‘The Crown’ Star Says Pay Discrepancies No Longer Secret Following Her Battle


Clare Foy is satisfied that her battle over pay for The Crown has paid off for other female actors. 

The British star of the first two series of the Netflix big-budget drama was famously enraged on the discovery that, despite holding the crown of the title in her lead role of a young Elizabeth II, she was being paid less than her co-star Matt Smith, who played a young Prince Philip. 

When this discrepancy came to light, the show’s producers Left Bank Pictures explained it down to Smith’s higher profile coming into the show. However, as Foy emerged the breakout star of the drama – securing a Golden Globe and two Emmy awards for her work – they pledged this would not happen again on the production. 

This weekend, Foy told The Times newspaper she realised she had made a difference within the industry. “The difference is, as the female actor, you will get told you get parity.

“I’ve had people come up to me and say that they’ve been paid equal because of it. The industry will always try to keep as much at the top as humanly possible but the capacity to keep it all under lock and key is gone.” 

Foy will next appear in the film All of Us Strangers, co-starring Andrew Scott and Oscar nominee Paul Mescal. Of her role in The Crown, in which she has been widely regarded the best of the three Queen Elizabeths on screen, she told The Times that her favourite scenes had been those private ones between the Queen and her husband, entirely invented by show runner Peter Morgan. She said: “You’re constantly trying to find them and it gets to the end and you suddenly go, ‘I’m comfortable in this person’s shoes now.’ We were trying to understand what was happening behind closed doors. That was what Matt [Smith] and I always enjoyed the most — the bedtime scenes.” 

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