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Kidsday interviews Jason Segel

Actor Jason Segel from the Muppets movie with

Actor Jason Segel from the Muppets movie with Kidsday reporters, from left: Emily Sadofsky Olivia Larocchia, Nicole Pagano and Christina Mandato, all 11, from North Bellmore, at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in Manhattan. (Nov. 13, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We met with actor Jason Segel, who stars in the TV show "How I Met Your Mother," when he was in Manhattan recently. He has also been in a few of our favorite movies, "The Muppets," "Gulliver's Travels" and "Despicable Me."

How was it when you were on the movie "Gulliver's Travels"?

It was really fun. We made that movie in London, so I got to be in London for 8 months, which was really exciting because I hadn't spent much time there. And Jack Black gave me my first job when I was 18 years old. So we've known each other for a long time. It was real exciting to get to work together. We had a really, really fun time and I got to wear those great outfits.

If you weren't an actor, what would you like to be?

I think maybe a doctor. I have a couple of friends who have sick kids. Kids who were born sick, and to see what doctors are able to do to help people in the world is really an amazing thing to see, and it's a very selfless profession.

When you were doing the voice work in the movie "Despicable Me," would you rather have played another part or was Vector right for you?

I thought Vector was a pretty fun villain and I hadn't ever played a villain before, so that was really, really fun. And I just thought that movie was so cute. It was great.

When did you first dream of becoming an actor and how did you make it happen?

I didn't want to be an actor until pretty late in life. It was probably high school for me. I had an acting coach named Ted Walsh in my high school who just changed my life and really encouraged me and made me feel special. It's sort of like what the Muppets do. All the things about me that I always felt like were a little weird or I felt kind of insecure about. He made me feel like, no, those are great things and it's OK to be different.

Is there any other actor that you would like to act with?

Of course. I would love to work with Robert De Niro or Tom Hanks, who else? There's so many people. I'm still so young and there's a lot of dreams I have left to accomplish.

Do you prefer to act in the movies or TV shows?

I like them both, but there is something really fun about movies. They only last for three or four months at a time and you really focus on it, and then you move on and there's something kind of neat about that. It's kind of like going to camp. Doing a TV show is kind of like being in school.

Who is your best celebrity friend?

Well, I must say that Jack Black has been really good to me over my career. Like I said, he gave me my first job when I was 18 as a writer, not as an actor. And we've worked together a lot of times, made music together and done all sorts of fun stuff. So I really enjoyed that.

How is it being on "Take Two with Phineas and Ferb"?

It was really fun. I'm a big Phineas and Ferb fan. They're awesome. So it was a really fun day.

What are some challenges that occurred while being in your movie and the TV show "How I Met Your Mother"?

I had to work seven days a week, so I don't get weekends for about three months, which was tough because I love Saturday morning cartoons, but I had to go to work instead. But it was worth it when you see the movie.

We heard in the news that you live in Jim Henson's old house?

I live in Jim Henson's daughter's old house and it was a total coincidence. It was way before I was doing the Muppet movie. I bought my house from Lisa Henson, Jim Henson's daughter, who just saw the movie and said she really loved it, which made me as happy as you can possibly imagine.

Did you meet all the people who play the voices of the Muppets?

Yeah. They were there on the set every day. Watching them is absolutely amazing. They're so talented and part of their job is to be invisible at the end of the day, because you want to forget that there's puppeteers and people voicing the Muppets. But they're the real stars of the movie.

You worked with Miss Piggy. Is she still a diva offset?

Yeah, she's not here is she? She's the biggest diva in the world.


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