In U.K. lawsuit, Hollywood star Eva Green says making 'B movie' would kill career

French actress Eva Green arrives at The Rolls Building courthouse in London
French actress Eva Green arrives at The Rolls Building courthouse in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Hollywood actress Eva Green, who is suing financiers for her fee for a failed film in which she was to star, told a London court on Monday she would not make a "B movie", saying it could kill her career while making quality productions was her "religion".

The French actress, whose film credits include the James Bond movie "Casino Royale", is suing White Lantern Films and SMC Speciality Finance for the $1 million fee she says is owed over the collapse of the planned independent movie "A Patriot", in which she was to play the main role.

The production company has launched a counter claim against Green for breach of contract, blaming her for the science fiction film's failure before it went into production in late 2019, saying she never intended for the film to go ahead.

Giving evidence at the High Court in London, Green, 42, said the script for the film had been one of the best she had ever read and she "really fell in love with this story".

"It was very exciting ... a role of a soldier which I have never played before," she told the court. "It was about climate change, it was very dear to my heart."

In its written submissions, White Lantern's lawyers said Green had made unreasonable demands about crew, locations and equipment.

They cited WhatsApp messages from Green in which she described one producer as a "f****** moron" who should be fired and another as "evil". She also described funders for the movie as "arseholes" and some proposed crew members as "shitty peasants".

"I wanted to make the most brilliant film possible," Green told the court, agreeing with White Lantern's lawyer Max Mallin that making a "B movie" could kill her career.

Asked by Mallin if the director had approached her to make a "B shitty movie" - a reference to a text message she had sent about the film - for $1 million, she said she would not.

"I don't care about the money," she said. "I love to make good films - it's my religion."

Green, whose lawyers say has never breached a contract or missed a day's shooting in her 20 year career, said she could have ensured a quality film by hiring a strong core crew but the producers had not wanted to pay standard industry rates.

"I was probably naive," she said.

The trial, which will conclude next week, will determine liability with any award settled at a later date.