Defiant Eva Green defends ‘peasants’ rant as she sues over collapsed film
Eva Green said she has “nothing against peasants” after branding crew members working on her film as “s----- peasants from Hampshire”, London’s High Court was told.
The Casino Royale star was due to appear in a £4 million sci-fi film titled A Patriot, but its production was abandoned in Oct 2019.
Court documents revealed the French-born actress, who is now locked in a bitter lawsuit with the film’s producers over her fee, had launched an expletive-laden WhatsApp rant over the choice of local talent.
In a text addressed to her agent, the 42-year-old had lamented that they will be “obliged to take the [producer’s] s----- peasant crew members from Hampshire”.
But at her first appearance of the eight-day trial, Ms Green insisted she just wanted to work with a “high-quality crew”.
She told the court on Monday: “I have nothing against peasants, I didn’t want to work with a sub-standard crew. I wanted to work with a high-quality crew who just wanted to be paid standard industry rates.”
The actress is suing production company White Lantern Film, claiming she is entitled to her $1 million (£810,000) fee for the abandoned project, despite its cancellation.
In turn, White Lantern is bringing a counter-claim against Ms Green alleging that she undermined its production, made “excessive creative and financial demands” and had expectations that were “incompatible” with the project’s low budget.
On Monday, the actress also cited Alec Baldwin’s fatal on-set shooting of a cinematographer while giving evidence on the “extremely dangerous” stunt training she received for the film.
She referred to Halyna Hutchins’ death last October on the set of Rust while revealing producers slashed her own length of training from four weeks to five days.
Ms Green said: “You can’t make a quality film by cutting corners.
“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.”
Hutchins, 42, was killed and director Joel Souza wounded in Oct 2021, when a gun Baldwin was using during a rehearsal for the Western in the New Mexico desert fired a live bullet.
Baldwin now faces five years in prison after being charged over the fatal shooting in what his lawyers said earlier this month is a “terrible miscarriage of justice”.
Ms Green on Monday effused how she “fell in love” with the film, in which she was cast as soldier Kate Jones, after reading writer and director Dan Pringle’s “brave and daring” script.
Speaking from the witness box and dressed in a dark green blazer and black turtleneck, she said: “I believed and still do that the film had the capacity to really wake people up and help them to see that the devastation of our world would eventually trigger resource wars and massive migration.
“As I have said repeatedly, I fell deeply in love with this project – not only the role, but also the message of the film.
“I couldn’t imagine abandoning the film, as it would have been like abandoning my baby. It still feels that way.”
Max Mallin, representing White Lantern, previously claimed that Ms Green had an “animosity” towards a vision for the film held by Jake Seal, one of the film’s executive producers.
The barrister said that 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”.
Ms Green is due to finish giving evidence on Tuesday and a ruling on the case is expected at a later date.