Los Angeles: Actor Claire Foy may be the queen but she was paid less than her male co-star Matt Smith on Netflix series 'The Crown'.
Foy's nuanced performance as Queen Elizabeth II earned her a Golden Globe award for Best Actor and an Emmy nomination but executives at Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind 'The Crown', revealed Smith earned more than Foy did on the show, reported Entertainment Weekly
Foy was paid around USD 40,000 per episode on the historical drama, according to a report in Variety. But it is not clear how much Smith earned.
"The Crown is one of the most expensive television series with the production house spending around USD 7 million per episode for its two seasons.
Left Bank creative director Suzanne Mackie said Smith made more money than Foy because he was already famous after playing the eleventh Doctor on the British TV show 'Doctor Who' while Foy was a relative newcomer.
Foy and Smith are not returning for the third season as 'Broadchurch' star Olivia Coleman will step in as Queen Elizabeth.
"Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen," Mackie said. The news of pay disparity did not go down well with Foy's fans, who reacted angrily on Twitter. "Matt Smith was paid more for The Crown than Claire Foy. So just like!!!! Let that sink in!!!!," one fan wrote.
"'The Crown' is amazing, high quality TV. But every fan knows Claire Foy was THE stand out performer that made it shine. Her portrayal as the young Queen Elizabeth is a very top tour-de-force acting performance. No one should have been paid more than her," wrote another.
Pay disparity is a major issue in Hollywood and recently All the Money in the World filmmakers were criticised for paying little to Michelle Williams compared to Mark Wahlberg for the reshoots.