The producers of acclaimed Netflix drama The Crown revealed yesterday that Claire Foy was paid less than her male co-star Matt Smith for her portrayal of a young Queen Elizabeth II. Claire Foy won a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for her performance of the monarch over two seasons.
During a panel discussion at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem, Left Bank creative director Suzanne Mackie acknowledged that Smith earned more for his performance as Prince Phillip, after being queried about equal pay on the show. Mackie explained Smith’s higher price tag was due to his profile from starring on Doctor Who, but that they would rectify the disparity in future seasons. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” Mackie said.
Unfortunately for Foy, this promise comes as the show prepares to undergo the first of two planned cast overhauls. Olivia Colman will replace her younger predecessor to portray the Queen in middle age, as the historical drama continues on from the birth of Prince Edward in 1964 to cover Harold Wilson's two terms as Prime Minister in its upcoming third season.
Colman will continue in the role for a fourth season, which will cover Margaret Thatcher's term as Prime Minister and will include a much-anticipated depiction of Diana, Princess of Wales. Although Helena Bonham-Carter has been announced as the new Princess Margaret, the replacement for Matt Smith is yet to be confirmed.
While The Crown has been a runaway success for Netflix, it is also one of the most expensive television shows ever produced. The first season cost a reported $130 million. So, uh, it’s not like the money wasn’t there.
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