‘The Crown’ Paid Matt Smith More Than Claire Foy, Producers Vow Netflix Series Won’t Have Pay Gap in Season 3

Producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries confirmed the pay gap at the INTV Conference.
The Crown Season 2 Claire Foy Netflix
Stuart Hendry / Netflix

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. Producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries admitted at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem that Smith had a larger salary on “The Crown” because of his popularity from his run on “Doctor Who.” Foy was mostly unknown when she was cast and became a breakout actress because of the show’s success.

According to Vanity Fair, “The Crown” is one of television’s most expensive shows with a per-episode budget of at least $7 million. Foy’s salary for her two-season run was only $40,000 an episode. The pay gap on “The Crown” is especially egregious since female empowerment is one of the series’ main themes.

While “The Crown’s” first two seasons featured a pay gap between Foy and Smith, Mackie assured the audience at INTV that the gap would no longer be in effect as the show moves into Season 3. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” he promised.

Unfortunately, Foy will not see a financial boost as she is no longer appearing as Elizabeth II. Olivia Coleman will be taking on the role when the show resumes after a time jump.

Foy will next be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s iPhone-shot horror film “Unsane,” which opens in theaters March 23. She’s also leading Fede Alvarez’s “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” as beloved hacker Lisbeth Salander. The film opens November 9.

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