More than two decades after Charlie’s Angels hit theaters, drama surrounding the film is back in the news. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times dropped the latest episode of its podcast Asian Enough, which found Lucy Liu revisiting her long-rumored drama with costar Bill Murray, whose character was replaced by Bernie Mac in the 2003 sequel. It’s in fact the second time that the feud has again made headlines this month: Former production assistant Shaun O’Banion recently claimed that Liu ended up cursing Murray out when he disrupted production by suddenly rewriting the script, telling the many writers that he was “making it better.”
Liu initially declined to “get into the specifics” on the podcast, but ended up clarifying the incident that she described as being “turned around” in the press. (“They automatically thought that the woman was the difficult one,” she said, describing the coverage as sexist.) According to Liu, it all stems back to a family gathering preventing Murray from joining the rest of the cast at a rehearsal in which they reworked a scene at the agency. “We just made the scene more fluid,” Liu recalled. “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 may not have been directly involved in the matter, but apparently, that didn’t stop Murray, who had a supporting role as the titular “John Bosley,” from targeting the star upon returning to set. “Bill start[ed] to sort of hurl insults,” Liu recalled of the moment they began filming. “It kept going on and on. I was, like, ‘Wow, he seems like he’s looking straight at me.’ I couldn’t believe that it could be towards me, because what do I have to do with anything majorly important at that time?”
So, Liu asked Murray. “And clearly he was [talking to me], because then it started to become a one-on-one communication,” she said. “Some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable, and I was not going to just sit there and take it. 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.”
These days, Liu doesn’t have any hard feelings. “I have nothing against Bill Murray at all,” she clarified. “I’ve seen him since then at an SNL reunion, and he came up to me and was perfectly nice.” Some things, however, remain the same: “I’m not going to sit there and be attacked,” Liu stressed. Murray expressed a similar sentiment back in 2009, when he last addressed the incident. “Look, I will dismiss you completely if you are unprofessional and working with me,” he told the Times of London. “When our relationship is professional, and you’re not getting that done, forget it.” Murray was essentially replaced in the sequel Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle by a character played by Bernie Mac.