Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons of the blockbuster Netflix series The Crown, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith, who plays her husband Prince Philip, Vanity Fair reported on Tuesday.
“The revelation came during a panel discussion about the series at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, when The Crown producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries were asked whether series star Claire Foy was paid more than co-star Matt Smith…,” the report said. “…the show, one of the most expensive in television history, had a budget of $7 million per episode, while Foy was paid an estimated $40,000 per episode.”
The British actress was widely acclaimed for her performance in the series, which was distributed worldwide by Netflix. The Crown has been hugely popular across the globe, leading to Foy being regarded as a breakout star.
“It should be noted that Foy will not get the chance to earn a fairer paycheck on The Crown since every role is being re-cast for the period drama’s third season, which will begin filming in July and jump ahead to the 1970s,” Vanity Fair noted. Olivia Colman plays an older version of the queen in the third season, which does not have an airdate yet.
The revelation is “just the latest instance of Hollywood’s egregious wage gap”, the publication added. “Only this one stings even more than usual—perhaps because the entire series is centered on a woman’s power.”
Matt Smith played the 11th avatar of Doctor Who on the BBC series before being cast as Philip. “Foy, meanwhile, was largely unknown in the States when she was cast as Queen Elizabeth,” Vanity Fair said. “Since departing The Crown, Foy has signed on to star as Lisbeth Salander, the world-class computer hacker and heroine of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, in the upcoming franchise spin-off The Girl in the Spider’s Web.”