Equal pay isn’t even guaranteed for the Queen. Producers on Netflix’s The Crown revealed that Claire Foy was paid less than her costar Matt Smith on the series.
According to Variety, Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie were asked about Foy and Smith’s salaries at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, March 13. After they admitted that Foy was paid less than Smith — because of his “Doctor Who fame” — Mackie said, “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”
Foy, 33, portrayed Queen Elizabeth II for seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown, opposite the Doctor Who actor, 35, who played Prince Phillip. She took home the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama in 2017 for her role. Foy was nominated for the Globe again in 2018 and the Emmy award in 2017. Smith, meanwhile, was nominated, along with Foy and the entire cast, for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2017 and 2018.
Smith’s salary is unknown, but Variety reports that Foy made $40,000 an episode.
While the producers vowed to pay the their leading lady more in the future, Foy will not be the one to benefit from the change. As previously reported, Olivia Coleman will replace Foy as Queen Elizabeth II for seasons 3 and 4 because the series is making a time jump.
“She’s great,” Foy said about the news on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in December. “You’ll forget all about me and the rest of the cast. You’ll be like, ‘Who are they?’ We’re the warm-up act.”
Harries and Mackie also teased the future of the series.
“Seasons 3 and 4 will be the test of whether the show really has the legs to survive,” Harries said, according to Variety. “I think we were the first television series ever to change cast and continue, and we will change cast twice. It’s daunting but exciting and I hope it’ll keep the series fresh and really of interest to people.”
“I want to see an episode where Trump comes to Buckingham Palace,” Mackie said, adding that Meghan Markle “can play herself.”
Season three of The Crown will stream on Netflix in 2019.