Powered By Pixels
31 January 2023

Eva Green says it was ‘humiliating’ to have her WhatsApp messages read in court

31 January 2023

Actress Eva Green has said it was “very humiliating” to have her WhatsApp messages read in her High Court battle with a production company over a failed sci-fi film.

The Casino Royale star, 42, was due to play the lead role in A Patriot, but the production collapsed in October 2019.

She is suing production company White Lantern Film, claiming she is entitled to her one-million-dollar (£810,000) fee for the abandoned project despite its cancellation.

In turn, White Lantern Film is bringing a counterclaim against the French actress, alleging that she undermined the independent film’s production, made “excessive creative and financial demands” and had expectations that were “incompatible” with the film’s budget.

In text messages used in White Lantern Film’s claim, Ms Green is said to refer to one of the film’s executive producers, Jake Seal, as a “devious sociopath”, “pure vomit” and “a liar and a mad man”.

Ms Green’s barrister Edmund Cullen KC previously told the High Court in London that the case was “designed to paint my client as a diva to win headlines and damage her reputation”.

On the second day of Ms Green’s evidence on Tuesday, Max Mallin KC, for White Lantern Film, asked the actress about a message where she described Mr Seal as “evil” and said that she had to “get out” of the film.

Denying that she meant was withdrawing from the project, Ms Green replied: “If I really wanted to pull out, I would have asked my agent to do so in a legal way.”

“Are you accustomed to simply lying in casual WhatsApp messages?” Mr Mallin asked.

Ms Green said that she had a “very direct way of saying things”.

She continued: “I was not expecting to have my WhatsApp messages exposed in court, it’s very humiliating.

“Sometimes you say things you don’t mean.

“You say you hate a person and you say ‘I’m going to kill this person’, are you going to kill this person?

“No. It’s a cry from the heart.”

The French actress then referenced comments made by her Casino Royale co-star and outgoing James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

She continued: “Daniel Craig said ‘I would rather slash my wrists then do another Bond movie’, he did honour his contract and did another Bond movie and didn’t slash his wrists.”

Ms Green added: “I know this story very well because I know Daniel.”

The British star, 54, made the comment in an interview in 2015 after finishing 007 movie Spectre, having broken his leg during filming.

Mr Craig later accepted that he appeared “ungrateful” but that the remark was made as a joke.

The actress has told the court that while she did not want to work with Mr Seal and his team, she would not have broken her contract.

Ms Green said she was not called to the studio for rehearsals or stunt training, describing it as “so strange”.

She added: “If I had been called to set, I would have done this film even though it would have been a disaster.”

“I would have done this cheap B movie because it was in my contract,” she said later.

Ms Green has said that she had hoped it would be possible for her to acquire the script rights in return for her forgoing her fee, so that the film could be made elsewhere with a different team, but that she knew she would have no choice but to go ahead with the film in the event this was not possible.

In her written evidence to the court, the actress said: “I couldn’t imagine abandoning the film, as it would have been like abandoning my baby.

“It still feels that way.”

During the first day of her evidence on Monday, the court heard that Ms Green had described potential crew members under Mr Seal’s plans as “shitty peasants… from Hampshire”.

Asked about her use of the phrase, the actress said: “I have nothing against peasants… I wanted to work with a high-quality crew who just wanted to be paid standard industry rates.”

The court also heard that in a message to her agent, Ms Green said: “I am very worried, they are super weak and stupid.”

Mr Mallin suggested the message was “presumably” about producer Adam Merrifield and writer and director Dan Pringle.

Ms Green replied: “I don’t know … it’s my Frenchness coming out sometimes.”

She added: “Sometimes you say things you don’t actually mean, of course they are not weak and stupid.”

Ms Green is due to finish giving evidence on Tuesday and a ruling on the case is expected at a later date.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox