Claire Foy made less money than Matt Smith on 'The Crown'

Joann Johnston
March 13, 2018

Even Queen Elizabeth herself, the human embodiment of poise and restraint, would likely find herself angry to discover that the actress who plays her on Netflix's The Crown earned less than her male counterpart during the first two seasons of the critically-acclaimed period drama.

Claire Foy may have been the lead of Netflix's The Crown, playing Queen Elizabeth II across the show's first two seasons, but she wasn't getting paid as much as co-star Matt Smith.

But more telling than the Queen's actual net worth compared to her husband's is the show's emphasis on female empowerment and the obstacles Queen Elizabeth faced while assuming the throne at a young age - and as a woman. Specifically, it was revealed at the INTV Conference in Israel on Tuesday that Foy earned less than her co-star Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip. Smith, known for his stint as The Doctor on Doctor Who, spent considerably less time on screen in The Crown, yet producers admitted that he was paid more for both seasons of the drama. They said that Smith pulled in a higher paycheck due to his established fame. 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.

The Crown Claire Foy and Matt Smith
NETFLIXThe Crown Claire Foy was reportedly paid less than and her co-star Matt Smith

Suzanne Mackie, creative director of Left Bank Pictures, which produced the Netflix series, added: "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen".

To be fair, Smith also received many award nominations for his work on the show, though it wasn't as resonant a performance as it was for Foy. New actors are being brought in to take over Foy and Smith's roles, among others, for the previously announced third and fourth seasons with those parts being recast for what is expected to be a fifth and sixth season. And the show, one of the most expensive in television history, had a budget of $7 million per episode, while Foy was paid a reported $40,000 per episode.

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