There was drama on the set of the 2000 movie Charlie's Angels, but it wasn't among the three leads. During an interview on the Los Angeles Times' Asian Enough podcast, Lucy Liu said a fight with Bill Murray did occur when she was playing Alex and he was playing Bosley. Rumors have circulated for years about Liu and Murray not getting along on the set of the film, and recently a production member spoke out with their account of what happened between the actors. Now, Liu has confirmed that there was an incident and clarified what happened. Read on to see what she had to say.
Liu said Murray "hurl[ed] insults" at her.
Appearing on the Asian Enough podcast, Liu said that the incident happened when she, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Murray were filming a scene together. The cast members had reworked the scene during a rehearsal, which Murray was unable to attend. "We just made the scene more fluid," the actor explained. "I wish I had more to do with it but I didn't, because I was the last one cast and I probably had the least amount of privilege in terms of creatively participating at that time."
Liu continued, "As we're doing the scene, Bill starts to sort of hurl insults, and I won't get into the specifics, but it kept going on and on. I was, like, 'Wow, he seems like he's looking straight at me.' I couldn't believe that [the comments] could be towards me, because what do I have to do with anything majorly important at that time? I literally do the look around my shoulder thing, like, who is he talking to behind me? I say, 'I'm so sorry. Are you talking to me?' And clearly he was, because then it started to become a one-on-one communication."
She also claimed he used "inexcusable and unacceptable" language.
Without going into details of how she responded, Liu said she stood up for herself after hearing what Murray said to her. "Some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable, and I was not going to just sit there and take it," she said. "So, yes, I stood up for myself, and I don't regret it. Because no matter how low on the totem pole you may be or wherever you came from, there's no need to condescend or to put other people down. And I would not stand down, and nor should I have."
She added, "I don't want to be that person that is not going to speak up for myself and stand by the only thing that I have, which is my dignity and self-respect." Liu said that, years later, some crew members who were there when it all went down told her that they were grateful for what she did.
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She's fine with Murray now, but thinks it's problematic how their fight is often discussed.
"I have nothing against Bill Murray at all," Liu said on the podcast. "I've seen him since then at a SNL reunion, and he came up to me and was perfectly nice. But I'm not going to sit there and be attacked." In the Charlie's Angels sequel, Bernie Mac replaced Murray as Bosley.
The Why Women Kill star also talked about seeing rumors about the altercation in the media. "I remember after that time, what came out in the press was that I was this and I was that," she said. "It was incredible to me how it was turned around and they automatically thought that the woman was the difficult one … But I didn't understand how it got flipped when I had nothing to do with instigating it or creating that platform of confrontation or anxiety. So even though it's been decades, it's something that obviously I remember very intimately and have not forgotten."
Rumors of the incident recently resurfaced.
Rumors about Liu and Murray have persisted for years, and a tweet with an article detailing the rumors recently made the rounds. It was rumored that Murray told Liu that she couldn't act and that she started throwing punches at him. As reported by ET Canada, a production assistant, Shaun O'Banion, who worked on the film said that this wasn't true. Instead, O'Banion said that members of the cast and production got annoyed when Murray tried to rewrite part of the script, and when Liu spoke up about it, Murray supposed told she shouldn't complain because he gave her more lines and "You're TV… and this is the big league." O'Banion says Liu, who before that was best known for her role on Ally McBeal, then cursed at Murray and stormed off.
Liu's interview doesn't make any mention of anything like this. When asked about the story recently going viral, she said, "I feel like some of those stories are private," and then shared her account about trying to film the reworked scene with Murray.
Murray seemed to be calling Liu "unprofessional" when he was asked about the fight years ago.
Murray commented on the rumor of a feud in an interview with The Times of London in 2009 (via Entertainment Weekly). "Look, I will dismiss you completely if you are unprofessional and working with me," he said. "When our relationship is professional, and you're not getting that done, forget it." Best Life has reached out to an attorney for Murray for comment as he does not use personal representation.