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The award-winning actress who played Queen Elizabeth on Netflix's 'The Crown' made less money than her male co-star

Business Insider | Mar 14, 2018, 01.00AM IST

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Netflix

Claire Foy and Matt Smith on Netflix's "The Crown"

  • Producers on Netflix's "The Crown" said during a recent panel interview that Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip, made more money than Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth II.
  • They said from now on, no actor on the show will make more than the Queen.
  • But that's a little too late for Foy, because the entire cast has been replaced by older actors for the third and fourth seasons.
  • This demonstrates the problematic wage gap in the industry.

The actor who played Prince Philip on "The Crown" made more money than the actress who played Queen Elizabeth II, and it's not a good look for Netflix given that Queen Elizabeth is inarguably the show's main character.

The discrepancy in the actors' pay came up during a Tuesday panel discussion about the Netflix drama at INTV conference in Jerusalem. During the interview, "The Crown" producers said that Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip, was paid more than Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth, due to his existing fame playing "Doctor Who."

According to Variety, producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries said they wish to rectify that pay gap in the future. "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen," Mackie said.

But for Foy, it's too late. She only portrayed Queen Elizabeth for two seasons of "The Crown." For the next two seasons, all the roles will be recast with older actors. Olivia Coleman ("Broadchurch") will replace Foy as Queen Elizabeth. A replacement for Smith's role as Prince Philip has not been announced yet.

"The Crown" follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II, who wears the titular crown. Beyond being the main character in the series, Foy's critically-acclaimed performance has won prestigious awards. In 2017, Foy won best lead actress in a drama at the Golden Globes, and she was nominated for the same honor in 2018. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role in 2017. In 2017 and 2018, she won best actress in a drama at the SAG awards. For his role, Smith was nominated at the SAG awards in 2017, and has previously been nominated for a BAFTA for his role as "Doctor Who."

In January, Forbes reported that the 10 highest-paid male actors in Hollywood brought in a total of $488.5 million, while the 10 highest-paid women actors earned less than half of that total, with $172.5 million.

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