Claire Foy Responds To Being Paid Less Than Matt Smith On ‘The Crown’

Her Royal Highness has spoken

Despite winning a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, actress Claire Foy was paid less than her on-screen husband, Prince Philip, played by Matt Smith.

That’s right: even the Queen can’t avoid the gender pay gap.

During a panel at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem, The Crown producers were asked whether Foy’s pay matched Smith’s. They answered by acknowledging “that [Smith] did make more due to his Doctor Who fame, but that would rectify more in the future,” Variety reports.

The show’s creative director Suzanne Mackie confirmed, “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”

Claire Foy

Now, Foy has responded to all of the controversy, telling EW, “I’m surprised because I’m at the centre of it, and anything that I’m at the centre of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of ordinary.”

“But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama,” she continued. “I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’ But I know that Matt [Smith] feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the centre [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”

Last week, producers of The Crown made a statement, apologising to Foy and Smith for the drama surrounding their pay cheques: 

“As the producers of The 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 matt smith

While the above is an overdue step in the right direction, it’s a bit late to rectify things for Foy: for season 3, The Crown is getting completely recast with Olivia Colman replacing Foy as the Queen.

The show has yet to announce who will step in for Smith, while Princess Margaret, currently played by Vanessa Kirby, will be played by Helena Bonham Carter. 

Back in August, Variety reported that Foy made $40,000 per episode of The Crown. In comparison, Elisabeth Moss made $200,000 per episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, while Chrissy Metz made $40,000 per episode of This Is Us – though there were more episodes each season of the NBC drama than of The Crown

Someone write Foy a cheque STAT.

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