Most moviegoers realize that the theatrical cut of any given movie is quite different than the filming process, and reality on set.This is especially when it comes to the on-screen relationships, versus how the actors interact in real life. Well, it would seem that Bill Murray and Lucy Liu don’t have the friendly relationship in real life that they appear to have in the classic Charlie’s Angels. In fact, the two stars reportedly had a screaming match on the set of the 2000 Charlie’s Angels film.
While there were rumors of the Angel herself throwing hands at Murray over a disagreement on set, one witness who was seemingly there has now tried to set the record straight about what actually occurred on set of Charlie’s Angels so many years ago. A production assistant on the film’s version of the story does not include a physical altercation, and gives a little backstory on what actually caused the problem.
According to the PA’s Tweet, Bill Murray rewrote some pages of the script without anyone else knowing, which caused massive confusion on set. Lucy Liu spoke up when Murray owned up to being the one who made the changes, saying he was out of line. Here’s the background story leading up to the altercation, according to the PA:
Basically, Murray rewrote a bunch of scenes without telling anyone (including Drew who was a producer). He put the new pages in everyone’s trailers & everyone came to set wondering where the hell the new pages had come from. Murray was the last to step on stage and by that time there was already mass confusion. McG (director) was pissed that no one had consulted him. The AD’s were also pissed. Drew’s producing partner came in and Murray was like, ‘What’s going on?’ McG was like, “did you get new pages in your trailer?’ And Murray was like, ‘No. But I put new pages in everyone else’s trailer.’Drew and her partner were pretty upset by this. Murray was like, ‘I’m making it better, ok? You’ve got, like, 16 writers on this thing…’ and Lucy spoke up, saying something like, ‘this is way out of line.’
If what the PA says is the truth, there may be some who are on Lucy Liu’s side in the reported argument. It gets more intense, though. In response to Liu’s call-out, Bill Murray reportedly insulted her career credentials, saying she was lucky to be there in the big leagues with him. Here’s what allegedly happened, according to the PA’s break down of the shouting match on set:
Murray turned and 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.’ At that point Lucy shouted, ‘Fuck you, you fucking cocksucker!’ And the AD’s promptly cleared the stage as Lucy ran off the stage crying. Cameron was trying to be the peacekeeper and protect Drew as the AD’s cleared the stage. Of course all of us in production had to stay inside to keep people out. I love Bill Murray (and had worked with him before), but what he said to her was totally uncalled for. Really belittling and shitty. This was pretty early in the process too, and the crew already really liked Lucy (and Cameron and Drew). Anyway. No punches were thrown. At least not physically. He later apologized though not entirely sincerely imho.
This alleged altercation happened over 20 years ago, near the beginning of Lucy Liu’s very lucrative and iconic film career. It’s true that she had mostly been in TV programs up until that point, and it’s very possible that these reported words from Bill Murray could have cut in on some insecurities that she was already having. I mean, if the iconic actor said anything to me I would probably cry from high emotions anyway, let alone if it was something negative about my career.
Of course, this was so long ago and just a reported account from someone who says he was there. Memories can be misleading, people have bad days, and 20 years is a long time to hold something against someone. Even so, I’d be a little surprised to see Bill Murray and Lucy Liu in a project together again, or even friends 2 decades later, after an encounter like that.