Eva Green suggested pretending she was hospitalised with rash to avoid making sci-fi thriller, High Court told

14 March 2023, 22:13 | Updated: 15 March 2023, 02:16

Eva Green suggested pretending she was hospitalised with a rash if she was called to make a sci-fi film which was later abandoned, the High Court has been told.
Eva Green suggested pretending she was hospitalised with a rash if she was called to make a sci-fi film which was later abandoned, the High Court has been told. Picture: Getty / Alamy

By Chris Samuel

Eva Green suggested pretending that she was hospitalised with a rash to avoid making a later-abandoned sci-fi film, the High Court has been told.

Further messages from the Hollywood star, who has appeared in various blockbusters including Casino Royale, have been disclosed as part of her legal dispute with production company White Lantern Film.

The French actress is suing the firm after the film was shelved in October 2019, claiming that she is entitled to her million-dollar (£810,000) fee for the project despite its cancellation.

White Lantern Film and lender SMC Speciality Finance are bringing a counterclaim against Ms Green - who was also an executive producer on the project - alleging that she undermined the film’s production and renounced the contract.

Max Mallin KC, for White Lantern, said Ms Green had shown a “categorical and unequivocal refusal to perform”.

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Mr Mallin said on Tuesday that Ms Green “was so concerned about what would happen if she were expressly called upon to perform” that she had suggested her agent “invent a story about Ms Green being hospitalised” in one of the recently-shared messages.

The court was told the message from Ms Green in September 2019 read: “If they come back to you and say they are going to go ahead with the movie, what can we say…?

“Could we say this situation has made me ill over the weekend? We could say I had to go to hospital as I had a serious rash all over my body?”

Eva Green arrives at the Rolls Building on January 31, 2023 in London, England.
Eva Green arrives at the Rolls Building on January 31, 2023 in London, England. Picture: Getty

She then asked her agent if a doctor would potentially help, the court was told.

In written submissions, Mr Mallin said Ms Green also “appeared to contemplate faking a broken arm” to avoid performing.

He said it was not up to Ms Green whether or not she was called to set, adding: “What is within her control is whether she responds to that call or not and, in my submission, she is making quite clear that she was not.”

Mr Mallin added that if Ms Green had been called to perform “she would not have done the film”.

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The barrister added in written submissions that most of her evidence was “unconvincing and at times appeared to be rehearsed”.

Edmund Cullen KC, for Ms Green, said she had been subjected to a “character assassination”, adding that it was “based on some of the cheapest and nastiest sorts of stereotypes around”.

Mr Cullen said Ms Green had been described as making excessive demands and going out of contact, which he said were damaging lies.

The barrister later said that White Lantern was “vomiting out” false allegations that Ms Green had breached her contract.

Eva Green attends the premiere of Liaison at Cinema Publicis on February 12, 2023 in Paris, France.
Eva Green attends the premiere of Liaison at Cinema Publicis on February 12, 2023 in Paris, France. Picture: Getty

Mr Cullen said that Ms Green did not renounce the contract and that witnesses for the production company and the lender “came here to deceive the court”.

“The highest that it goes is that Ms Green said, as she readily admitted, that working with [executive producer] Mr Seal ‘in control’ would be ‘impossible’, he said in written arguments.

“However, that is, of course, very far from a statement of a refusal to perform [the contract].”

Mr Cullen added that the actress was never given the opportunity to perform or not as she was never called upon.

The court previously heard that Ms Green had described the production as a “B-shitty-movie”, potential crew members on the independent film as “shitty peasants”, and one of the film's executive producers Jake Seal as “pure vomit”.

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In the further messages, Ms Green is also said to have referred to Mr Seal as a “sociopath” and “a real mad dictator who wants to prove he is right so he could be ready for anything”.

Ms Green, gave evidence at the High Court in London over two days in January.

The 42-year-old said it was “humiliating” to have her messages read out in court.

Mr Cullen said Ms Cullen had done her best to assist the court, and that the new messages “make no difference” to the facts of the case.

Mr Justice Michael Green is expected to give his decision in writing at a later date.

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