The Netflix original series focused primarily on the monarch, Queen Elizabeth, played by 33-year-old Foy. Smith, known for his stint as The Doctor on Doctor Who, spent considerably less time on screen in The Crown, yet producers admitted that he was paid more for both seasons of the drama.
Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries made the revelation at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem, according to a report by Variety. They said that Smith pulled in a higher paycheck due to his established fame. However, Foy became a big-time star in her own right during the first season of The Crown, earning a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actor's Guild Award, both for best actress.
She was also nominated at the BAFTA and Primetime Emmy Awards. The success carried on into the second season, with Foy bringing home another SAG Award and earning another Golden Globe nomination.
To be fair, Smith also received many award nominations for his work on the show, though it wasn't as resonant a performance as it was for Foy.
The producers promised to hurdle the wage gap in future seasons, though that is too little too late for Foy, who won't be playing the queen anymore as the show moves forward into modern times.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” said Mackie.
The producers also admitted that the transition into a more contemporary story is a minefield for them, as they risk offending their actual subjects.
“As you get nearer to the present day, there are a lot more people who are alive and well,” said Harries.3comments
While the series will lose Foy and Smith, they've picked up Helena Bonham Carter to play Princess Margaret. The showrunners are expected to make more announcements soon concerning who will be cast in major roles.
“Seasons 3 and 4 will be the test of whether the show really has the legs to survive,” said Harries. “I think we were the first television series ever to change cast and continue, and we will change cast twice. It’s daunting but exciting and I hope it’ll keep the series fresh and really of interest to people.”