“Yes, I stood up for myself, and I don’t regret it.”
Turns out Bill Murray wasn’t always an angel to work with, at least according to former costar Lucy Liu.
While an on-set dustup between the two during the filming of “Charlie’s Angels” has been reported on in the past, Liu herself opened up about it for the first time in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Asian Enough podcast.
One account of the fight went viral earlier this month on Twitter, an account claiming Liu started “wildly throwing punches” at Murray after he stopped a scene dead in its tracks, pointed to her and said, “What in the hell are you doing here. You can’t act.” Fans took the tweet and ran with it, praising the actress for standing up for herself and labeling her a queen.
Explaining her version of events, Liu told the LA times that the cast — sans Murray — reworked the scene in question the weekend before filming and found a way to make it “more fluid.” She added that she didn’t have much say in the changes, “because I was the last one cast and I probably had the least amount of privilege in terms of creatively participating at that time.”
When it came time to film, she said Murray “starts to sort of hurl insults” at the rest of them. While she didn’t get into specifics of what he said, she claimed “it kept going on and on” and started to feel like the comments were being directed at her, specifically.
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“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?” she recalled. “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 said that “some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable” and she was “not going to just sit there and take it.” Liu added, “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.”
Liu said she has “nothing against” Murray and has had “perfectly nice” interactions with him since — but added, “but I’m not going to sit there and be attacked.” The actress also claimed several crew members have come up to her in the years following the movie’s release, telling her “they were really grateful” for how she stood up to him.
“I remember after that time, what came out in the press was that I was this and I was that. It was incredible to me how it was turned around and they automatically thought that the woman was the difficult one,” she added. “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.”
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TooFab has reached out to Murray’s manager for comment.
While Murray has yet to respond to Liu’s latest remarks, he did address the incident in a 2009 interview with the Times of London (per EW). At the time, he painted it with a very different brush. “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.”
A production assistant on the film, Shaun O’Banion, also shared his POV on the incident on Twitter earlier this month. He claimed that “no punches were thrown” and Murray later apologized — but added, “though not entirely sincerely imho.”
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