British actor Eva Green has been awarded $1 million by a British court in a dispute over a collapsed film project. The producers of the sci-fi thriller, “A Patriot,” had portrayed Green as a diva and accused her of making excessive creative and financial demands which allegedly torpedoed the production. However, a High Court judge dismissed the countersuit brought by England-based film production company White Lantern Film and awarded Green the fee she had been promised for the production that folded in 2019.
The case played out in court like a melodrama with the producers of “A Patriot” portraying Green as a diva. Green had called one of the executive producers a “devious sociopath” and “pure vomit” and said the production manager was a “moron.” During the trial, the court was told that Green used an expletive when describing potential crew members as “peasants.”
Justice Michael Green cut through the vitriol that he said threatened to complicate the case and deemed it “relatively straightforward.” He said Green had not renounced or breached her obligations and was entitled to her £810,000 fee. White Lantern Film said Green’s claim of “gender-based bullying” was “completely unwarranted.” The firms said they were “carefully considering our options as to potential next steps, including appeal.”
Green, who played Vesper Lynd in the 2006 version of the James Bond thriller “Casino Royale,” said her professional reputation had been upheld after she stood up to a small group of rich men who employed “bully-boy tactics” to use her as a scapegoat for their own failures. Her lengthy statement, however, exposed her fragility in the face of criticism and the hurt she felt from what she claimed was misreporting in the press that “has been more painful than I can say.”
“When an actor has appeared in a B movie, they are labeled as a B actor, you never get offered quality work ever again,” she testified. Green said she “fell in love” with the script for “A Patriot” and its environmental message but became increasingly concerned as corners were cut and production was moved from Ireland to England.
While Justice Green found in favor of Eva Green, he gave poor reviews to both sides in his 71-page ruling. “For such a perfectionist in her art, she was surprisingly under-prepared for her evidence,” he wrote, calling the actor “in some senses a frustrating and unsatisfactory witness.” The judge said that the unpleasant things that Green said about executive producer Jake Seal were out of genuine concern that the film wouldn’t do the script justice, and he didn’t altogether disagree with her criticism.
“There are few things the media enjoys more than tearing a woman to pieces,” Green said. “It felt like being set upon by hounds; I found myself misrepresented, quoted out of context and my desire to make the best possible film was made to look like female hysteria. It was cruel and it was untrue.”
Green’s case highlights the difficulties actors can face in the film industry. Despite the verdict in her favor, the media attention surrounding the case has made her feel exposed and vulnerable. The impact of negative press can be significant, particularly for female actors who are often unfairly targeted by the media.