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Lucy Liu Recalls Standing Up to Bill Murray After Feeling 'Attacked' on Charlie's Angels Set

·4-min read

Lucy Liu is speaking out about the moment she stood up to Bill Murray on the set of Charlie's Angels.

The actress, 52, recalled the heated exchange during an appearance on the Los Angeles Times' Asian Enough podcast without getting "into the specifics." Liu remembered how she and some costars reworked a particular scene for the 2000 movie but Murray was unable to attend the rehearsal. When he returned to shoot the scene, Liu claimed he was upset and unfairly singled her out.

"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," she said. "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? 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."

Liu explained that she "probably had the least amount of privilege in terms of creatively participating" at the time, but that didn't stop her from sticking up for herself in the situation.

"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," recalled Liu. "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."

A rep for Murray did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

RELATED: SNL Alums Remember Infamous Backstage Fight Between Chevy Chase and Bill Murray: 'It Was Very Sad'

CHARLIE'S ANGELS
CHARLIE'S ANGELS

Columbia pictures/ Everett

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Liu added that crew members who witnessed the interaction approached her years later to tell her "they were really grateful that I did that." The actress also said she doesn't have a problem with Murray, 70, and they've had pleasant encounters since.

Charlie's Angels also starred Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore. The 2003 sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle reunited the trio without Murray in the role of John Bosley.

"I've seen him since then at a [Saturday Night Live] reunion, and he came up to me and was perfectly nice. But I'm not going to sit there and be attacked," Liu said.

She further explained, "I don't want to be that person that is not going to speak up for myself and stand by the only thing that I have, which is my dignity and self-respect. Because in the end, we all end up in the same place as time goes on. Nobody is immortal. But in that time, no matter what happens between now and whatever career choices I make or whatever life decisions I make, I will walk away with my dignity."

Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu

Gary Gershoff/Getty

RELATED: Thandie Newton Says She Turned Down Charlie's Angels After Racist Meeting with Producer Amy Pascal

The Why Women Kill star also said the media reports of the clash with Murray misrepresented the situation, painting her as "difficult" to work with.

"I remember after that time, what came out in the press was that I was this and I was that. 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."

"So even though it's been decades, it's something that obviously I remember very intimately and have not forgotten," said Liu.

In an April op-ed for the Washington Post, Liu shared why Charlie's Angels was "so important" to her and how the role "normalized Asian identity for a mainstream audience and made a piece of Americana a little more inclusive." While she wrote that she feels "fortunate to have 'moved the needle' a little with some mainstream success," Liu said that success "is circumscribed, and there is still much further to go."

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