Steve Martin responds to his accusations Small horror shop co-star Miriam Margolyes made in her memoir about the actor.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin said he remembered their time on set differently, noting that he took “extreme caution” when filming the scene where Margolyes said he actually hit her.
“When I first saw Miriam Margolye’s pejorative account of our scene in… Small horror shop, I was suprised. My memory is that as professional actors we had good communication,” Martin’s statement said. “But if it is suggested that I hurt her or was somehow careless in performing the stunts, I have to object. I remember being EXTREMELY careful about the fake punch – the same caution I would use on a similar scene.
He explained that they had talked on set, and she assured him that everything was fine. “There was never any physical contact between her and me, accidental or otherwise, in this scene or in any other scene we shot,” he wrote.
The Only murders in the building Star also noted that while they were filming the scene, several other crew members were on set to ensure the scene went as smoothly as possible, including director Frank Oz.
“I always rehearse physical actions in slow motion,” Oz said in his own statement. “The scene was supposed to include a fake punch. It’s a mystery what she’s talking about. It’s not the Steve I know or anyone else. He has always been professional and respectful of everyone during all my shoots.”
Margolyes starred as a dental assistant to Martin’s character, the comically sadistic Orin Scrivello. During the music song “Dentist!” Scrivello slaps Margolyes’ character and slams a door in her face.
In Oh Miriam! Stories from an extraordinary life, she claims that Martin actually hit her while filming the scene. “I was hit with doors opening in my face all day long; “repeatedly punched, punched and put down by an unkind and insolent Steve Martin – maybe he was Method acting – and came home grumpy with a splitting headache,” she wrote in the memoir, according to Huff Post UK. She wrote that Martin was “undeniably brilliant but horrible to me.”
The claims attracted attention when they circulated online Friday, given Martin’s affable public persona that has supported him throughout a long career, including most recently accolades for the Hulu series. Only murders in the building.
Margolyes has appeared in the Harry Potter films as Professor Pomona Sprout during her long career, winning a BAFTA for the 1994 feature film The age of innocence.
Christy Piña contributed to this story.