Steve Martin flatly dismissed former co-star Miriam Margolyes’ account that he was “horrible” to work with, and that he hit her while shooting a scene for the musical film Little Shop of Horrors (1986).
The actress, now 82, claims the experience was ‘despicable’ and described the legendary actor and comedian as ‘unkind’.
‘I just thought he was quite awful. He was a**, that’s all I can tell you,” she claimed in an interview with News.com, as she writes her new memoir, Oh Miriam! Stories from an extraordinary life.
In her book, the British-Australian actor claims Martin hit her when she tried to shoot the scene for the musical number ‘Dentist!’
But after reflecting on their experiences working together, Martin had a very different memory of what happened on set.
She said, he said: Steve Martin denies he was ‘horrible’ to play Miriam Margolyes on the set of Little Shop Of Horrors (1986)
“I was getting hit with doors opening in my face all day long; repeatedly punched, punched and knocked down by an unkind and insolent Steve Martin – perhaps he was method acting – and came home grumpy with a splitting headache,” Margolyes wrote in her memoir to be published early next year, according to USA today.
However, Martin didn’t see it that way and insisted he was very careful not to hurt her or anyone else while trying to throw the fake punch.
‘When I first read Miriam Margolye’s pejorative account of our scene in Little Shop of Horrors, I was surprised. My memory is that as professional actors we had good communication,” Martin said in the statement We weekly.
He added: “But if it is suggested that I harmed her or was somehow careless in performing the stunts, I must object. I remember being EXTREMELY careful about the fake punch – the same caution I would use in a similar scene.”
In the film, Martin Orin played Scrivello, a sadistic, nitrous oxide-addicted dentist, while Margolyes played the cynical dental nurse who often seems to enjoy hurting Orin.
Martin claims that there were many other people watching the filming of the stunt scene in question who could support his memory of what happened.
‘Also on set, monitoring the action, was the highly skilled and sensitive director Frank Oz, a stunt coordinator, a camera crew, a script supervisor and extras who witnessed the entire, very well rehearsed scene. ,’ he said.
Oz seemed to come to Martin’s defense and confirm his account of that scene.
‘I just thought he was quite awful. He was a**t, that’s all I can tell you,” Margoyles, 82, claimed in an interview with News.com while publishing her new memoir, Oh Miriam! Stories from an extraordinary life
Classic: In the film, Martin played Orin Scrivello, a sadistic, nitrous oxide-addicted dentist, while Margolyes played the cynical dental nurse who often seems to enjoy hurting Orin
Her story: ‘I was hit all day long by doors opening in my face; “repeatedly punched, punched and put down by an unkind and insolent Steve Martin – perhaps he was method acting – and came home grumpy with a splitting headache,” Margolyes wrote in her memoir to be released early next year, according to USA Today.
‘I always rehearse physical actions in slow motion. The scene was said to include a fake punch. It’s a mystery what she’s talking about,” Oz said. “It’s not the Steve I know or anyone else knows. He has always been professional and respectful of everyone on all my shoots.”
Despite the accusations and describing Martin as “incredibly unkind”, Margoyles did have kind words for the comedian, calling him very “gifted” and their scene in the finished film “very good”.
Oz directed Little Shop of Horrors from a screenplay by Howard Ashman.
Along with Martin and Margoyles, the cast included Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Levi Stubbs, James Belushi, John Candy, Christopher Guest, Bill Murray, Tichina Arnold and Stanley Jones.
Discrepancy: Little Shop Of Horrors director Frank Oz appeared to come to Martin’s defense and confirm his story about the fake punch scene, in a statement to Us Weekly
Nreakthroughs: Many fans know Miriam Margolyes from playing Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter film series (2002-2011), as well as her role in The Age of Innocence (1993)
Martin, 78, first rose to fame as a stand-up comedian in the 1960s and later starred on Saturday Night Live, before launching a successful film career with hits like The Jerk (1979), Three Amigos (1986), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Parenthood (1989), Father of Bride (1991) and Father of the Bride Part II (1995).
More recently, he stars in the hit mystery comedy-drama series Only Murders In The Building for Hulu.
Margoyles made her television debut in 1965 and began her film career in 1969. Many fans know Margoyles from her role in The Age of Innocence (1993) and from her role as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter film series (2002-2011).
She most recently starred in the Israeli-British comedy-drama film My Happy Ending (2023), opposite Andie MacDowell.