As I entered the luxurious suite, I immediately felt his eyes settle on me from across the room.
The air turned cold as he beckoned me closer and I struggled to meet his gaze, no easy feat considering I stand at more than twice his height.
“What is this?” he asked in a thick Russian accent, gesturing at my phone. “It looks nice… you, ah, better keep an eye on it.”
I was at the Beverly Hilton for an interview with The World’s Most Dangerous Frog – and although it wasn’t my first time speaking with a celebrity, this deadly amphibian was by far the most intimidating.
Constantine, who is rumored to be a distant cousin of Kermit the Frog, plays a criminal mastermind in Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted. But was the role really that far removed from reality? It would seem the Muppet drew on his own background for the part:
“When you are a bad guy, you always have to have a little bit of acting,” Constantine explained. “So let’s say the plan is to steal something from a bakery, maybe I have to dress like a baker and go in and say ‘Oh hi, I am the baker. I am bringing the dough.’ I don’t know, I’ve never done that heist. I am making up off top of head.”
At this point, he looked over to his publicist: “Make a note for later, I want to do that kind of heist, with the baking.”
Answers like this only serve to reinforce his reputation as The World’s Most Dangerous Frog. When I asked if the rumors were true, he replied: “I am, but when you think about how many dangerous frogs there really are in the world, it is not so difficult to be at the top of list.”
Hmmm. Fair point.
But despite his nickname, he doesn’t see himself as a villain, per se: ““I view myself as the hero of the film… I hear all the great songs and the dancing, I came up with all the ideas in the movie and what to do… it should have been called Constantine Most Wanted.”
He’s not wrong. He literally and figuratively steals the show with some fantastic song and dance routines. “We did do dance rehearsals with a choreo, creographurrr…that is hard word to say – choreographer friend who was very good.”
With typical Russian pride, he went to great pains to reassure me that the extra help was (of course) not required for him but rather for his partner, Ricky Gervais. “You know, there are sometimes you say you cannot dance but you move well? Wellll – not even him for moving well. But he gave it his best shot.”
So what does the future hold for Constantine? As you might expect, this is a frog who knows how to think big:
“More films, I’m going to get into films more. I would like to work with Wes Anderson, I think I would be good in one of his films. Usually there is someone with a mole, or some other kind of birthmark or something in his movies.
I’m going to do an album of duets, with myself, and I’m thinking of coming out with a cooking show about fly things, things that you can cook with flies.”
Before leaving the hotel room, there was one last thing I had to ask – would Constantine do his famous Kermit the Frog impression?
Proving that even a dangerous villain can show his lighter side now and again, he was happy to oblige:
“It is uncanny, yes?”
Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted, in theaters now, stars Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Ty Burrell, Ricky Gervais, Constantine Frog, Walter, and Tina Fey, and is directed by James Bobin.