantom of the Opera?
The fabulous wardrobe. The glorious sets. The hordes of back-up singers. The sheer grandeur and over-the-top theatricality of opera. It’s the perfect setting for moi! Plus, in Phantom of the Opera, someone else wears the mask, so I don’t have to worry about messing up my makeup. Oh, and it’s a gangbuster story, too.
Do you have a favorite song from the soundtrack?
I love singing “Habanera From Carmen.” It not only showcases moi’s incredible singing voice, but I get to use castanets, which are so much fun. (You really should try them.) I’m also fond of “Ride of the Valkeries”—not to sing, but it’s fantastic entrance music, which is why I used it when I came into the room for this interview.
What do you wear to the theater?
When I go to the theater as an audience member, I don’t want to distract the audience from what’s happening on stage ... but frankly, I can’t help it. They want to look at moi! So, in keeping with the theatrical theme, whenever I go to the theater I do multiple costume changes. For example, I’ll wear Marc Jacobs for the overture, Vivienne Westwood for Act I, Zac Posen for the intermission, Miu Miu for Act II, and Jeremy Laing, Greta Constantine, Amanda Lew Key, and Brian Atwood for encores, curtain calls, and backstage visits. It’s exhausting, but such are the demands of celebritude, n’est-ce pas?
What was it like to reunite with Kermit on this project?
Kermit? Oh yes, the frog. We’re always fine when we’re working together. But now that I’ve moved on, I have to remind him that what’s past is past ... and what’s future is out in the limo, and he’s waiting to take me to dinner.
Who is your musical theater crush?
Lin-Manuel Miranda, of course ... but only after he completely assured moi that Hamilton was not some kind of veiled porcine insult. He’s adorable, and strictly entre nous, he going to be writing a new musical for moi. Right now, I’m not at liberty to tell you more, but as soon as I tell Lin about it, you’ll be the first to know.
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This interview has been edited and condensed.