New Angels Use Bodies, Not Guns, as Weapons

As Charlie's new Angels, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu have weathered a year of headlines — about casting, scripts, writers, rising costs, and behind-the-scenes battles — to finally emerge as warrior women in a big-screen spectacle critics are comparing to a James Bond adventure

You can thank Barrymore and her Flower Films producing partner Nancy Juvonen — and Leonard Goldberg, who co-produced the original series — for resurrecting the story of "three little girls who went to the police academy" and ended up working for a never-seen boss named Charlie.

Angels Are 'Sexy and Powerful' One major departure from the Farrah era: No guns for these Angels, thanks to an edict from Barrymore. First-time feature director McG got over any worries and "wrapped myself around the beautiful female form as a weapon. The Angels use their craftiness to get the job done."

This meant the trio had to do its own stunts. Before filming began, McG said, "They worked out for four months, eight to ten hours a day. They'd be so sore they couldn't work, but they did all their own stunts in the harnesses." He said that Liu is "the most fluent in her groundwork, [able to make] beautiful motions with her arms and legs." Barrymore had "grit" and Diaz he hailed as "one of the greatest athletes I've ever hung out with in my life."

For Barrymore, the kick is in seeing women kick butt while still retaining their femininity. "This doesn't male-bash," she says. "The three Angels are non-competitive but sisterly and supportive. In this we save the men and everyone. Most important for this film is to have fun. That's what's cool about Charlie, he gave women the opportunity to be heroes."

Chimes Diaz, "I agree with Drew. … These are women [who have] a good time being sexy and powerful."

Bill Murray: 'A Slippery Bar of Soap' So what about those reports that were a few real-life fights on the set? Lucy Liu has repeatedly denied that she and co-star Bill Murray (who plays Angel cohort Bosley) came to blows, but Barrymore admits there was some tension.

"Bill is just a rascal," Drew says. "Pure fun. He would show up for days on end when he wasn't working — and then come late when he was supposed to be working. He's a slippery bar of soap; you don't take it personally."