Why Lucy Liu Can't Work With Bill Murray

"Charlie's Angels" had the ultimate reboot in 2000, with Hollywood starlets Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu taking on the roles of the three private investigators kicking some serious ass. Bill Murray took on the role of Charlie Townsend's hilarious assistant Bosley, described by Cheat Sheet as the "bumbling father figure and somewhat of a big brother" to the three angels.

Debuting at No. 1 in the box office (via Vanity Fair), "Charlie's Angels" grossed nearly $300 million worldwide and spawned two more films with the leading ladies. However, Murray was mysteriously absent from these sequels. Why? Well, rumors began to circulate that Murray got in a pretty heated argument with Liu during a scene, so much so that she ran off the set crying (via the Daily Mail).

So what exactly went down between Murray and Liu that made it nearly impossible for them to work together again?

Bill allegedly told Lucy that she "can't act" on set of Charlie's Angels

There are varying accounts as to what happened, the first being from The Movie Blog. According to the site, Bill Murray stopped mid-scene and pointed to Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu in succession while saying, "I get why you're here, and you've got talent, but what in the hell are you doing here? You can't act!" Liu then allegedly "attacked" Murray by "throwing wild punches" and the actors had to be separated while they "lobbed verbal hand grenades at each other."

According to production assistant Shaun O'Banion (via the Daily Mail), the argument actually stemmed from Murray rewriting a "bunch of scenes without telling anyone" and putting the new pages in everyone's trailers. "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,'" O'Banion tweeted. "Murray turned and said, 'I don't know what you're complaining about. I have you more lines. I mean... look who you're in with here. You're from TV... and this is the big league.'"

Liu allegedly didn't react fondly to that comment, and shouted obscenities at Murray before running off stage crying. "No punches were thrown. At least not physically," O'Banion wrote. "He later apologised [sp] though not entirely sincerely in my honest opinion."

Lucy says the argument stemmed from her and Bill interpreting scenes differently

The actors themselves seem to recall the situation very differently. "I don't think it was an argument. We had creative differences," Lucy Liu told TV Guide in 2000 (via ABC News). "He interpreted a scene a certain way, and I interpreted the scene a separate way," she explained, adding, "And then the rumors started going crazy that I swung at him. This guy is like 6'2”. I wasn't going to pull out kung fu on him."

As for Bill Murray, he remembers asking Liu why she was comfortable saying a specific set of lines because they "were so crazy" (via Contact Music). 

He went on to explain that the actress got furious with him "because she thought this was a personal assault, but the reality is she hated these lines as much as I did. But for 15 or 20 minutes there, we went to our separate corners and threw hand-grenades and skyrockets at each other."

There's no bad blood between Lucy and Bill

Despite the heated argument, the actors eventually found common ground. "When I saw the movie, I called him up and left him a message and told him how wonderful he was," Lucy Liu told ABC News. Bill Murray apparently had similar sentiments, saying that they "made peace" and their argument made him understand her better. "I feel very warmly for her now" (via Contact Music).

Liu later addressed the "fight" in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2012, describing Murray as "incredibly talented" (via Film Ink). "It's okay for people to have opinions. It's a discussion. Everyone has an opinion about something," the actress continued. "Maybe you don't agree, but it doesn't mean that it was anything more than that."

As to the rumors of Murray not wanting to work on the sequel because of Liu, it was actually because of another unnamed cast member. "That same person was going to be involved in the second one, so I wasn't going to show up again," Murray concluded. Fair enough.