The Crown's Claire Foy paid less than Matt Smith despite playing Queen

Published: 14 March 2018 Image credit: Reuters


British actress Claire Foy who starred as Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix series “The Crown” was paid less than her male co-star, Matt Smith, according to the show’s producers.

The pay discrepancy was revealed in Hollywood trade publication Variety on Tuesday, where “The Crown” producers Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie said Matt Smith, who played young Prince Phillip, was paid more than Ms Foy for the first two seasons of the show.

The producers said the pay difference was due to that fact that Mr Smith had come into the show after a six-year stint as “Dr Who”.

Claire Foy, 33, won a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for her portrayal of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s and 1960s. Smith, 35, has not received either honour.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip respectively in "The Crown". Image credit: Netflix. 

The producers said they would fix the issue moving forward, and did not give details on the gap.

“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen,” Ms Mackie said, Variety reported.

Ms Foy will not be reprising her role as Queen Elizabeth in season three due to the show moving into the 1970s and needing to cast an older actress.

British actress Olivia Coleman will step in to play Queen Elizabeth and Helena Bonham-Carter will play Princess Margaret. A different actor will also play Prince Phillip.

“I think we were the first television series ever to change cast and continue, and we will change cast twice. It’s daunting but exciting and I hope it’ll keep the series fresh and really of interest to people,” Ms Harries told Variety.

“The Crown” is one of the most expensive television shows ever produced, costing a reported AUD$165 million for the first season.

The announcement comes amid an ongoing push for equal pay in Hollywood.

Earlier this year Mark Wahlberg was reported to have earned approximately AUD$1.9 million for re-shoots of the film “All the Money in The World” while co-star Michelle Williams got about AUD$1200.

The ongoing pay discrepancy in the film industry was also reflected in the annual Forbes magazine list, which showed Emma Stone topped the best-paid actress list with about AUD$33 million, while Mark Wahlberg was the highest paid man earning an estimated AUD$86 million.