Claire Foy has broken her silence after it emerged she was paid less than her Crown co-star Matt Smith.
It was recently revealed the 33-year-old actress, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix drama series, had a lower salary than her co-star, despite being on screen more, because of his previous ‘Doctor Who‘ fame, and she admitted she has been “surprised” by the controversy because it feels “very, very odd” for her to be at the heart of a major news story.
However, she can understand why people have been so outraged by it.
She told Entertainment Weekly: “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.”
Left Bank Pictures, who produce the regal drama, recently apologised over the pay gap issue.
They said: “We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own. Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on ‘The Crown‘ have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.
“As the producers of ‘The Crown‘, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.”
The company went on to say they “understand and appreciate the conversation” currently happening in Hollywood.
They added: “We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.
“We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and as a leading production company we want to make our contribution to the debate. As the company policy we are engaged in conversations with ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Times Up UK; organisations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.”