Whoa, Charlie. In a new interview this week, Lucy Liu looked back on her infamous argument with Bill Murray on the set of 2000’s Charlie’s Angels.
Appearing on the Los Angeles Times’ Asian Enough podcast, the actress recounted the altercation, which she explained stemmed from Murray being unaware that the scene being filmed had been altered. According to Liu’s memory of the event, the actor’s ire ended up being directed at her, with the argument eventually becoming what the star called a “one-on-one communication.”
“I won’t get into the specifics,” she said, “but it kept going on and on. I was, like, ‘Wow, he seems like he’s looking straight at me.'”
Once Murray’s language and attitude toward her became, as she recalled, “inexcusable and unacceptable,” Liu explained on the podcast that she defended herself against the comedy legend. “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,” she said. “And I would not stand down, and nor should I have…I’m not going to sit there and be attacked.”
Liu portrayed Alex Munday, one third of the film’s titular private investigators, starring alongside Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore with Murray playing Charlie’s assistant Bosely. While Liu and her fellow Angels were joined by Demi Moore and Bernie Mac three years later for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Murray only appeared in archival footage in the hit 2003 sequel.
In the years since the incident — which reentered the public discourse earlier this year thanks to a viral tweet by one of the film’s production assistants — Liu said that she and Murray had spoken a number of times at different Hollywood events, but she’s never forgotten the experience or how it affected her career. “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,” she concluded. “So even though it’s been decades, it’s something that obviously I remember very intimately and have not forgotten.”