Claire Foy Was Paid Less to Play the Actual Queen Than Matt Smith in Netflix’s The Crown
Variety released information that reveals that Netflix’s The Crown paid Doctor Who actor Matt Smith more than Claire Foy, who plays the titular representation of The Crown, Elizabeth II.
At the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, The Crown producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries were asked about the paid disparity between the two actors: “The producers acknowledged that [Smith] did make more due to his Doctor Who fame, but that they would rectify that for the future,” Variety reported. Mackie added, “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”
Except that won’t include Foy, because she will not be coming back to play Elizabeth II due to the time jump, and she’ll be replaced by Olivia Colman. Now, I could have accepted this sort of thing in the first season, begrudgingly, but by season two, there should have been some sort of pay bump for Foy, although I’m sure there was a contract issue that would have protected the production.
However, I would like to state for the record that her getting paid less than Matt Smith is bullshit of the highest order.
Matt Smith is more famous because of his run in Doctor Who, but Claire Foy wasn’t exactly some unknown actress. Her turn in BBC’s Wolf Hall earned her a BAFTA nomination, and the series as a whole was a massive critical and commercial success. That was a bigger draw for me, at least, to see Foy take her turn as yet another British Queen.
We too frequently underpay women and underestimate their talent, yet lament when they don’t have “star power.” Foy not getting equal pay on a show where her character and Smith’s are constantly fighting about him feeling emasculated by her power is so deliciously poetic I could almost laugh.
Even when you’re playing the queen, you still have to come in second to the needs of a prince.
I hope that whoever is replacing Smith (rumor has it that it’s Hugh Laurie) will be making less money than Olivia Colman, as promised, because as Mackie said, “no one gets paid more than the Queen.”
(via Vanity Fair, image: Netflix)
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