Oh, dear: Even the Queen of England has difficulty getting paid as much as her male counterpart.
The Crown star Claire Foy was paid less than her male co-star Matt Smith for the show’s first two seasons, producers of the Netflix period drama revealed at a panel during the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Foy stars as Queen Elizabeth II, taking home a Golden Globe for her performance and clearly garnering more screentime than Smith, who plays Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip. So what gives?
Producers point to Smith’s starring role in Doctor Who — he played the sci-fi hit’s Eleventh Doctor from 2010 to 2014 — as the reason for him making more than Foy. But Foy was hardly an unknown herself coming into The Crown: She co-starred in the NBC pirate drama Crossbones and played Anne Boleyn alongside Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance in PBS’ acclaimed Henry VIII miniseries Wolf Hall.
This kind of embarrassing pay discrepancy won’t happen again, producer Suzanne Mackie assured the panel audience: “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.” But Foy won’t be around to enjoy it. Starting next season, a new cast will be playing The Crown‘s lead characters, with Olivia Colman taking over for Foy as Queen Elizabeth.