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Miriam Margolyes blasts Steve Martin: He was ‘horrid to me’

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Filming “Little Shop of Horrors” was pretty horrific for actor Miriam Margolyes, who unloaded on the 1986 musical’s star Steve Martin in her new memoir.

The British star’s latest wry offering, rife with anecdotes about her sex life and proclivity for shock value, takes aim at the beloved U.S. actor, among others. But given Martin’s national-treasure status, the allegations seemed especially significant and, perhaps not coincidentally, very much in line with his deplorable dentist character in the musical.

It’s been a newsy week for the cast of “Only Murders in the Building,” with Martin’s Hulu co-stars Martin Short and Selena Gomez also making headlines for their “desperately unfunny” shtick and highly meme-able expressions, respectively.

Margolyes opened up about Martin in “Oh Miriam: Stories From an Extraordinary Life,” which has been released in the U.K. ahead of its January release stateside. It’s Margolyes’ follow-up to her 2021 autobiography, “This Much Is True.”

In the memoir, the 82-year-old “Harry Potter” and “Call the Midwife” actor detailed her uncomfortable experience working with Martin on Frank Oz’s cult classic “Little Shop of Horrors.” Margolyes played the nurse to Martin’s psychopathic dentist in the maniacal farce. His iconic character, Orin Scrivello, D.D.S., punched her character and closed doors in her face. And Margolyes recalled how much it hurt to shoot those scenes.

“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 wrote, according to Insider.

Yes, indeed, Harry Potter’s herbology professor had some verdant thoughts about a scene with a murderous plant from another of her most famous films.

“Let it not be said that I have never suffered in the name of art,” she wrote. “Steve was undeniably brilliant, but horrid to me.”

A representative for Martin did not immediately respond Friday to The Times’ request for comment.

Margolyes had unflattering stories involving many A-listers, including her “Age of Innocence” director Martin Scorsese and “Dead Again’s” Kenneth Branagh, as well as Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger, according to the Independent. She also has some choice words for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom she loathes.

“I don’t think it’s as rude as my first book, therefore I suspect it won’t do as well,” Margolyes told the Guardian. “But I think the things I say in it are again absolutely true, and perhaps more serious. And I’m glad of that. I don’t just want to be a foul-mouthed old biddy. A potty-mouth as I’m often called. Because I’m more than that.”

On Thursday, the BBC reported that Margolyes had joined the cast of “Doctor Who” for the venerated franchise’s 60th anniversary specials airing in November. She’ll voice the Meep, the creature adapted from “The Star Beast” comic strip.

“I’m relieved I got to work on ‘Doctor Who’ before I died. With sci-fi you never know. Thank you for making an old woman very happy,” she said.


Filming “Little Shop of Horrors” was pretty horrific for actor Miriam Margolyes, who unloaded on the 1986 musical’s star Steve Martin in her new memoir.

The British star’s latest wry offering, rife with anecdotes about her sex life and proclivity for shock value, takes aim at the beloved U.S. actor, among others. But given Martin’s national-treasure status, the allegations seemed especially significant and, perhaps not coincidentally, very much in line with his deplorable dentist character in the musical.

It’s been a newsy week for the cast of “Only Murders in the Building,” with Martin’s Hulu co-stars Martin Short and Selena Gomez also making headlines for their “desperately unfunny” shtick and highly meme-able expressions, respectively.

Margolyes opened up about Martin in “Oh Miriam: Stories From an Extraordinary Life,” which has been released in the U.K. ahead of its January release stateside. It’s Margolyes’ follow-up to her 2021 autobiography, “This Much Is True.”

In the memoir, the 82-year-old “Harry Potter” and “Call the Midwife” actor detailed her uncomfortable experience working with Martin on Frank Oz’s cult classic “Little Shop of Horrors.” Margolyes played the nurse to Martin’s psychopathic dentist in the maniacal farce. His iconic character, Orin Scrivello, D.D.S., punched her character and closed doors in her face. And Margolyes recalled how much it hurt to shoot those scenes.

“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 wrote, according to Insider.

Yes, indeed, Harry Potter’s herbology professor had some verdant thoughts about a scene with a murderous plant from another of her most famous films.

“Let it not be said that I have never suffered in the name of art,” she wrote. “Steve was undeniably brilliant, but horrid to me.”

A representative for Martin did not immediately respond Friday to The Times’ request for comment.

Margolyes had unflattering stories involving many A-listers, including her “Age of Innocence” director Martin Scorsese and “Dead Again’s” Kenneth Branagh, as well as Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger, according to the Independent. She also has some choice words for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom she loathes.

“I don’t think it’s as rude as my first book, therefore I suspect it won’t do as well,” Margolyes told the Guardian. “But I think the things I say in it are again absolutely true, and perhaps more serious. And I’m glad of that. I don’t just want to be a foul-mouthed old biddy. A potty-mouth as I’m often called. Because I’m more than that.”

On Thursday, the BBC reported that Margolyes had joined the cast of “Doctor Who” for the venerated franchise’s 60th anniversary specials airing in November. She’ll voice the Meep, the creature adapted from “The Star Beast” comic strip.

“I’m relieved I got to work on ‘Doctor Who’ before I died. With sci-fi you never know. Thank you for making an old woman very happy,” she said.

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