Steve Martin denies claims he assaulted actress
Comedy legend Steve Martin faces allegations of abusive behavior during the filming of "Little Shop of Horrors."
In a surprising turn of events, actor and comedian Steve Martin, well-known for his decades of work in film and comedy, is facing allegations of abusive behavior from a former co-star.
Miriam Margolyes, an actress renowned for roles in the Harry Potter franchise and more recently in Doctor Who, has made allegations against Martin in her memoir, "Oh Miriam: Stories From An Extraordinary Life."
Margoyles' account of the incidents presents a different perspective from what many might expect from the comedy legend. In her book, she details her experience during the filming of the 1986 movie musical, "Little Shop of Horrors," in which both actors played significant roles.
Miriam Margolyes made the following claims against Steve Martin: “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. He was undeniably brilliant, but horrid to me.”
Details of the movie scene
"Little Shop of Horrors" is a sci-fi movie musical in which Steve Martin played the character of dentist Orin Scrivello. Margolyes portrayed his nurse.
During one particular song, titled "Dentist!," Scrivello's character is shown being aggressive towards his nurse, slamming doors in her face and even punching her.
Frank Oz, the director of the film, emphasized the care taken during the shooting. Frank Oz mentioned:
“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’s perspective on the allegations
Steve Martin was quick to respond to the allegations and defend his professionalism on set. The actor recalls the filming process differently than Margolyes, Breitbart reported.
Steve Martin shared:
“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.”
Additionally, Martin clarified:
“There was never any physical contact between her and me, accidental or otherwise, in this scene or any other we shot.”
Other accounts from Miriam Margolyes’ memoir
It's worth noting that Steve Martin wasn't the only subject of surprising anecdotes from Margoyles in her memoir, People reported.
She mentioned an incident where she claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger "farted in my face" during the filming of "End of Days" in 1999, adding that she thought he was “a bit too full of himself.”
Furthermore, when comparing her experiences with various co-stars, she described Steve Buscemi, whom she worked with in "Ed and His Dead Mother" in 1993, as “unerringly sweet” and felt he “knocked spots off Steve Martin.”
Public reaction to the revelations
The news of the allegations has led to varied responses from the public.
While many find it hard to align such behavior with the Steve Martin they've known and loved over the years, others believe it's crucial to listen to and validate Margolyes' experiences.
The debate around the incident underscores the broader conversation about power dynamics in Hollywood and the importance of ensuring safe environments for all actors on set.
Lessons to learn from this tragedy
While the truth between conflicting accounts remains uncertain, there are several lessons that the public and industry professionals can glean:
1. Importance of Communication: Both actors emphasize communication, highlighting the need for clear dialogue when filming sensitive or potentially dangerous scenes.
2. Safe Environment: Director Frank Oz’s method of rehearsing in slow motion underscores the need for safety precautions during filming, especially in scenes involving physical contact.
3. Listening to all Sides: In situations where accounts differ, it's essential to remain open-minded and consider perspectives from all involved parties.
4. Respecting Co-workers: Regardless of personal feelings or methods of acting, it's crucial for actors to respect and ensure the safety of their co-stars.
Finally, while these lessons are useful, it's essential to remember that crime or mistreatment can occur anywhere and to anyone. We should always be supportive, avoid victim-blaming, and prioritize safety and respect in all situations.
Why is this story capturing attention?
Steve Martin is a figure who has been in the public eye for decades, loved by many for his humor and charisma. Miriam Margolyes, on the other hand, has a storied career, with roles in globally successful franchises like Harry Potter.
When allegations arise involving such notable figures, it's natural for the public to take interest.
Additionally, with the recent movements highlighting mistreatment in Hollywood, such stories resonate with many who believe in ensuring safer working environments for all.