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Next 'Muppet' Villain -- Destined to Play the Bad Guy

11/9/2010 5:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Kermit better reserve his seat at the Oscars now -- because Academy Award-winner Chris Cooper tells TMZ, he not only signed on as the villain in the new "Muppets" movie ... he was born to play the role.

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Cooper -- who won Best Supporting Actor in 2002 for his role in "Adaptation" -- left BOA Steakhouse in L.A. last night and told us, playing Muppet-villain Tex Richman is "in his blood" ... adding, "I come from a long line of Texans."

Yee-haw.

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