It’s one of the most high-profile examples of the gender pay cap: Claire Foy earned less than Matt Smith for seasons one and two of The Crown, despite playing the lead character (um, the Queen). Now, Claire Foy has spoken at length about the “embarrassing” incident, saying it’s transformed her view on what women can ask for.
Speaking at CinemaCon, Foy explained the impact of finding out about the discrepancy between her salary and Smith’s, Harper’s Bazaar UK reports. “It really opened my eyes about what I’m allowed to have an opinion about, and what I’m allowed to stand up for myself about,” Foy said. “I think that’s really changed my approach to myself and other women in this industry. It’s been only a positive thing – even though, embarrassing.”
“I certainly won’t be naïve about those things,” she added.
In March, the producers of The Crown released a statement apologising to Foy and Smith for the drama surrounding their pay cheques. "As the producers ofThe Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries," the statement read. "The actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues."
The statement continued: "We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes."
Claire Foy is the cover star of our May issue, on sale now.