Ricky Gervais & Kermit’s Evil Twin for the London Sunday Times Magazine

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

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Ricky Gervais. In New York. For the London Sunday Times Magazine. And it was one of the most fun shoots of my entire career.

Adam Hearn is the photo editor of the London Sunday Times Culture Magazine and some of the other folks I work for at the Times recommended he give me a call next time he had a shoot on this side of the Atlantic. I am so happy he did, cuz not only am I a BIG fan of Ricky, but I had just lost out on a shoot with him for another client only a week before Adam called. The story was tied to his new film, “Muppets Most Wanted”, and would feature the other star of the movie, Constantine the Frog, the world’s “Number One” criminal and a doppelgänger of Kermit the Frog. Adam kept it fairly open-ended as to what we could do…he just needed fun interaction between Ricky and Constantine for the cover and left the rest up to me. With that in mind, I went on a mad tear of propping…

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…dragged my crew down to Industria on a Saturday morning and let Mr. Gervais and Mr. Frog do all the heavy lifting. Here’s how it went…

Ricky and I talk to Matt Vogel…the Muppeteer behind Constantine…about a few ideas…

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…and even before we start, the fun begins…

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Here are some behind-the-scenes shots of how you photograph a Man and his Muppet…

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One of the best things about the whole day was having Ricky’s input as we went along. He came up with so many great ideas of what would look good, that I just had to keep my finger on the shutter and wait for things to happen!

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Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

Then Ricky suggested they each pose with sunglasses…

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

…and our cover was in the bag!

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After a quick background & wardrobe change, the two A-Listers were suddenly at each others throats…

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

…but a left-cross from the Frog ended that argument…

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

…and gave us the opener to the story!

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I also wanted to to shoot Ricky, sans Frog, but had picked up a few Froggy bits and pieces to stick with the theme, including a t-shirt with strategically-placed eyeballs…

Ricky Gervais

…and a very special pair of Kermit Adidas that Ricky put to good use…

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

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Finally, I wanted to cool things down a bit, so I had Ricky get into his trademark black…and accessorized him with some very blingy fuzzy Frog Slippers…

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

Ricky Gervais

Then we both kicked back and enjoyed a Green Drink…

Ricky Gervais & Constantine the Muppet

And yes…that is a Karl Pilkington t-shirt. I told you I was a big fan!

Must-See TV Of The Day: Piers Morgan Tonight

I want to start off by saying how glad I am that CNN finally got rid of that ridiculously self-important dinosaur Larry King and how much I’ve been enjoying the new Piers Morgan Tonight show! After watching the first four nights, it’s bloody refreshing to see an interviewer who doesn’t (overtly) pander to his guests and actually seems to give a shit about finding out something more than the typical publicist-driven crap you read in the tabloids without putting me to sleep. Hey, I love Charlie Rose as much as the next guy, but at times the high-handed tone and mental high-fives he trades with his guests can make you feel like you’re sitting through a Doctoral Seminar given in a language you don’t understand!

His first night with Oprah certainly got the most headlines, but his sit-downs with Howard Stern and Condi Rice were great and last night’s casual back-n-forth over a beer with Ricky Gervais was brilliant! And near the end of the interview, Piers asked a question that resonated with me as well…

Piers Morgan: Do you get to enjoy the fruits of your hard work?
Ricky Gervais: No…I enjoy the hard work! I wake up and it’s a privilege that I can have an idea…nothing gives me an adrenaline rush like an idea.

I have always felt the same way about what I do for a living. The idea that I can make a living at taking photographs of interesting people is mind-boggling, but the added benefit of actually loving what I do is a cherry on top.

Piers Morgan Tonight is on CNN nightly at 9:00PM and you can also follow his pithy thoughts on Twitter