Eva Green today told the High Court that she is a ‘serious actress’ and feared that a doomed sci-fi film would end up as a ‘sh***y B-movie’ that could have killed her career before it was canned.
The former Bond girl is giving evidence in a £4million legal battle over A Patriot – a film she was set to star in before production was shut down in October 2019.
She is suing production company White Lantern Films, claiming she is entitled to her $1million (£810,000) fee for the movie, despite its cancellation.
The star insists she is being unfairly painted as a ‘diva’ with one of the producers of the film claiming in a message that she ‘would rather eat tumours’ than make A Patriot shortly before it was shut down.
In the witness box this afternoon she told the court she had wanted to make the ‘most brilliant film possible’ after ‘falling in love’ with the script. She said: ‘I don’t care about the money, I live to make good films. It’s my religion’.
Eva Green arrives at the Rolls Building, London, for her High Court legal action over payment for a shuttered film project.
A lawyer for Ms Green accused producers of a collapsed film of trying to damage the performer’s reputation by depicting her as a ‘diva.’
The French actress, who played Vesper Lynd in James Bond thriller ‘Casino Royale,’ is suing producers for a $1 million fee she says she is owed for ‘A Patriot.’
But admit problems with the production she said she feared that ‘A Patriot’ would be a ‘B s****y movie’ and that she was worried about being labelled a ‘B movie actress.’
She told the court: ‘When you appear in a B movie you are labelled as a B actress. It could kill my career.’
Max Mallin, KC, for White Lantern opening the questioning said to Ms Green: ‘You are a successful actress but particularly know for your role in Casino Royale.’
He then asked Ms Green why she initially became interested in the project to make ‘A Patriot.’
He asked: ‘It’s a film with serious themes, that a serious actress would play?’
Mr Mallin then suggested that this was in contrast to previous roles Ms Green had played but she hit back: ‘Serious actress you mean? I have done many low budget movies that have serious content.’
Ms Green added: ‘I’m not just a…’ going on to make a clicking noise with her mouth to gesture that she is a ‘serious actress.’
Recalling her interest in the project she added: ‘It was one of the best scripts I have ever read. It also involved the role of a solider, something I have never played before.’
She admitted that the film’s themes such as climate change, immigration and totalitarianism interested her.
She added: ‘I wanted to make a quality film, a serious film.’
Ms Green told the court that if she had known the film project was not of the quality she expected then she would not have got involved.
She added: ‘I live to make good films, it’s my religion.’
Bond girl Eva Green, pictured in Casino Royale with Daniel Craig, is at the High Court in a legal battle over the demise of a £4 million film project
Producers Terry Bird (left) and Jake Seal were mentioned in the texts and slated by Ms Green
White Lantern Films is defending the case and bringing a counterclaim against the French actress, alleging she made ‘unreasonable demands’ and undermined the film’s production.
Ms Green, who was wearing black sunglasses and a green velvet jacket in the January sunshine in London this morning, is expected to enter the witness box this afternoon.
Today the court heard that a message from one of the producers of the film had claimed that Eva Green ‘would rather eat tumours’ than make the movie before the project was shut down.
This morning the film’s writer and director Dan Pringle was giving evidence. he asked about a message he sent when financing of the film was potentially being restructured, and would have given ‘complete control’ to Jake Seal.
The High Court head last week that Ms Green had claimed Mr Seal, an executive producer, was planning to make a ‘cheap B movie’, describing him as ‘the devil’ and ‘evil’.
Mr Pringle said in a message that he, Ms Green and producer Adam Merrifield were discussing if they ‘wish to proceed with the new structure’, but added: ‘As of right now, obviously all three of us would rather eat tumours’.
Discussing this today he said: ‘I regret saying that, as I shouldn’t be speaking on behalf of Adam and Eva’.
The French actress is due to enter the witness box to give evidence in the claim on Monday, the third day of the trial in London.
At the start of the trial on Thursday, Max Mallin KC, for White Lantern, claimed that Ms Green had an ‘animosity’ towards a vision for the film held by one of the film’s executive producers, Jake Seal.
The barrister said that in exchanges with her agent and the film’s director, Ms Green also branded production manager Terry Bird as a ‘f****** moron’, and local crew members as ‘sh***y peasants… from Hampshire’.
However, Ms Green’s barrister Edmund Cullen KC said that the legal battle was ‘designed to paint my client as a diva to win headlines and damage her reputation’.
Mr Cullen later said that the messages ‘must be seen in context’ of negotiations over buying the rights to the script.
Describing the film as a ‘passion project’, Mr Cullen said the actress ‘bent over backwards’ to make the film but ‘the financial plan was never going to work’.
Ms Green expected to begin her evidence in the afternoon. The trial continues.