Steve Martin is rebutting Miriam Margolyes’ claims that he was “rather horrid” to work with on the 1986 film “Little Shop of Horrors.”
In her new book, “Oh Miriam,” the 82-year-old claims she was “hit all day by doors opening in my face” and “repeatedly punched, slapped and knocked down” by Martin as they tried to perfect a scene in which he was supposed to knock her out.
However, Martin has a much different recollection of their days on set.
“When I first read Miriam Margolyes’ pejorative account of our scene in ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ I was surprised,” he told Us Weekly in a statement Friday. “My memory is that we had a good communication as professional actors.”
The 78-year-old continued, “But when it is implied that I harmed her or was in some way careless about doing the stunts, I have to object. I remember taking EXTREME caution regarding the fake punch — the same caution I would use with any similar scene.”
Martin claimed that Margolyes — who is best known for her role as Professor Sprout in the “Harry Potter” film series — “assured [him] she felt fine” which is why they “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,” he concluded. “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.”
In fact, Oz seemingly backed up Martin’s account of things, telling the outlet that the “Only Murders in the Building” star has “always been professional and respectful of everyone” on all of his shoots.
“I always rehearse physical actions in slow motion. The scene was supposed to include a fake punch,” the director said in a statement. “It’s puzzling what she’s talking about. It’s not the Steve I know or anyone knows.”
Margolyes also spoke about her “vile experience” working with Martin in a recent interview with news.com.au, saying she left set with “a splitting headache” each day.
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“He was incredibly unfriendly because he was a perfectionist,” she told the outlet. “He was an artist and all he was interested in was getting the comic moment right, and he was correct to do that, but he should have included me.”
“I just thought he was rather horrid,” she said bluntly. “He was a c–t, that’s all I can tell you.”
However, she did admit that Martin was a “brilliant” and “gifted” comedic actor despite his alleged shortcomings.
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