A few months ago, people weren’t pleased over revelations that Mark Walhberg made 1,500 times more than Michelle Williams for All The Money In The World reshoots and eight times her total salary for the film. A similar reaction erupted last week when Left Bank Pictures, the producers behind Netflix’s The Crown, admitted to Deadline’s Peter White that Claire Foy made less to play Queen Elizabeth II — the lead character in a female-driven show — than Matt Smith did to play Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on the show’s first two seasons.
Subsequently, Left Bank Creative Director Suzanne Mackie pledged that this discrepancy would not recur in the show’s next two seasons (where Foy and Smith will be replaced by Olivia Colman and an unknown actor) because “going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen.” Speaking with EW, Foy says that she’s not shocked at how people got worked up over the salaries:
“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. 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.”
No one’s spoken up to detail how exactly much Smith (who rode in after his turn in Doctor Who) was paid per episode, but Foy earned a $40,000 per episode salary. After this story and her rising notoriety within the newly released Steven Soderbergh film, Unsane, perhaps her value will never be questioned again.