Ricky Gervais has joked about swapping human companions for frog friendships after starring in the new Muppets film.
The 52-year-old funnyman, who plays Dominic Badguy in Muppets Most Wanted, admitted he is now best friends with his villainous amphibian co-star Constantine after they worked together on the latest Disney sequel.
“I’ve loved the Muppets for years. I grew up with them. But I never met Constantine, my co-star and evil Russian frog friend, and he’s now my new best buddy,” he said at the film’s UK premiere in London.
“I love him. He’s just great. I don’t get star-struck, but I wanted to hug them,” he added.
The Muppets – Kermit the Frog, his evil doppelganger Constantine and Miss Piggy, in an emerald green gown by Vivienne Westwood – made a stylish entrance as they arrived at the Curzon Mayfair in a black cab. They were joined by actors Ty Burrell, Stanley Tucci, Inbetweeners star James Buckley and director James Bobin.
Modern Family star Burrell, who plays French Interpol inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon, said the opportunity to work with the Muppets was a childhood dream come true.
“I grew up watching them and I showed my desperation when I got the call. There was no negotiating at all – I said yes immediately,” the US actor said.
He continued: “I was extremely nervous on my first day on set. My first shot was with all the Muppets at once and I was already nervous, but that put me over the edge.”
Miss Piggy admitted the two frogs caused chaos whenever they were together.
“These two, let me tell ya, they’re pranksters. They were always trying to pull the wool over my eyes,” she said, adding: “Switching places – but I could see right through them.”
Bobin, who is back in the director’s chair after directing the 2011 film The Muppets, said: “I love these guys. They were my heroes growing up. I didn’t want to make the same film twice – we got them back together in the last film so the question was, ‘What do they do next?'”
Muppets Most Wanted, which sees the Muppets travelling around Europe, opens in cinemas on March 28.