Claire Foy not crowned with highest pay

LONDON •Claire Foy may be the queen in The Crown, but she is not the money-making royalty in the hit Netflix drama.

Producers admitted on Tuesday that Matt Smith, Prince Philip in the show, negotiated a better deal than Foy, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth II, because of his perceived higher profile.

They did not reveal either salary - Foy's was put at US$40,000 (S$52,400) an episode by Variety last year - but told a panel event in Jerusalem that Smith's 2010 to 2013 starring role in the BBC's Doctor Who had been the decisive factor.

The explanation has not appeased critics who argued that the discrepancy should have shown up only in the first season, before Foy was garlanded with awards and acclaim.

Foy, 33, was already making a name for herself in British costume dramas, with roles in Upstairs Downstairs and Wolf Hall, when she was tapped to play the queen.

The Crown has earned her two Screen Actors Guild awards and a Golden Globe.

Ms Suzanne Mackie, one of the show's producers, told the Jerusalem audience the pay difference was being resolved for the third season, but that will not benefit Foy.

The Crown, which costs US$7 million an episode to produce, is replacing its leads for the start of filming in July, with Olivia Colman stepping in as the queen and an actor to replace Smith unannounced.

The series comes from the pen of Peter Morgan, who first lifted the veil on the private world of the British monarch in The Queen (2006), which was directed by Stephen Frears and earned Helen Mirren an Oscar in the title role.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2018, with the headline 'Claire Foy not crowned with highest pay'. Print Edition | Subscribe