Lucy Liu Opens Up About Bill Murray’s Bad Behavior on Charlie’s Angels Set
Lucy Liu has spoken her piece when it comes to the Charlie’s Angels situation with Bill Murray. She joined the Los Angeles Times’ podcast Asian Enough this week to talk about the encounter with Murray and to set the record straight. And because she’s a class act, she did it without dragging Murray as he so rightfully deserved for his behavior on set.
For those that need a reminder, Liu starred in Charlie’s Angels as one third of a crime-fighting trio of best friends. She was joined by Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz in this adaptation of the classic TV show, and along the way, Murray ended up nabbing the role of Bosley, a.k.a. the guy who relays Charlie’s orders and guides the Angels through their missions.
Back then, reports came out that Liu and Murray did not get along, and it’s believed to be the reason why he was replaced in the sequel Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle by Bernie Mac. But the one thing that permeated throughout all of this is that Liu was supposedly the difficult one who “threw hands” when it came to Murray, a label that would follow Liu around even as her career blossomed.
And thanks to a viral tweet, former production assistant Shaun O’Banion spoke up about what really happened on the Charlie’s Angels set and helped clarify some things. Basically, O’Banion said Murray let his ego get to him and ended up rewriting pages of the script unprompted. When he didn’t receive the response he expected, Liu stood up for herself and didn’t let Murray gaslight her into thinking that he did her a favor. She called him a name and walked away. No hands or punches were thrown.
Liu’s interview with the Asian Enough podcast is proof that Hollywood labels those who stand up for themselves, women in particular, as difficult without taking the time to explore what really happened. And even though Liu wouldn’t give out specifics of what happened with Murray, it was clear his behavior was unacceptable and that his use of “inexcusable and unacceptable” language was not going to fly with her.
“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,” Liu explained during the Asian Enough podcast. “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?“
Liu went on to elaborate on how the encounter with Murray surprised her. “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. Some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable, and I was not going to just sit there and take it.”
And Liu shouldn’t have to just take it or have Hollywood label her as difficult for not doing so. Her words make it clear she knows that and carries that thought with her to this day and to whatever set she’s on, from Shazam! Fury of the Gods to Why Women Kill. “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.”
Make sure to check out the rest of the Asian Enough podcast for more of Lucy Liu. Also, make sure to check out the podcast in general because it’s “about being Asian American — the joys, the complications and everything in between.” Hosts Jen Yamato, Johana Bhuiyan, Tracy Brown and Suhauna Hussain have also interviewed other standout talent like John Cho, Nicole Chung, Jujubee, and even Sandra Oh.
(image: Sony Pictures Releasing)
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