Steve Martin Objects to Miriam Margolyes’ Claim He was Horrible to Her on Set

ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING, Steve Martin, The Show Must...', (Season 3, ep. 301, aired Aug. 3, 2023).
Patrick Harbron/Hulu/ Everett Collection

Miriam Margolyes has some thoughts about former co-star Steve Martin in her memoir. The pair worked together in the film Little Shop of Horrors. In their scene together, Martin plays sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello, while Margolyes plays a dental nurse. She wrote, “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 added that Martin was “undeniably brilliant but horrid to me.”

After the news broke about her comments, Martin decided to respond and said that he remembers time on the set very differently. The Only Murders in the Building star 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. 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. There was never any physical contact between her and me, accidental or otherwise, in this scene or any other we shot.”

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Steve Martin, 1986

Everett Collection

Director Frank Oz also backed up Martin’s statements. He shared, “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.” In the scene, Margolyes’ character was punched and hit in the face by a door during the song “Dentist!”

SUPPLY & DEMAND, Miriam Margolyes, 1998

LaPlante Productions/Everett Collection

Margolyes is also known for her role in the Harry Potter films as Professor Pomona Sprout but previously said it wasn’t that big of a deal to her to star in the films. In her memoir, she is reportedly bashing other stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, claiming that he smelled on set, and said that Arnold Schwarzenegger farted in her face. Margolyes is also in the news for being cast in the latest Doctor Who 60th anniversary special as villain Beep The Meep.

Get her memoir “Oh Miriam! Stories from an Extraordinary Life” here.

1950s Musicals
Want More?

1950s Musicals

November 2020

Bright and brassy, toe-tapping musicals from the 1950s

Buy This Issue