At a cost of $7 million per episode, The Crown is one of the most expensive TV series ever made. But while its star's wardrobe has benefited from such a hefty budget, she hasn't. Claire Foy, who won a Golden Globe and two Screen Actor Guild awards for best actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of the Netflix show, was paid less than male co-star Matt Smith, who played husband Prince Phillip, executive producers revealed Tuesday, per USA Today. Foy, 33, whose only major acting credit prior to The Crown was a role in BBC mini series Wolf Hall, pulled in $40,000 per episode, according to Variety.
Smith, 35, who rose to fame on the BBC's Doctor Who, received more (the amount hasn't been disclosed) because he was seen as a more established actor, reports the New York Times. However, show runners say the issue will be rectified as The Crown moves into its third season with an entirely new cast, with 44-year-old Olivia Colman taking over for Foy. "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen," says Suzanne Mackie, creative director of Left Bank Pictures, which produces The Crown. USA Today notes Netflix only purchased rights to air The Crown and wasn't involved in salary decisions. (Michelle Williams might have some advice for Foy.)