French actor Eva Green wins $1M in spat over ‘B movie’

LONDON (AP) — Eva Green was awarded $1 million by a British court Friday in a sensational dispute over the failure of a film project she feared was destined to become a “B movie” that could ruin her career.

The movie in question was a science fiction thriller, but the case played out in court like a melodrama. The producers of “A patriot” portrayed the French actor as a diva. She had called one of the executive producers a “devious psycho” and “pure vomit” and called the production manager a “jerk”.

A High Court judge struck down the virulence that he said threatened to complicate the case and deemed it “relatively straightforward,” awarding Green the fee he had been promised for the production that flopped in 2019.

Green, 42, who played Vesper Lynd in the 2006 version of the James Bond thriller “Casino Royale”, said her professional reputation was upheld after she came up against a small group of wealthy men who employed “unofficial tactics of bullies” to use her as a scapegoat for his own failures.

His lengthy statement, however, exposed his fragility in the face of criticism and the pain he felt from what he claimed was misreporting in the press that “has been more painful than I can say.”

“There are few things the media enjoys more than tearing a woman apart,” Green said. “It was like being attacked by hounds; I found myself misrepresented, quoted out of context, and my desire to make the best film possible made to look like female hysteria. It was cruel and false.”

Judge Michael Green dismissed a counterclaim brought by England-based film production company White Lantern Film that said the actor made “too many creative and financial demands” and torpedoed the production.

The judge said that Green had not waived or breached his obligations and was entitled to his fee of £810,000.

Green said he “fell in love” with the “A Patriot” script and its environmental message, but grew increasingly concerned as costs were cut and production moved from Ireland to England.

“When an actor has appeared in a B movie, they are labeled a B actor, they never offer you quality work again,” he testified.

During the trial, the court was told that Green used a profanity when describing the prospective crew members as “rednecks”. She had called executive producer Jake Seal “evil”, a “devious psycho” and a “crazy man”, and called production manager Terry Bird a “jerk”.

She downplayed his scathing words such as his “Frenchness”, which the judge dismissed as inappropriate and not credible.

While Judge Green ruled in favor of Eva Green, he gave bad reviews to both sides in his 71-page ruling.

“For such a perfectionist in her art, she was shockingly ill-prepared for her testimony,” she wrote, calling the actor “in some ways a frustrating and unsatisfactory witness.”

The judge said the nasty things Green said about Seal stemmed from a genuine concern that the film wouldn’t do the script justice, and he didn’t entirely disagree with his criticisms.

“I have to say, having heard him testify, I can see how he could instantly dislike me,” the judge wrote. “Sometimes he was condescending, sarcastic and put-down. I found that he had an innate aggressiveness and I can understand why Ms. Green and others resented being told they had to make the film under their complete control.”

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