Claire Foy, who won acclaim for playing the role of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown, has spoken on the pay controversy. Foy told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of ordinary. But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’ But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the centre [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”
The Crown follows the reign of the Queen from her coronation to the present. On March 13, it was reported by Variety that the producers of the period drama revealed that Matt Smith, who played the role of the Queen’s husband and Duke of Edinburgh, was paid more than Foy. They justified this by saying that Smith made more due to his stint at long-running BBC science-fiction show Doctor Who.
They also said the difference would be rectified in future seasons. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” Left Bank (the company behind The Crown) creative director Suzanne Mackie had said.
The Crown will return with season 3, and Olivia Colman will take over the role from Claire Foy. Helena Bonham Carter will play the role of Princess Margaret. The season is expected to premiere this year on the streaming service.