Steve Martin is addressing Miriam Margolyes’ claim he was ‘horrid’ to her while working together on the 1986 movie musical Little Shop of Horrors.
“When I first read Miriam Margolyes’ pejorative account of our scene in Little Shop of Horrors, I was surprised. My memory is that we had a good communication as professional actors,” Martin, 78, told Us Weekly in a statement on Friday, September 15. “But when it is implied that I harmed her or was in some way careless about doing the stunts, I have to object.”
Margolyes, 82, played a dental receptionist to Martin’s villainous Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors. During an interview with Australian news site news.com.au on Friday, she claimed that it took her and Martin several tries to nail a scene in the musical number “Dentist!” in which he knocks out her character with a punch.
“I remember taking EXTREME caution regarding the fake punch — the same caution I would use with any similar scene,” Martin’s statement continued. “She assured me she felt fine, and we did a few successful takes and stopped. There was never any physical contact between her and me, accidental or otherwise, in this scene or any other we shot.”
Martin concluded by claiming that there were many other people also watching the stunt at the time. “Also on the set, keeping their eyes on the action, was the highly skilled and sensitive director, Frank Oz, a stunt coordinator, a camera crew, a script supervisor, as well as extras who witnessed the entire, very-well rehearsed scene.”
Oz, meanwhile, told Us in a statement on Friday: “I always rehearse physical actions in slow motion. The scene was supposed to include a fake punch. It’s puzzling what she’s talking about. It’s not the Steve I know or anyone knows. He’s always been professional and respectful of everyone on all of my shoots.”
Margolyes — who is well known for her role in the Harry Potter film series — previously opened up about her alleged “vile experience” working with Martin in her new memoir, Oh Miriam!: Stories From An Extraordinary Life — which hit shelves earlier this month. In the book, the actress claimed that Martin was “rather horrible” to film with on set.
She later expanded on her remarks during her news.com.au interview, claiming she had a “splitting headache” after attempting to film the “Dentist!” scene and that Martin was “incredibly unfriendly, because he was a perfectionist.” She added that while he was “correct” in trying to get “the comic moment right,” he “should have included” her in the process.
Despite recognizing Martin’s talents as a “gifted” and “brilliant” comedic actor, she concluded her thoughts by calling him a “c—t,” adding, “That’s all I can tell you.”