That's because when filming began, Smith, who plays the queen's querulous husband, Prince Philip, hailed from the popular "Doctor Who" franchise, producers explained. Netflix seems to have learned this too late, however, as it was revealed on Tuesday that lead actress Claire Foy made less than co-star Matt Smith for her work on the show.
The producers said they've fixed it going into the future, and from now on no one will earn more than the actress playing the queen..
Foy, 33, portrayed Queen Elizabeth II for seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown, opposite the Doctor Who actor, 35, who played Prince Phillip. Olivia Coleman will be taking on the role when the show resumes after a time jump.
Claire Foy appears in a scene from "The Crown". For the next two seasons, all the roles will be recast with older actors. Her turn in BBC's Wolf Hall earned her a BAFTA nomination, and the series as a whole was a massive critical and commercial success. Helena Bonham Carter takes over for Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret as new characters - including Princess Diana - will be introduced.
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"Seasons 3 and 4 will be the test of whether the show really has the legs to survive", Harries said, according to Variety.
The makers of the Netflix drama, speaking at a television conference in Jerusalem yesterday, claimed Smith was paid more because he was better known when the series was cast.
Foy played Queen Elizabeth in the drama from showrunner Peter Morgan, Sony Pictures Television Studios and Left Bank and earned a Golden Globe, SAG Award and Emmy nomination, among other accolades, for the part. "It's daunting but exciting and I hope it'll keep the series fresh and really of interest to people". After Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct, "All the Money in the World" director Ridley Scott replaced him with Christopher Plummer and called the rest of the cast back to reshoot pivotal scenes.