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Little Shop of Horrors director rebuts Miriam Margolyes ‘puzzling’ claims of violence about Steve Martin

Little Shop of Horrors director rebuts Miriam Margolyes ‘puzzling’ claims of violence about Steve Martin

Steve Martin said he was 'surprised' by Margolyes' claims against him

Little Shop of Horrors director Frank Oz has described Miriam Margolyes' allegations against her co-star Steve Martin as 'puzzling' after she claimed he 'repeatedly' hit her.

Margolyes made her allegations in her new memoir, Oh Miriam! Stories From an Extraordinary Life, as she recalled starring alongside Martin in Oz's 1986 film.

The Harry Potter actor played a dental assistant to Martin's Orin Scrivello, and in one scene her character faced being punched by Scrivello before having a door slammed in her face.

Steve Martin played Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors.
Warner Bros.

In her memoir, released on 14 September, Margolyes claimed that while filming the scene: “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," Margolyes continued, adding that she 'came home grumpy with a splitting headache'.

"Let it not be said that I have never suffered in the name of art," she wrote.

After Margolyes' allegations came to light, the man behind the camera spoke out to share his thoughts on the behavior on set.

Miriam Margolyes claimed she came home with a 'splitting headache'.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

In a statement, Oz said: “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.”

Martin himself responded to Margolyes' claims to point out that there were several other crew members, including Oz, on set during the scene to make sure it went as smoothly as possible.

"There was never any physical contact between her and me, accidental or otherwise, in this scene or any other we shot,” Martin said in response to the claims.

The Only Murders in the Building actor also addressed Margolyes' claims that Martin was 'undeniably brilliant but horrid to [her]'.

He said: “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."

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Martin 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 and Margolyes starred in Little Shop of Horrors alongside Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene.

Featured Image Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images for Meteor Shower / David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage/Getty

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV, US News