Claire Foy on The Crown’s salary gap: It’s heartbreaking but you can’t lie now

British actress Claire Foy said she was “so sad” after finding out she was being paid less than her co-star Matt Smith in The Crown but then it had an “incredible impact”.

His portrayal of 38-year-old Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix drama won her two Emmys and a Golden Globe, however in 2018 the producers revealed that she earned less than Smith’s portrayal of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Foy, who first heard about the wage gap when it hit the national headlines, told Guardian’s Saturday magazine: “I’m not shocked. I was very uncomfortable. Unlike, boohoo, cry sad. I was very uncomfortable.


Claire Foy and Matt Smith Attend Season Two Premiere of The Crown (Ian West/PA)

The actress, whose latest film Women Talking was nominated for best picture at the Oscars, said she did not “allow” herself to be angry about the gender pay gap at the time.

“I really love my industry and I think it’s made up of so many respectable, incredibly talented, intelligent, imaginative and amazing people,” she said.

“Sometimes, you see something, you hear something, you notice something or something happening to you, and you just say, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing? This? Why do I do that? Should I be a part of this?’. I find it really heartbreaking.

The Crown controversy comes shortly after US actress Michelle Williams made headlines when it was revealed that actor Mark Wahlberg had earned $1.5m (£1.1m) for the remake. parts of All The Money In The World to remove actor Kevin Spacey, while Williams is said to have received less than $1,000 (£728).

Wahlberg later announced that he was raising money for Time’s Up – an initiative to help people who have been sexually assaulted, harassed or abused in the workplace.

Speaking of being thrown into the spotlight by a pay gap storm, Foy said: “Suddenly I got all these questions and was encouraged by some of the people involved to be the spokesperson for the issue. that subject.

“I was like, ‘Absolutely not’.

“I just think everyone wants me to behave a certain way in response to that. And I didn’t. ‘It’s good now! What happened is completely normal!’. That’s what I think they wanted me to say.

“I mean, it’s very difficult. I don’t think I should be honest about some things about it, because I don’t think it’s going to be helpful. It will refuel it. We are still talking about this, however many years have passed.

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“I know the extent of it. I’m still on the show. If anything, I just don’t want my experience of the show and all that we’ve done in it to be overshadowed.


Claire Foy (Matt Crossick/PA)

At the time, Left Bank Pictures publicly apologized to both Foy and Smith and took responsibility for setting the salary before pledging to do better.

Foy, who said the pay line then had “a stunning impact” because “now you can’t lie,” she has since reprized her role in the fifth series of the series. show, appearing in a flashback episode showing the late Queen’s visit to Clydebank in 1953 to launch the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The Crown saw Foy play the Queen in the first two series of the Netflix show before Olivia Colman took on series three and four, while Imelda Staunton was the star of series five and six. Claire Foy on The Crown’s salary gap: It’s heartbreaking but you can’t lie now

Fry Electronics Team

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