Recently, Vanessa Kirby (Princess Margaret on The Crown) and a big friend of Claire spoke up to Vulture about the payment gap between Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) and Matt Smith (Prince Philip) on The Crown that became public recently, check it out below:
One of the biggest stories that emerged from the show’s second season was the gender pay gap. How surprised were you to learn that Claire Foy was being paid substantially less than Matt Smith?
I’ve spoken to Claire recently about it, and she’s talked so eloquently about the whole thing. It’s incited a change in her and all of us. The best thing about it is now the conversation is open and it’s less likely to happen again. This is partly why I feel proud at the moment to be in this industry, because for better or worse, us women are talking about it. Hopefully, this will impact other sectors and industries that don’t get the media coverage. If Angelina Jolie or Gwyneth Paltrow talk about these issues, people are reading about it. I hope we can be the instigator of change. I’m sure Claire felt like that too.
I was surprised how openly the producers admitted the disparity, and how they assured it won’t happen again. You don’t see that level of candor a lot.
I’m so glad you said that. It’s true. Suzanne [Mackie], the producer, is the most amazing woman. What she did was actually begin the conversation that was so essential. I think that it’ll help a lot of people.
After the disparity was revealed, did you investigate how your pay compared to men’s roles?
My situation is separate, really. It wasn’t comparable with Claire’s issue. I think a lot of it has to do with market value, and there’s a lot of problems with that, too, in the sense that women haven’t been giving as many opportunities for leading roles for men. You’re actually at a disadvantage, even when people are negotiating for you, because you haven’t had as many opportunities to get your position in the market. There are a lot of complications, which is why the pendulum has to swing as much as possible with everything that we do know. For all women as much as possible. It’s desperately unequal.
Yeah, whether someone’s “market value” is a justifiable argument to be made or not. Even if Claire wasn’t too well known in America at the time, she was the crown.
Totally. Also, I think it’s about people getting conscious and mindful of the norms and questioning them. Challenging them. Trying to do things differently. Having a commitment to change. It’s crucial. I definitely feel galvanized, as I’m sure women across our industry do, to speak up and stand up for equal rights and equal representation on the screen. A representation of women we can identify with as being women we would know, who are idiosyncratic and real and flawed and messy and brilliant. We have to really fight for that representation on screen now. I felt so blessed to find Margaret in that way.