'The Crown' Star Matt Smith Told Successor Tobias Menzies to Make Sure Salaries are 'Even'
By Scott Baumgartner
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Matt Smith has some truly invaluable advice for Tobias Menzies, who is taking over the role of Prince Philip in season three of Netflix’s The Crown.
The leading man paid a visit to The Late Late Show with James Corden where he and the host discussed handing the reins of the role to another actor and what they discussed concerning the role.
“Don’t do it,” was the 35-year-old actor jokingly said he told Menzies when chatting about taking on Prince Philip, whom he portrayed in the show’s first two seasons. “I said a few things to him. I told him a good book to read by Philip Eade called Young Prince Philip, which is very good. You know how it’s like, you can’t offer up too much. But I just said, ‘God, make sure they pay you enough and make sure it’s even.'”
Smith was clearly referencing the controversy that erupted in March when producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harris revealed at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem that the Doctor Who alum made more than the show’s star, Claire Foy.
"I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of ordinary,” Foy told Entertainment Weekly regarding the salary inequality. “But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’"
"Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I support her completely, and I'm pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it, because that what's needed to happen. Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved -- but not just in our industry, in all industries."
Menzies is hardly the only newcomer for season three. Olivia Colman is stepping into the role of Queen Elizabeth II, Josh O'Connor will take on Prince Charles, Erin Doherty is tackling Princess Anne, Helena Bonham Carter will be playing Princess Margaret, Jason Watkins is embodying Prince Minister Harold Wilson and Ben Daniels is portraying Antony Armstrong-Jones.