1 of 2 | Steve Martin has denied a former co-star's allegation that he was "horrid" on the set of the 1986 movie, "Little Shop of Horrors." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Comedy legend Steve Martin has denied allegations of abusive behavior made in a new memoir against him by Miriam Margoyles, his co-star in the 1986 movie musical, Little Shop of Horrors.
"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," Martin said in a statement Friday.
"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."
Margoyles -- who is known for her role in the Harry Potter film franchise and recently joined the cast of Doctor Who -- discussed working with Martin in her book, Oh Miriam: Stories From An Extraordinary Life.
"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," Margoyles wrote, adding Martin was "undeniably brilliant, but horrid to me."
But Frank Oz, director of the film, backed up Martin's view of events.
"I always rehearse physical actions in slow motion. The scene was supposed to include a fake punch," Oz told Variety.
"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 played a sadistic dentist in the sci-fi movie musical, which co-starred Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Bill Murray. Margoyles played a small part as a staffer in the dental office.
Martin can now be seen in the mystery comedy, Only Murders in the Building.