Everyone knows about the fight between Bill Murray and Lucy Liu on the set of the 2000 film Charlie’s Angels because it’s in every Hollywood feuds list that’s ever been written, which in turn are included among every one of those Zergnet gutter feeds, which we all click on because we can’t help ourselves.
A number of people have spoken about the incident over the years (including Bill Murray himself), and the story goes something like this: Bill Murray was being an asshole, and Lucy Liu stood up for herself. More specifically, there was a disagreement over some new lines, which were purportedly written by Bill Murray, who dropped the new lines into the trailers of all the actors before consulting with either the director, McG, or the producer, Drew Barrymore. McG, Barrymore, and others were upset, but it was Liu who spoke up, saying that Murray was out of line. He purportedly yelled at her, saying that she should be grateful. As one crew member relayed it, Murray said, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about. I gave you more lines. I mean… look who you’re in with here. You’re TV… and this is the big league.” Liu shouted, “F**k you, you fucking c**ksucker!” And the AD’s promptly cleared the stage as Lucy ran off the stage crying.” Other accounts suggest that Murray said to her, “You can’t act,” and even other accounts suggested that Liu threw punches (I highly doubt that Liu threw punches).
In any respect, for 21 years, this bullsh*t has been hanging over Liu’s head, and only Liu’s head because Bill Murray is a “national treasure” — despite a checkered history of problematic behavior — because he gets drunk and crashes college parties.
Now, for the first time, Liu us addressing the incident with the Los Angeles Times podcast Asian Enough (via Deadline). Liu confirmed it had something to do with rewrites, which she and the others handled because Murray was at a family gathering over the weekend. When Murray learned that the scene had been rewritten without him, he began “hurling insults” at Liu.
In the moment, the actress had difficulty processing what was happening. “I was, like, ‘Wow, he seems like he’s looking straight at me.’ I couldn’t believe that [his comments] could be towards me, because what do I have to do with anything majorly important at that time?” she said. “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.”
From Liu’s perspective, some of the language Murray used “was inexcusable and unacceptable.” She therefore decided to speak up, in spite of the fact that she was one of the lesser-known actors on set.
“I stood up for myself, and I don’t regret it,” she said. “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.”
Liu also suggested that the media twisted things around and blamed her.” It was incredible to me how it was turned around, and they automatically thought that the woman was the difficult one,” she said “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.”
Liu also said that she and Murray have an amicable relationship now, having spoke during the SNL 40th reunion, and that Murray was “perfectly nice.” Still, she added, “But I’m not going to sit there and be attacked.”
Liu is currently filming the sequel to Shazam!, which is called Shazam! Fury of Gods.
Header Image Source: Chris Polk/FilmMagic