Steve Harvey has lashed out at claims made by former Little Shop of Horrors co-star Miriam Margolyes after the 82-year-old actress claimed he hit her during filming for the 1986 movie.
Within the pages of Margolyes’ new memoir Oh Miriam: Stories from an Extraordinary Life, she pulled no punches when it came to suggesting that Martin isn’t quite the friendly, lovable figure fans believe him to be.
Instead, Margolyes described the actor as being “horrid” to her on set, suggesting that he had struck her more than once while filming Little Shop.
According to the Independent, in her memoir, which dropped on September 12, Margolyes 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: “Let it not be said that I have never suffered in the name of art.”
The actress then doubled down on the troubling claims during an interview with Australian outlet news.com.au while promoting her book.
“Steve was and is brilliant, this is not about his talent, just about his kindness at that time in his life,” Margolyes said.
Recalling the filming of the famous “Dentist!” musical number – wherein Martin’s character punches Margolyes’ and slams a door in her face – the 82-year-old added:
“I didn’t enjoy it and I had a splitting headache at the end of the day.
“He [Martin] was incredibly unfriendly, because he was a perfectionist. He was an artist and all he was interested in was getting the comic moment right, and he was correct to do that, but he should have included me.
“I would have included the person I was working with. He wasn’t interested in that.”
In conclusion, she added: “I just thought he was rather horrid. He was a c—, that’s all I can tell you.”
Needless to say, the allegations quickly evoked a reaction from fans of the parties involved. For his part, though, Martin has denied the claims, labeling them “pejorative.”
In a statement given to Fox News Digital, The Pink Panther star Martin wrote:
“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.”
He went on: “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.”
Coincidentally, Little Shop of Horrors director Frank Oz also weighed in on the matter, appearing to put his weight behind Martin’s version of events.
“I always rehearse physical actions in slow motion,” Oz said in his statement to Fox News Digital. “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.”
I’m a big Steve Martin fan, so I must admit to being surprised at Margolyes’ claims. If you also appreciate Martin, check out the jaw-dropping statement he made last year here that confirmed the rumors were true.