Not even the queen of England can get an equal slice of the mincemeat pie.
Smith came to Netflix as an established actor in Britain, most notably as the titular character on the BBC staple “Doctor Who” from 2010 to 2013 — a fact that informed the producers’ decision around salary, they said at the conference.
Aside from a role in 2015 in the Golden Globe-winning BBC miniseries “Wolf Hall,” Foy, 33, was a relative unknown when she was cast in “The Crown.” But in the show’s first two seasons, which centered on her character’s reign, Foy became its breakout star, earning a best actress Golden Globe for Season 1 and a Golden Globe nomination in the same category for Season 2. She also won an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama for Season 1. Smith, 35, was not nominated for an Emmy or a Golden Globe for his role as Prince Philip.
Netflix declined to comment. Representatives for Foy and Smith did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The producers said that in the drama’s coming seasons, the issue would be rectified. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen,” said Suzanne Mackie, creative director of Left Bank Pictures, which produced “The Crown.”
But that won’t benefit Foy much. In a daring move, producers are recasting the entire ensemble for Season 3, as the show period jumps from the 1940s and ‘50s into the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Foy was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode, according to Variety, out of the show’s hefty budget, which is upward of $7 million per episode. “We put that money on the screen,” said Andy Harries, the chief executive of Left Bank, adding that 120 costumes were created for the queen just for Season 2. What Smith made for “The Crown” has not been disclosed.
A representative for Left Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
For comparison, Chrissy Metz was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode for the acclaimed NBC drama “This Is Us,” which has had 18 episodes per season. Tituss Burgess reportedly made $90,000 per episode for the Netflix comedy “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” which has had 13 episodes per season. “The Crown” has had 10 episodes per season.
Don’t expect Foy to fade into the background, though. She secured the lead role in the film version of “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” part of the “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series, expected in theaters this year. She’ll alsostar in “First Man,” a Damien Chazelle film, also to be released this year.
This revelation of pay imbalance is one of several in recent months, and it comes at a time when women are being more vocal about pay equality in Hollywood.
In January, it was revealed that Michelle Williams, a star of the Ridley Scott film “All the Money in the World,” was paid a per diem of $80, a bit above the union minimum, for 10 days of added work after disgraced actor Kevin Spacey was purged from the film and replaced with Christopher Plummer — a move that required reshoots. Her counterpart, Mark Wahlberg, received the same per diem — plus a negotiated fee of $1.5 million.
As a response, Wahlberg and his talent agency donated $2 million in the name of Williams to a fund dedicated to fighting pay inequity and harassment of women in Hollywood.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.