Eva Green tells court: making ‘B movie’ could have killed my career

The actor Eva Green has told a high court case in which she is suing a film company over the collapse of a multimillion-pound independent film that she does not care about fees and lives to make good films, describing them as “my religion”.

Green – who agreed, with a little hesitation, that she was best known for her role in the James Bond film Casino Royale – was giving evidence in the case where she is suing White Lantern Films and SMC Speciality finance for her $1m (£807,000) fee for A Patriot.

The two companies are countersuing, alleging that she pulled out of and breached her contract in relation to the sci-fi film. Their evidence includes vituperative WhatsApp messages, including in which she referred to the film’s executive producer, Jake Seal, and his colleague Terry Bird as, respectively, “pure vomit” and “a fucking moron”.

Appearing as a witness for the first time, Green said on Monday that the script for the film had been “one of the best I have ever read”.

“First of all as an actor it was very exciting. It was the role of a soldier and something I have never played before. Also it was about climate change, which is dear to my heart. So it was very important,” she said.

Under cross-examination by Max Mallin KC, a barrister for the production company, who put it to her that she was interested in the film because it was an opportunity to appear as a “serious actor”, she insisted that this had been the case with her other work.

But she also admitted to expressing fears that the film would become a “B Shitty” movie, telling the court: “When you appear in a B movie you are labelled as a B movie actress. It could kill my career.”

Green, who the court was told had said in her witness statement that she wanted to make “the most brilliant film possible”, disagreed that she would have made the film simply for a million dollars.

“I don’t care about the money. I live to make good films. It’s my religion,” she said.

However, Green said that a turning point came when the director, Dan Pringle, and an executive producer, Adam Seal, “lied” to her about the fact that Irish funding would not be available for the project.

“I felt betrayed and I felt I couldn’t work with people I couldn’t trust,” she said, before going on to insist that she “understood” why she had, in her view, been misled at that point because new sources of funding were coming through.

She described it as a “big kind of lost in translation scenario”.

At the start of the 11-day trial in central London last week, Edmund Cullen KC said the criticisms of his client were unjustified and that A Patriot was a passion project for Green, which she “bent over backwards” to get made.

The counterclaim alleges that Green was “not in any event ready, willing and able to perform her obligation” while conspiring to give the impression that she was, despite having no intention of participating in the version of the film proposed.

Green had entered into negotiations to exchange her fee for the script rights and Mallin told the court her “ultimate aim” was to “produce a different iteration of the film at a later date in a different location and with a different team, and without the involvement of SMC”.


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