Claire Foy reveals what she really thinks about The Crown’s ongoing pay scandal

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Kayleigh Dray
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“It’s odd to find yourself at the centre [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for,” says The Crown’s Claire Foy.

Claire Foy, who played the lead role as Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, starred opposite Matt Smith, who portrayed her husband, Prince Philip.

The actress has since won countless awards for her portrayal of the young royal, yet producers recently confirmed that they paid Foy less than her male co-star.

Why? Because they believed that Smith’s Doctor Who fame meant he commanded a bigger salary.

Naturally, fans of the show quickly took to Twitter to not only share their outrage, but to call for change, too. And now Foy herself has spoken out.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actress explained that she wasn’t the least bit surprised the news caught everyone’s attention.

However, while she completely understands why the story has generated a lot of comments online, Foy adds that she dislikes being “at the centre of it”.

“I’m surprised because I’m at the centre of it, and anything that I’m at the centre of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of [the] ordinary,” Foy said.

“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.’”

The Netflix star continued: “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.”

And, in a truly magnanimous move, Foy added that she “can’t wait to see” the next season of The Crown.

“I’ll be asking to see it earlier than it’s available,” she said. “I think Olivia Colman’s amazing.”

After her wage packet was made public (Foy was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode for the first two series), the producers of The Crown have issued an apology to both her and her male co-star over the pay disparity.

“We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” said a spokesperson for Left Bank Pictures.

“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.

“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.”

You can read more on the gender pay gap here.

Image: Netflix


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.