EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Bret McKenzie Talks 'The Muppets' And His Oscar Nomination For 'Man or Muppet'

Tuesday, 07 February 2012 16:40
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Actor/comedian/musician Bret McKenzie recently earned his first Oscar nomination for writing the song "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets, which was nominated for Best Original Song at this year's Academy Awards. This marks the first time that a Muppet film has been nominated for Best Original Song since '1981s The Great Muppet Caper. This year also marks the first time that the Academy has decided to only nominate two songs in this category, which usually includes three to five nominations. McKenzie's sole competition comes from musical legend Sergio Mendes who wrote "Real in Rio" from the movie Rio.

Before being hired as the music supervisor for The Muppets, McKenzie was best known as one half of the Grammy Award winning musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with his partner Jemaine Clement, who incidentally also wrote music for Rio. The two New Zealand natives eventually went on to make a name for themselves in the United States with their extremely popular HBO series, aptly titled Flight of the Conchords. The multi-talented performer will next be seen as the elf Lindir in fellow New Zealander Peter Jackson's highly anticipated Lord of the Rings prequels The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and The Hobbit: There And Back Again

IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Bret McKenzie on the Disney lot in Los Angeles to discuss his work on The Muppets and his Oscar nomination for "Man or Muppet." The talented musician discussed working on the film, composing its music, what it feels like to suddenly be an Oscar nominee, why he thinks it was nominated over other songs from the film, his inspiration for the Oscar nominated song, why he's glad there are only two nominees in his category this year, what his Oscar performance would have been like had the Academy not decided to cancel the musical performances from the television broadcast, his favorite Muppet and why, who is the most difficult Muppet to work with, and adapting his Flight of the Conchords style of music for The Muppets.

To watch our exclusive interview with Bret McKenzie about The Muppets and his Oscar nomination, please click on the video player above. 

SYNOPSIS: 

Oil has been discovered beneath the Muppet Theater and oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) plans to raze the Muppet Theater and Muppets Studio to drill oil. New Muppet Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segal) and Gary's girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) learn about Tex Richman's plan, and try to stop him by staging The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever, raising $10 million needed to save the theater. In order to stage The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever, Walter, Mary, and Gary must help Kermit the Frog reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways. Fozzie Bear now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a powerful plumbing magnate. 

To watch our exclusive interview with co-writer Nick Stoller about The Muppets, please click here.

To read our very special interview with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy about The Muppets, please click here.

The 84th Academy Awards will air February 26th on ABC.

The Muppets will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning March 20th.


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