Matt Smith, who played the role of Prince Phillip in the first two seasons of Netflix’s period-royal drama The Crown, has opened up on the pay disparity controversy. It was reported earlier this year 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 Claire Foy, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth. They justified this by saying that Smith made more due to his stint at long-running BBC science-fiction show Doctor Who.
Claire Foy had responded by saying, “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.”
In an interview to The Hollywood Reporter, Foy’s onscreen husband Matt Smith said, “Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all.”
“I support her completely, and I’m pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that what’s needed to happen. Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved — but not just in our industry, in all industries,” he added.
The Crown season 3 is expected to arrive next year due to extensive casting changes. While Olivia Colman will take over the main role of Queen Elizabeth, Helena Bonham Carter will play Princess Margaret. Additionally, Tobias Menzies will replace Matt Smith as Prince Phillip.