In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter Martin said he remembered his time on set differently, noting that he took “extreme caution” when it came to filming the scene in which Margolyes said he actually hit her.
“When I first read Miriam Margolyes’s pejorative account of our scene in Little shop of horrors, I was surprised. My memory is that we had good communication as professional actors,” Martin’s statement reads. “But when it’s implied that I hurt her or that I was somehow careless in doing the stunts, I have to object. “I remember being EXTREME cautious about the fake hit, the same caution I would use with any similar scene.”
He explained that they talked on set and she assured him she was fine. “There was never any physical contact between her and me, accidental or not, in this scene or any other we filmed,” he wrote.
He Only murders in the building The star also noted that while they were filming the scene, there were several other crew members 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 baffling what he’s talking about. It’s not the Steve I know or the one no one knows. He has always been professional and respectful to everyone in all my sessions.”
Margolyes played the dental assistant to Martin’s character, the comically sadistic Orin Scrivello. During the musical number “Dentist!” Scrivello punches Margolyes’ character and slams a door in her face.
In Oh Miriam! Stories of an extraordinary life, claims that Martin actually hit her while filming the scene. “They hit me all day with doors opening in my face; “She was repeatedly hit, slapped and knocked down by a nasty and remorseless Steve Martin (perhaps he was method acting) and returned home in a bad mood with a splitting headache,” she wrote in her memoir, according to HuffPost UK. She wrote that Martin was “undeniably brilliant but horrible to me.”
The claims raised eyebrows when they circulated online Friday, given Martin’s affable public persona that has sustained him over a long career, which recently included praise for the Hulu series. Only murders in the building.
Margolyes, during her long career, had roles in the Harry Potter films as Professor Pomona Sprout and won a BAFTA for the 1994 film. The Age of Innocence.
Christy Piña contributed to this story.