Was Eva Green a filmstar diva, or just French? It’s the question at the heart of a UK court case over the cancelled film A Patriot.
The French actor was signed up to star in the sci-fi film produced by White Lantern Films. In 2019, production of the film was cancelled and Green sued for her €918,000 fee. White Lantern Films then countersued claiming Green made “excessive creative and financial” demands and undermined the production.
Ahead of the trial, text messages from Green about film staff were released. In them, she called a team member “evil”, “a devious sociopath,” and “a liar and crazy”, as well as calling production manager Terry Bird “a moron” and “a complete arsehole”. She also allegedly called the crew “shitty peasants … from Hampshire”.
Green’s lawyer defended her saying this was a tactic on the production team’s part to portray the actor “as a diva in order to make headlines and damage her reputation.”
Appearing in court yesterday, the Casino Royale and The Dreamers actor said she “fell in love” with the script for A Patriot and its environmental message, but became increasingly concerned as producers moved production from Ireland to England and cut other corners.
“When an actor has appeared in a B-movie they are labelled as a B-actor, you never get offered quality work ever again,” Green said. “I never wanted this to be a B-movie but I realised more towards the end that it was going to happen.”
She went on to refer to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when a prop gun was allegedly fired by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of Rust last year. Her own stunt training for A Patriot was cut in a cost-saving measure from four weeks to five days.
“You can’t make a quality film by cutting corners,” Green said. “You look at what happened with Alec Baldwin on the movie ‘Rust’, the producers were cutting corners, no safety measures and a young woman got killed.”
Finally, Green responded to the production company’s use of her headline-grabbing text messages. She apologised for the tone of her “emotional response” and then summed up that it may just be a culture clash.
“It’s my Frenchness coming out sometimes,” she said.