Royal Pay Gap! The Crown's Queen Claire Foy Earned Less Than Prince Philip Actor Matt Smith
The Crown's producers revealed Tuesday that Claire Foy was paid less than male costar Matt Smith
Foy, 33, starred as Queen Elizabeth II on the first two seasons of the Netflix drama opposite Matt Smith, who played her on-screen husband, Prince Philip.
Although Foy earned an Emmy nomination and won both a Golden Globe and SAG Award for best actress in a drama series, Smith — also known for his starring role in Doctor Who — received a higher paycheck.
On Tuesday, Crown producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries spoke about the series at a panel at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem, where they were asked about Foy and Smith’s payscales.
“Asked whether Foy was paid the same as Smith, the producers acknowledged that he did make more due to his Doctor Who fame, but that they would rectify that for the future,” Variety reported.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” said Mackie, according to the outlet.
Netflix had no comment, and reps for Foy and Smith did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Last year, Variety reported that Foy was paid an estimated $40,000 per episode.
Although the producers stated that no actors would be paid more than any actress who plays the Queen moving forward, both Foy and Smith’s times on the series have come to an end. Netflix has tapped British actress Olivia Colman for the show’s third and fourth seasons, playing Elizabeth a decade later; an actor has not yet signed on to play the role of Prince Philip. Helena Bonham Carter is also nearing a deal to replace Vanessa Kirby — who played the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret — for the third and fourth seasons, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The revelation of Foy’s pay disparity in comparison to Smith’s compensation comes on the heels of many A-list women in Hollywood calling for a close to the gender pay gap, including Jennifer Lawrence and Catt Sadler.
According to an L.A.-based talent agent with knowledge of pay disparity among actors, “In Hollywood, actors’ salaries are based mostly on what they earned for their previous work, what we call a quote. Think of it like getting a bid to have work done on your house. You ask the contractor how much the work will cost and they give you a quote. It’s the same idea.”
“In Matt Smith’s case, he likely had a higher quote or salary than Claire because of his work on Doctor Who. With Doctor Who being such a high-profile job, he was also likely able to increase his salary from his previous quote for The Queen. Going with the contractor idea, if the contractor has done some high profile work on the crown jewel of the neighborhood, they are going to ask for more on their next job, increasing their quote,” the agent explains. “Claire had not yet had that high profile job to demand the salary that Matt could coming off Doctor Who.”
The agent adds “The quote system has existed for a long time in Hollywood. Although this is changing with new laws in New York City and California forbidding an employer from asking a potential employee’s previous salary. Because of this, an actor/actress are now paid what the studio/network feel is appropriate for the size of the role, the budget of the project and the actor’s resume. While their previous work will still matter, what they were paid for that work will not matter as much.”
Seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown are now streaming on Netflix.
Vanity Fair was first to break out Variety‘s reporting about Foy’s pay discrepancy.