Eva Green denies sabotaging film and blames 'Frenchness' over messages

‘They made it fail by their own incompetence’: Bond girl Eva Green denies sabotaging doomed sci-fi film as she blames WhatsApp messages about crew on being French and ‘not very good with words’

  • Casino Royale actress, 42, was due to appear in climate change thriller A Patriot
  • Ms Green is suing production company White Lantern Films for £810,000 
  • Movie bosses say she made ‘unreasonable demands’ and undermined the film

Eva Green today insisted the crew on her doomed sci-fi film ‘made it fail by their own incompetence’ and again blamed her foul-mouthed WhatsApps about colleagues on being French.

The former Bond Girl is embroiled in a bitter legal battle with the makers of climate change thriller A Patriot, with each side blaming the other for the production’s demise in October 2019. She is suing White Lantern Films for her fee of $1million (£810,000) – even though the movie was never made.

Ms Green, 42, told the High Court yesterday that her ‘Frenchness’ was to blame for abusive messages she sent branding bosses of the £4.6million movie ‘weak and stupid’.

The actress then doubled-down during today’s hearing when it was put to her that she wanted the film to fail and actively encouraged two senior crew members to resign in a WhatsApp message that was read out in court.

Eva Green departs the Rolls Building, London, where she is suing production company White Lantern Films, over payment for the shuttered British film project A Patriot

Eva Green arrives at the High Court where she is suing White Lantern Films for her $1million fee for the film A Patriot

She replied: ‘I never did anything to make it fail, they made it fail by their own incompetence. Nothing was ready, nothing was in place.’

When asked to explain the meaning of the WhatsApp message, she said: ‘I’m not very good with words, I’m French first of all. I’m not as eloquent as you.’

The court heard earlier how she had wanted to seize control of the script for A Patriot herself.

Ms Green, who claimed she feared the picture would be a ‘B s**ty movie’, insisted today that she was prepared to still act in it despite the problems.

The court was told that she offered to exchange her £810,000 fee for the script rights so that the film could still be made to the standard that she wanted.

Mr Mallin said that in the message Ms Green made it clear that she did not want to continue with A Patriot because of its executive producer, Jake Seal. 

Mr Mallin asked her: ‘If you had done this film with Jake Seal, it would have been all over, a 20 year career finished.

‘There’s no way you would have done a B S**ty movie, it would have ruined your career.’

The actress replied: ‘Yes. I gave so much of my heart and soul to this project, I didn’t see why I should have given the money back. It made sense to have the script back.’

But she insisted: ‘But I would have been forced to do this B s**ty movie because I would not have broken my contract.’

Ms Green had earlier said that she felt ‘humiliated’ that her WhatsApps were being read out in court. She was asked about one message in which she called the film a ‘f***ing nightmare’, adding: ‘We had to get out’.

The Casino Royale star insists she did not sabotage the production or walk out on the film, and told the court: ‘I have a very direct way of saying things.’ 

Ms Green, 42, is at loggerheads with the makers of the dystopian British sci-fi project, which collapsed amid funding issues. Both sides blame each other

READ MORE: ‘Look at what happened with Alec Baldwin on Rust’: Bond girl Eva Green accuses producer of doomed sci-fi movie of raising the risk of a similar tragedy by cutting stunt training 

She added: ‘I was not expecting to have my WhatsApp messages exposed in court. It’s already very humiliating.’

Cross-examined by Max Mallin, KC, for White Lantern, about what she meant by the ‘f***ing nightmare’ message, she said: ‘Sometimes you say things you don’t mean. You hate someone and say I’m going to kill someone, but are you really going to kill that person? No.

‘There’s the famous example of Daniel Craig saying, ‘I’d rather slash my wrists than do another Bond movie’. But did he slash his wrists? No, he made another Bond movie.’

To laughter from the public gallery, Ms Green added: ‘I know this story because I know Daniel Craig.’   

Mr Mallin said that in the message Ms Green made it clear that she did not want to continue with A Patriot because of its executive producer, Jake Seal.

The message, which was read out in court stated: ‘We have to get out as the main investor (Mr Seal) was a f***ing nightmare, truly mad.’

But Ms Green denied this, prompting the lawyer to ask her: ‘Are you accustomed to simply lying in casual WhatsApp messages?’

In heated exchanges with the lawyer, Ms Green hit back: ‘I was not expecting to have my WhatsApp messages exposed in court. It’s already very humiliating.’

Ms Green claimed that she felt ‘trapped’ at her involvement in A Patriot and that it was the ‘craziest’ situation she had experienced.

Giving evidence on the second day of her High Court hearing she said: ‘It caused me immense stress, I just felt I was trapped.

‘I was frustrated and confused; it was the craziest situation I’ve ever been involved in.’

