Actress Eva Green at the Cesar award ceremony in Paris in 2020. Green is fighting producers of collapsed film "A Patriot" in a court case that opened in London on Thursday. [Source: NZ Herald]
A lawyer for Eva Green has accused producers of a collapsed film of trying to damage the performer’s reputation by depicting her as a “diva” on the first day of a case in the High Court at London.
The French actress, who played Vesper Lynd in James Bond thriller Casino Royale, is suing producers for a $1 million fee (NZ$1.55m) she says she is owed for A Patriot.
Green, 42, was lined up to star in the sci-fi thriller alongside Charles Dance and Helen Hunt, and was also an executive producer on the project, which collapsed in late 2019.
Production company White Lantern Film is fighting the claim and is countersuing, saying Green made “unreasonable demands” and undermined the production.
Hearings in the case opened on Thursday (overnight NZ time) at the High Court in London.
Green’s lawyer, Edmund Cullen, said the movie had been a “passion project” for Green and she had “bent over backwards to get this done”.
He said Green “loved the script and wanted the film to be made,” but “the financial plan was never going to work”.
“This case is designed to paint my client as a diva to win headlines and damage her reputation,” the lawyer said.
Lawyers for the production company argue in written submissions that Green had expressed “a lack of confidence and dissatisfaction” in some of the production team and had grown increasingly reluctant to be involved in the project.
White Lantern’s evidence includes expletive-filled text messages in which Green called one of the film’s executive producers, Jake Seal, “evil” a “devious sociopath” and a “mad man”, and branded production manager Terry Bird a “moron”.
Green’s lawyer, Cullen, said the text message had to be seen “in context” as “an informal venting of a stream of consciousness” during a tense stage of the film’s production.
He accused the production company of seeking “to lay every failure of the production at Ms Green’s door”.
“It seems to be designed to blacken the name of an actor who has not breached a contract or missed a day’s shooting in a career spanning 20 years,” he said in written arguments.
Green is expected to testify later during the eight-day hearing.