Claire Foy Says She Actually Wasn’t Paid Back for Making Less Than Matt Smith on ‘The Crown’
It turns out that Claire Foy may not be getting her due after all. In an interview with Al Arabiya English published Thursday (July 26), the actress said that she has not received the back pay supposedly promised to her for the gap between her and costar Matt Smith’s paychecks. “That was what was reported that I was back-paid. I’ve never mentioned anything about it and neither have the producers. The fact that that is ‘fact’ is—not quite correct,” she told Al Arabiya English.
To recap: In April the Daily Mail reported that Foy would reportedly receive £200,000 (around $260,000) in back pay for her lead role as Queen Elizabeth II. This news came about a month after producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries confirmed that Smith, who played Prince Philip, was getting a higher paycheck than the woman who portrayed the queen.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen,” Mackie said at the time. Meanwhile, Left Bank Pictures, one of the production companies behind The Crown, apologized to both stars, while declining to mention whether anything would be done to retroactively address the gap.
Shortly after, Foy addressed the controversy: “I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very, very odd, and feels very, very out of ordinary,” Foy told Entertainment Weekly in March. “But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’ But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the center [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”
In the article published Thursday, Foy elaborated on those thoughts: “Yes, it’s Netflix, but it’s a British production company. 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,” she told Al Arabiya English. “It’s across the board that it became part of a bigger conversation, which is an odd place to find yourself in.”
“I realized early on that me being quiet about it or me not thinking about it in any way, and not associating myself with it, would be harmful to me and also lots of other people,” she continued. “It’s taught me a lot, and I’m still learning about it. I have not come out the other side and know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m still learning as much as anybody else is.”
Glamour has reached out to Foy’s representative, Netflix, Left Bank Pictures, and Sony Pictures for comment, and will update this story accordingly.