The Crown, Netflix's sumptuous, historically-based period piece starring Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, moves at roughly the pace of a state dinner, and every so often, Matt Smith's Prince Philip whines to his wife about the diminished sense of importance he feels playing second banana to the sovereign.
But that doesn't help Foy, who won't be returning to the show because it jumps forward in time in seasons three and four.
This demonstrates the problematic wage gap in the industry. And the show, one of the most expensive in television history, had a budget of $7 million per episode, while Foy was paid a reported $40,000 per episode. Olivia Coleman ("Broadchurch") will replace Foy as Queen Elizabeth. Foy not getting equal pay on a show where her character and Smith's are constantly fighting about him feeling emasculated by her power is so deliciously poetic I could nearly laugh. However, Foy became a big-time star in her own right during the first season of The Crown, earning a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actor's Guild Award, both for best actress.
The Crown producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries made the shocking revelation when they were asked about the stars' pay during a panel discussion about the series at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Her turn in BBC's Wolf Hall earned her a BAFTA nomination, and the series as a whole was a massive critical and commercial success.
To be fair, Smith also received many award nominations for his work on the show, though it wasn't as resonant a performance as it was for Foy.
Foy, however, won't get the benefit of a pay raise. It is not yet known how much Smith was paid.
After the admission, Mackie added, "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen". A replacement for Smith's role as Prince Philip has not been announced yet.