Claire Foy starred as Queen Elizabeth in the first two episodes of the "The Crown", the critically-acclaimed Netflix series about the royal family, but she wasn't making as much as her male co-star, producers admitted.
"The producers acknowledged that [Smith] did make more due to his "Doctor Who" fame, but that they would rectify that for the future", wrote Variety reporter Debra Birnbaum in her conference coverage.
The actor who played Prince Philip on "The Crown" made more money than the actress who played Queen Elizabeth II, and it's not a good look for Netflix given that Queen Elizabeth is inarguably the show's main character.
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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.
According to Vanity Fair, The Crown is one of television's most expensive shows with a per-episode budget of at least $7 million.
'Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen, ' said Mackie. British actress Olivia Coleman is stepping in to play the older monarch as upcoming Season 3 of the show moves into the 1970s. So it's even a little more ironic that, although Netflix spent nearly $7 million per episode for The Crown, Foy was paid less for her work than Smith was. She received nominations at the BAFTA and Primetime Emmy Awards.
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Foy, however, won't get the benefit of a pay raise. Foy, meanwhile, was largely unknown in the states when she was cast as Queen Elizabeth.
Foy was paid an estimated $40,000 per episode ($800,000 in total for 20 episodes), while the first two seasons of The Crown cost Netflix around $130 million. New actors are being brought in to take over Foy and Smith's roles, among others, for the previously announced third and fourth seasons with those parts being recast for what is expected to be a fifth and sixth season.
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