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Claire Foy Addresses ‘The Crown’ Pay Controversy: ‘I’m Not Surprised’ People Were Interested

Claire Foy has opened up about the drama surrounding the pay gap between herself and her “The Crown” co-star Matt Smith, who Variety reported received more for the first two seasons of “The Crown” as a result of his “Doctor Who” fame.

“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,” Foy told EW on Friday.

“But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama,” she continued. “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, the production company behind “The Crown,” revealed at a talk in Jerusalem March 13 that Smith had received a higher pay cut, but added that going forward, “no one gets paid more than the Queen.” The company later issued a formal apology for the pay gap.

“We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center 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,” Left Bank said.

It added: “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.”

Foy and Smith’s tenure with the series ended with the second season. For the third season, their characters — Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip — will be replaced by Olivia Colman and an unannounced actor to portray the royal couple during the years spanning 1964-1976. Helena Bonham Carter will replace Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret.

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