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Tina Fey: The Muppets Stay in Character, Even While They’re Not Filming

Miss Piggy was a total ham at Tuesday night’s premiere of Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted,” where the A-list swine — ever the glamourpuss in pearls and a blue frock revealing a hint of décolletage — and her reluctant soul mate Kermit the Frog, au naturel in green, mingled with the movie’s human stars Tina Fey, Ty Burrell and Ricky Gervais at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater.

Gervais, who plays the film’s bad guy, snapped selfies with Miss Piggy and Kermit, as well as Constantine, Kermit’s evil doppelganger in helmer-cum-scribe James Bobin’s sequel to 2011’s “The Muppets.”

Muppet friends Gonzo, Scooter, Animal, Rolf and Fozzie Bear rolled up to the red carpet in a burgundy Toyota Highlander, while dopey ogre Sweetums lumbered along behind.

For Fey, who most closely identifies with Scooter — “because he has a lot of backstage responsibilities and glasses” — starring opposite the Muppets was a “bucket list” item.

“I met Lorne Michaels, I met John McEnroe, I met the Muppets,” she said.

What fascinated Fey most about working with the Muppets was that they are always in character.

“There was this one time when it was cold outside and I looked over between takes and Kermit was going like this [to keep warm],” she said, blowing on her cupped hands, “and we weren’t even filming. They are real. I’m only real like 40 percent of the time.”

Whether any of the cast would field Oscar nods for their performances, Fey was quick to answer. “Me for sure,” she quipped. “Best actress in a drama.”

Crooner Josh Groban would definitely cast a vote for Fey.

“She’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my entire life,” he praised. “And she is equally as humble and generous as she is hilarious.”

Groban has a cameo as a prisoner in a Russian gulag. “For whatever strange reason I wind up being in a maximum security Russian gulag,” he explained as one enthusiastic pint-sized fan pummeled him with a toy Kermit. “My voice is hopefully the only thing that is going to set me free.”

“Wanted” producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman called the caper comedy “pure fun,” but with a valuable parental lesson.

“We loved the idea of fooling the Muppets into thinking that Kermit has done something different, that he’s become a different character,” said Lieberman. “The character of Constantine in the movie gives the Muppets everything they thought they wanted. It’s thematic of being a parent. You can’t give your kid everything because if you give them everything they get spoiled and realize they actually want boundaries.”

“One of the greatest joys is watching Ricky dance and watching Tina sing,” said Hoberman.

Also in attendance was “Most Wanted” co-writer Nicholas Stoller whose upcoming “Neighbors” premiered at SXSW over the weekend. “It’s basically Muppets with wieners in it,” he joked of the Zac Efron-Seth Rogen pic.

Danny Trejo, who has a cameo in “Wanted,” gushed about his favorite Muppet — “Animal gets it,” he said — while Ty Burrell made press promise not to tell Fozzie Bear that Sam the Eagle, with whom he shares numerous scenes in the movie, is now his preferred felt friend.

A “star struck” Tia Mowry-Hardrict was also on hand for the event hoping to catch a glimpse of fashion icon, Miss Piggy.

“I think she’s charismatic, I think she’s a confident woman,” gushed the “Instant Mom” actress. As for the three-quel? “I think Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog need to work on having a baby. I think that’s the next movie.”

Following the screening, guests made their way across Hollywood Boulevard to the Annex at Hollywood & Highland, where they were treated to a festive after-party that included arts and crafts tables, photo booth and ball toss games for the kids; an O.P.I.-sponsored “Simply Moi” nail salon where you could get a mani with the new Miss Piggy-themed shades of polish; and a smorgasbord of such international edibles as veggie paella with saffron rice, sliced roast beef with mini Yorkshire pudding, and fish and chips wrapped in news print with malt vinegar aioli. Party favors included a copy of this week’s Variety with Kermit on its cover.

Only one kid was witnessed having a meltdown because there wasn’t an actual real life Kermit circulating at the party — but most everyone was having a blast.

As Hoberman put it: “Every time you go to the set with a Muppet movie it’s impossible to be upset. You have to be happy there.”

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