Matt Smith has said he believes he and Claire Foy should have been paid equally for their roles in The Crown.

The actor, who played the Duke of Edinburgh in the Netflix royal drama opposite Foy’s Queen Elizabeth II, said efforts need to be made to create a level playing field.

The Crown series 2Claire Foy and Matt Smith in The Crown (Alex Bailey/Netflix)

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “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.

“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.”

The duo played the royal couple for the first two series of the show but will be replaced by Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies for the third series.

Murder On The Orient Express World Premiere – LondonOlivia Colman (Ian West/PA)

Last month producers revealed that Smith earned more than Foy for his work on the show.

Left Bank Pictures said: “We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own.

“Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown, have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.

“As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.

“We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.

“We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and, as a leading production company, we want to make our contribution to the debate.

“As company policy, we are engaged in conversations with ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Times Up UK – organisations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.”