Report: Claire Foy was paid less than male co-star on "The Crown"

LONDON — "The Crown" focuses on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, but a new report claims that the actress in the lead role did not make the biggest paycheck. A producer of the hit Netflix drama says Matt Smith, who played the queen's husband, made more than actress Claire Foy. 

The Netflix series traces Elizabeth's journey from princess to queen and through the early years of her reign, beginning in the 1950s.

Trade publication Variety quoted producer Suzanne Mackie as confirming Foy was paid less than Smith, who played Prince Philip in the first two seasons of the series. She made the reported comment at an industry event in Jerusalem.

She said Smith commanded a higher paycheck because he was a bigger name after starring in the sci-fi series "Doctor Who." Mackie said the pay gap would be closed with the forthcoming third season, promising that "going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen."

Foy's agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. However, even if the pay gap is remedied in future seasons, it won't benefit Foy, whose work on the series is over. 

Neither Foy nor Smith will appear in the third season; another actress, Olivia Colman, is set to take over the lead role as the middle-aged monarch.

The gender pay gap has become a big issue in Hollywood after revelations that many female stars were paid less than their male counterparts. In January, a report revealed that Mark Wahlberg made more than 1,500 times Michelle Williams' pay for reshooting scenes in "All the Money in the World." Wahlberg ended up donating the money to the Time's Up movement.