Claire Foy didn't want The Crown cameos to be 'overshadowed' by pay gap drama

Claire Foy didn't want The Crown cameos to be 'overshadowed' by pay gap drama


Claire Foy has revealed that she returned to The Crown despite ‘knowing the extent’ of the pay gap between herself and co-star Matt Smith.

The Women Talking star, 38, explained she didn’t want her cameo roles in seasons 4 and 5 of the Netflix blockbuster to be ‘overshadowed’ by the drama.

While the A Very British Scandal actor’s performance as a young Queen Elizabeth won her two Emmys and a Golden Globe, producers revealed in 2018 it earned her less than the Doctor Who performer’s portrayal of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Matt, 40, was paid £10,000 more per episode for his supporting role, with the streamer defending the decision as he was a bigger name, but adding that they would change it in the future.

Reflecting on the incident five years later, Claire said: ‘I mean, it’s so hard. I don’t think I should be honest about certain things about it, because I don’t think it would be helpful.

‘It would add more fuel to it. We’re still talking about this, however many years down the line.’

Claire told The Guardian that despite being aware of the fee difference, she was determined not to let it get in the way of her cameos in 2020 and 2022.

She explained: ‘I know the extent of it. I still went back on the show. If anything, I just didn’t want my experience of the show and what we all did on it to be overshadowed.’

At the time, Claire said she was ‘deeply hurt’ by the discovery, dubbing it a ‘big, fat, dirty secret’ and elaborated further about her feeling on the matter to the outlet.

She said: ‘I wasn’t shocked. I was very upset. Not like, boohoo, crying upset. I was very upset.’

The actress said she had not ‘allowed’ herself to get angry about the gender pay gap row at the time.

‘I really love my industry, and I think it is made up of lots of honourable, incredibly talented, brilliant, imaginative, amazing people,’ she said.

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‘Sometimes, you see something, you hear something, you notice something, or something happens to you, and you just go, “Oh God, what am I doing? Why am I doing it? Should I be part of this?”. I found it really heart-breaking.’

At the time, Matt backed his on-screen wife and leapt to her defence, saying that ‘we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all.’

He added to The Hollywood Reporter: ‘I support her completely, and I’m pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it, because that what’s needed to happen.’

Following the scandal breaking, Left Bank Pictures, those responsible for salaries, apologised to both Claire and Matt and pledged to do better with upcoming productions.

In a statement previously released to, a spokesperson for Left Bank Pictures said: ‘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.

‘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.’

The Crown is available to stream on Netflix.

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