French movie actress Eva Green referred to the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust while giving evidence to the High Court today in a multi-million legal battle.
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 is bringing a counterclaim against the French actress, alleging that she undermined the independent film’s production
During her evidence, Ms Green referred to the on-set death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed when a prop gun held by Alec Baldwin was discharged in October 2021 during the filming of the western film Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Eva Green arrives at the Rolls Building, London, for her High Court legal action over payment for a shuttered film project.
Giving evidence, Ms Green referred to a fatal shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust (right), in which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (left) lost her life
Actress Eva Green filming near Tower Bridge for A Patriot – a film she was set to star in before production was shut down in October 2019
Ms Green told the court in London that Mr Seal had cut down her stunt training for the film – where she was set to play a soldier – from four weeks to five days.
‘You can’t make a quality film by cutting corners,’ Ms Green said.
She continued: ‘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.’
In her written evidence to the court, Ms Green said no personal training or stunt training was arranged for her, despite her efforts to follow this up with the production team.
She also said 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.
She said in her witness statement: ‘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.’
The actress denied the allegations that she was not prepared to go ahead with the project, saying: ‘In the 20 years that I have been making films, I have never broken a contract or even missed one day of shooting.’
The film was also due to feature Game Of Thrones star Charles Dance and Twister star Helen Hunt, with Oscar winner Kathy Bates attached to the movie at one point.
Mr Pringle said that the proposed budget had been reduced from the 10 million dollars (£8 million) originally discussed with Ms Green to a lower estimate of 5.3 million euros (£4.6 million).
The French actress, who played Vesper Lynd in James Bond thriller ‘Casino Royale,’ is suing producers for a $1 million fee she says she is owed for ‘A Patriot.’
Bond girl Eva Green, pictured in Casino Royale with Daniel Craig, is at the High Court in a legal battle over the demise of a £4 million film project
White Lantern Films is defending the case and bringing a counterclaim against the French actress, alleging she made ‘unreasonable demands’ and undermined the film’s production.
Max Mallin KC, for White Lantern, previously claimed that Ms Green had an ‘animosity’ towards a vision for the film held by one of the film’s executive producers Jake Seal.
The barrister said that in 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’ and local crew members as ‘shitty peasants… from Hampshire’.
Ms Green told the court that she would be ‘working with people who are not experienced’ under Mr Seal’s proposals.
Mr Mallin said: ‘Shitty peasants. Should we interpret that to be inexperienced?’
Ms Green replied: ‘I have nothing against peasants’, leading Mr Mallin to reply: ‘Hence the use of the word shitty.’
Producers Terry Bird (left) and Jake Seal were mentioned in the texts and slated by Ms Green
Green during filming in London in May 2021
The French actress (pic in 2021) entered the witness box to give evidence in the claim on Monday, the third day of the trial in London
The actress continued: ‘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.’
In her written evidence, Ms Green apologised for ‘inappropriate language’ and ‘some horrible things’ expressed by her in emails and texts in August and September 2019.
The court was later told that Ms Green had sent a text message, suggesting that the film under Mr Seal would be a ‘B-shitty-movie’.
Ms 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 continued: ‘I thought we had these strange producers but a strong crew so we could still make something good quality but I was probably naive.’
Ms Green’s barrister Edmund Cullen KC said that the legal battle was ‘designed to paint my client as a diva to win headlines and damage her reputation’.
Mr Cullen later said that the messages ‘must be seen in context’ of negotiations over buying the rights to the script.
Describing the film as a ‘passion project’, Mr Cullen said the actress ‘bent over backwards’ to make the film but ‘the financial plan was never going to work’.
Ms Green expected to begin her evidence in the afternoon. The trial continues.
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