The star of stage and screen, who has become increasingly known for her unfiltered views on celebrities she has met, targeted the Hollywood comedian and Only Murders in the Building star in her new memoir.
In the book, which was published on Thursday, Margolyes reflected on the “uncomfortable” experience of working with Martin, 78, on Frank Oz’s cult hit Little Shop of Horrors, which was released in 1986.
Margolyes, 82, played the secretary to Martin’s “psychopathic dentist” Orin Scrivello in the film and, in their musical number “Dentist!”, Margolyes is punched by Martin’s character, who also slams a door into her face,
In her memoir, Margolyes suggested she was hurt for real while filming the scenes, writing: “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.”
Margolyes added: “Let it not be said that I have never suffered in the name of art,” concluding that the actor “was undeniably brilliant, but horrid to me”.
She went onto praise her former co-star Steve Buscemi saying that the actor “was unerringly sweet” and “knocked spots off Steve Martin”.
In recent years Cleese, who is set to debut a new show on GB News this month, has become am increasingly divisive figure. In 2019, he appeared to denounce multi-culturalism, saying: “London is not an English city any more.”
After he was criticised, the 83-year-old responded: “I suspect I should apologise for my affection for the Englishness of my upbringing, but in some ways, I found it calmer, more polite, more humorous, less tabloid and less money-oriented than the one that is replacing it.”