'I'm over the moon' says Muppet man McKenzie

By Paul Harper

Bret McKenzie hopes Kermit the Frog will attend the Academy Awards with him. Photo / Anthony Phelps
Bret McKenzie hopes Kermit the Frog will attend the Academy Awards with him. Photo / Anthony Phelps

Bret McKenzie is waiting for Kermit the Frog to confirm whether he will accompany him to the Oscars.

The Flight of the Conchords star today had his song Man or Muppet - from the film The Muppets - nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards.

"I'm over the moon," McKenzie told nzherald.co.nz.

"I knew there was a chance, but I definitely wasn't sure we were going to get a nomination."

Man or Muppet, sung by How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel, was one of three songs from the film long-listed for nomination.

"I'm really happy it's Man or Muppet - that's my favourite song in the film," said McKenzie, who could be asked to perform the song at the live ceremony.

"I think it is the best musical moment in the film. It's the strongest musical moment.

"Everyone has had a time in their life when they've thought, 'Am I a man or a Muppet?'.

"I think it connects on multiple levels."

Man or Muppet will go head to head with Real in Rio from the animated hit Rio, which was written by Brazilian music legends Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown with lyrics by Siedah Garrett, as the only two nominations in the category.

"How confident am I? There is a 50 per cent chance," McKenzie said. "The odds are good, in terms of Oscars, it seems. The only thing that would be better would be if there was only one nomination. Much better odds."

McKenzie is looking forward to attending the February 26 award ceremony.

"It's going to be incredible. Hearing about the Oscars - it's the big Hollywood event. It's a huge honour to get to go."

Working with Kermit the Frog was a highlight of working on The Muppets film for McKenzie.

"It's a strange feeling being star struck by a puppet," he said. "I didn't realise Kermit was real. Now he's a friend of mine.

"I'm waiting for an email from him. I want to see if he's coming to the Oscars.

"He doesn't really do the red carpet. He's not great on his feet."

McKenzie called his mother Deidre Tarrant in Wellington early this morning to share the news.

"It's pretty good, eh? We're pretty proud," she said. "Very thrilled. Very stoked."

"I was up all night singing the other song (Life's a Happy Song), but it's great Man or Muppet went through. I was giving it the vibes.

"Man or Muppet is amazing. The video is great for that. That's the question - are you are a man or a muppet? That'll be on everyone's lips."

Segel congratulated McKenzie on Twitter.

"Holy Moly! Man or Muppet was nominated for a best song Oscar! Congrats to Bret McKenzie and the whole Muppet team!!! So happy for everyone!"

After the awards, McKenzie said he had a "bunch of different projects" lined up.

"I guess the one that is most relevant is Two Little Boys. I'm acting in a film that Robert and Duncan Sarkies have made. That's coming out this year.

"That's exciting because that's a New Zealand film and I play a Southland bogan. It's very different to the Muppets. I've been lucky to be involved in some really fun projects in the last couple of years."

Check out the video for Man or Muppet:

* Read the full list of Academy Award nominations here.

- Herald Online

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