Miriam Margolyes Names 'Unlovely' Actor Who She Claims Was 'Horrid' To Her On Set

Steve Martin has since issued a statement responding to Miriam's account of working together.
Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes
S Meddle/ITV/Shutterstock

It seems Miriam Margolyes did not enjoy her time working with Steve Martin.

The Harry Potter star has branded her former Little Shop of Horrors co-star “unlovely”, claiming he was “horrid” to her on set.

The pair shared the screen in Frank Oz’s 1986 cult classic, in which Steve played dentist Orin Scrivello, and she appeared as one of his assistants.

During the film, Miriam and Steve performed the musical number Dentist!, which saw her character punched by her boss.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
via Associated Press

Recalling the experience in her new memoir Oh Miriam: Stories From An Extraordinary Life, she wrote (via The Independent): “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.

“Let it not be said that I have never suffered in the name of art.”

She then said Steve was “undeniably brilliant, but horrid to me”.

Miriam then discussed working with Ed And His Dead Mother co-star Steve Buscemi, who she said was “unerringly sweet”, adding that he “knocked spots off Steve Martin”.

In response, a spokesperson for Steve Martin told HuffPost UK: “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.

“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. 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.

“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.”

Director Frank Oz added: “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.”

Steve is not the only celebrity Miriam has had her say on recently.

Earlier this week, she doubled down on previous comments she made about John Cleese – who she briefly collaborated during their days at Cambridge – describing him as a “puny tadpole of a person”.

Oh Miriam: Stories From An Extraordinary Life is out now.

This article was updated after a rep for Steve Martin responded to a request for comment.

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