Ms Green told the court that this was caused by the involvement of Mr Seal, whom she did not want to work with, financial problems with the film and the way the project was being run.

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 £4million film

READ MORE: ‘I’m not rude – I’m just French’: Bond girl Eva Green insists she says ’emotional things she doesn’t mean’ 

Ms Green smiled as she entered the Rolls Building just off Chancery Lane in the City of London, wearing bright red and orange sunglasses, a black velvet jacket and dark jeans and boots.

Ms Green is suing White Lantern Films for her fee of $1million (£810,000) which she claims she is entitled to under a ‘pay or play’ clause in her contract. The movie was shut down due to funding issues in October 2019.

Yesterday she put her rudeness about the production staff of A Patriot in expletive-laden texts and emails down to her ‘Frenchness’. She also apologised for ‘horrible comments’ calling the crew ‘s****y peasants from Hampshire’.

In messages used in White Lantern’s claim, Ms Green is said to refer to Mr Seal as ‘evil’, a ‘devious sociopath’, ‘a liar and a mad man’ and ‘pure vomit’. She is also said to have called production manager Terry Bird ‘a f****** moron’ and described the men as ‘total a***holes’. 

She also compared her own safety concerns about the project – including a lack of stunt training – to the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust.

In the dystopian film A Patriot, Ms Green had been due to play the lead role of a soldier, and told the High Court in London that she ‘fell deeply in love’ with ‘one of the best scripts I have ever read’.

But things turned sour, the court has heard, with White Lantern Films claiming the star breached her £810,000 contract by making unreasonable demands which undermined its efforts to produce the movie.

It has revealed messages sent by the Hollywood star about the film’s producers and backers, calling them ‘super weak and stupid’.

While she apologised for ‘inappropriate language’ and ‘some horrible things’ sent by email and text, giving evidence Ms Green said that this was ‘my Frenchness coming out… this was my emotions speaking’.

The Paris-born actress and model, who began her career in French theatre after spending time in London and Ireland, added: ‘Sometimes you say things you don’t actually mean, of course they are not weak and stupid.’

Another text message, sent by one of the film’s producers, said that he thought Ms Green would ‘rather eat tumours’ than make the film with another of the producers whom she disliked. Ms Green, who was an executive producer for the project, dismissed claims from White Lantern that she sought to undermine the film’s production, telling the High Court: ‘My heart and soul was in making A Patriot.’

Actress Eva Green filming near Tower Bridge in October 2019

She said: ‘It is one of the best scripts I have ever read. As an actor it was very exciting, it is the role of a soldier which I have not played before. It was about climate change, which is very dear to my heart.’

However, the Casino Royale star, who attended court in central London wearing a black roll-neck top with a smart moss green velvet blazer and sunglasses, revealed how she feared A Patriot may become a low-budget ‘B-movie’ after disagreements behind the scenes with the film’s financiers and producers.

‘When an actor is in a B-movie, you will be labelled as B-actor,’ she told the court, adding: ‘It could kill my career… I don’t care about the money, I live to make good films, it is my religion.’

Mr Mallin has previously claimed that Ms Green had an ‘animosity’ towards a vision for the project held by Mr Seal.

In WhatsApp exchanges with her agent and the film’s director, Ms Green claimed Mr Seal was planning to make a ‘cheap B-movie’, describing him as ‘the devil’ and ‘evil’, he said.

Mr Mallin asked Ms Green if she remembered sending a different text message suggesting that the film under Mr Seal would be a ‘B-s****y-movie’.

The actress said she remembered the message. Ms Green added: ‘I never wanted this to be a B-movie, but I realised more towards the end that it was going to happen.’

The actress, who played Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale and also starred in the BBC1 series The Luminaries, is suing White Lantern for her fee of $1million (£810,000), which she claims she is entitled to under a ‘pay or play’ clause in her contract.

The term ‘pay or play’ is used in the film industry to refer to when an artist is paid whether or not they are called upon to perform.

White Lantern is defending the claim and bringing a countersuit.

Lawyers for Ms Green say she is being portrayed unfairly as a diva by White Lantern. Edmund Cullen KC, for Ms Green, told the court last week ‘this case is designed to paint my client as a diva to win headlines and damage her reputation’.

Instead, Mr Cullen insists that Ms Green bent over backwards to try to complete the project.

Detailing accommodations the actress made in order to assist the film, he listed how ‘she repeatedly agreed to move back the start date, she agreed to move production from Ireland to the UK, she made repeated offers to use part of her fee to finance the project’.

The film was also due to feature The Jewel In The Crown and Game Of Thrones actor Charles Dance and As Good As It Gets star Helen Hunt. Misery star Kathy Bates was also attached to the movie at one point.

Director Dan Pringle said the proposed budget had been reduced from the £8million originally discussed with Ms Green to a lower estimate of £4.6million.

The trial continues.

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