Steve Martin is responding to accusations from one-time co-star Miriam Magoyles that he was “horrid” to her while filming the musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors”.
In the 1986 film, Martin portrayed sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello, while Margoyles played his dental assistant.
“But when it is implied that I harmed her or was in some way careless about doing the stunts, I have to object.”
In her new memoir, Oh Miriam! Stories From an Extraordinary Life , the British actress details being battered for real while shooting a musical number in which his character punches his assistant in the face, and then slams a door in her face.
“I was hit all day by doors opening in my face; repeatedly punched, slapped and knocked down by an unlovely and unapologetic Steve Martin — perhaps he was Method acting — and came home grumpy with a splitting headache,” she wrote (as reported by HuffPost UK), adding that Martin was “undeniably brilliant but horrid to me.”
Martin, however, has a very different recollection of events, which he shared in a statement he issued to The Hollywood Reporter.
“When I first read Miriam Margolyes’ pejorative account of our scene in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, I was surprised,” Martin stated.
“My memory is that we had a good communication as professional actors,” his statement 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 continued.
“There was never any physical contact between her and me, accidental or otherwise, in this scene or any other we shot,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the film’s director, Frank Oz, backed up Martin’s account, issuing his own statement to THR.
“I always rehearse physical actions in slow motion,” the director’s statement read. “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.”