The Crown’s Claire Foy paid less than male co-star, producers admit

Claire Foy, who plays the Queen in The Crown, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith during the first two seasons of the hit show, producers of the Netflix series have revealed.

Executive producers for the series made the disclosure when asked during a panel event in Jerusalem on Tuesday if Smith, who played a young Prince Philip in the first and second seasons, was paid more than Foy.

In response, the series’ producers, Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries, acknowledged the 35-year-old male English actor was paid more owing to his Doctor Who fame, but said the practice would be rectified in the future, according to US entertainment magazine Variety.

“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” Mackie told the audience.

Foy, who was reportedly paid $40,000 an episode, will not appear in the third series of The Crown, which starts filming this summer, as every part on the show has since been recast. She has won both a Golden Globe and a Bafta for her portrayal of the current monarch during the early year of her reign.

Olivia Colman will play the Queen in the third series.

Speaking to the Guardian before the launch of the second series of The Crown last year, Foy said she believed women were expected to follow pre-accepted norms.

“If all the women in the world suddenly went: ‘I’ve just realised I can’t be arsed with this any more’,” she said.

“You’re told as a young woman what’s attractive, what’s acceptable, what’s the right or wrong way to be. I’m lucky I discovered acting as a way of expressing myself, but unless you’re given the permission to do that, you can’t get it out,” she said.

“So with my child, I’m like: ‘Run around! Scream! Shout! Go on!’ I wish there was a way of saying to girls: ‘You don’t have to be polite and pretty in order to survive and have people love you.’ The idea that you should be like everybody else genuinely breaks my heart. And I’m going to have to do something about it.”

The first season of The Crown, which received widespread critical acclaim, is understood to be have been the most expensive series commissioned by Netflix at the time, reportedly costing the streaming company £100m.