Claire Foy has disputed reports that she received $275,000 in back-pay for her role as Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown

By Jodi Guglielmi
August 01, 2018 02:47 PM
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Claire Foy is setting the record straight.

Foy has disputed reports that she received $275,000 in back-pay for her role as Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown, after news broke that she was paid less than her costar Matt Smith.

“That was what was reported, that I was back-paid,” the Golden Globe-winning actress told Dubai-based news channel Al Arabiya. “I’ve never mentioned anything about it and neither have the producers. The fact that that is ‘fact’ is not quite correct.”

Foy said the issue of pay inequality expands beyond the entertainment industry.

“It happened at the same time as it was coming out with a lot of other people that there was a lot of pay inequality across the board – in the music industry, in journalism, in every industry,” Foy said. “It’s across the board that it became part of a bigger conversation, which is an odd place to find yourself in.”

Claire Foy
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Earlier this year, producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries revealed at a panel at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem that Smith, 35, received a bigger paycheck due to his higher profile coming off Doctor Who.

“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen,” Mackie said at the time.

RELATED VIDEO: Claire Foy Responds to The Crown Pay Controversy

The U.K. production company behind the Netflix drama later issued an apology for putting the stars in the middle of a pay equity debate.

“We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” Left Bank Pictures said in a statement, according to Deadline. “Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.”

Robert Viglasky/Netflix

The statement continued: “As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.”

Smith, who played her on-screen husband Prince Philip in 20 episodes over the course of two seasons, told The Hollywood Reporter that he supports Foy completely.

“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,” he said. “I support her completely, and I’m pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that’s what 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.”

Foy and Smith won’t reprise their roles for future seasons, with the role of Queen Elizabeth being taken by Broadchurch actress Olivia Colman and Prince Philip by Tobias Menzies of Game of Thrones.