The Crown Season 3: Tobias Menzies to play Prince Philip opposite Olivia Colman's Elizabeth II as Paul Bettany drops out... weeks after uproar over Netflix show's gender pay gap
- The 44-year-old actor has joined the cast for two seasons as he portrays a mature version of the Royal through the more recent years of his life
- He takes over from Matt Smith, who won critical acclaim for his screen efforts
- However, a huge uproar recently erupted, when it was revealed that Matt was paid significantly more than Claire Foy, who played the titular character
- Claire broke her silence this week, admitting she found it 'very odd' that she became a big part of the gender pay gay row despite never commenting herself
- While it is not known how much 35-year-old actor Matt made on the show, it was revealed that Claire earned $40,000 per episode throughout her run
He attracted legions of fans when he portrayed Caesar's nemesis Brutus in the show Rome, as well as Edmure Tully in the wildly popular fantasy series Game Of Thrones.
And Tobias Menzies is set to mingle in regal company once again, as he's signed up to portray Prince Philip in Season 3 of Netflix's award-winning drama The Crown, taking over from Matt Smith, who played him in the past two seasons.
The 44-year-old actor has taken on the role - which will span two seasons and pair him with Olivia Colman, who portrays Queen Elizabeth II - after Paul Bettany dropped out of early talks, according to Deadline Hollywood.
A new member of the British Royal Family: Tobias Menzies is set to play Prince Philip in Season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown, taking over from the previously cast Paul Bettany who has pulled out
The news comes after weeks of fierce public debate over the fact that Claire Foy - won multiple awards for her two-season portrayal of the Queen - was paid a significantly lower wage than her outgoing co-star Matt Smith.
In a recently-published interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 33-year-old actress broke her silence about the pay disparity, admitting that she found it 'odd' to have been the focus of such a discussion when she didn't invite it.
She said: 'I’m surprised because I’m at the centre of it, and anything that I’m at the centre of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of ordinary. But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama.
In his prime: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at an event in the UK in 1969 when he was 48
'I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, "Oh, that’s a bit odd." But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the centre [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.'
Her comments came days after the hit show's producers offered an apology to Claire and Matt for their controversial and widely-discussed wage disparity.
The Crown came under fire after producers revealed Matt was paid more than Claire for the first two seasons of the Netflix drama and in light of the revelation, a petition was launched for the actor to donate his wages to the Me Too campaign.
Since the news broke, Left Bank Pictures issued a statement in which they apologised to the actors for the situation they have been left in.
Change of guard: Tobias is taking over the role from Matt Smith, who played the young Philip for the first two seasons of the Netflix drama
The statement, released to Variety, read: '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.'
Just hours before, a petition was launched for Matt to donate the pay difference to the Time's Up movement.
Pay row: The news comes after weeks of fierce public debate over the fact that Claire Foy was paid a significantly lower wage than her outgoing co-star Matt Smith on The Crown
The 35-year-old Doctor Who star had been called 'to make up for this sexist pay gap' after earning more than Claire, despite her starring as the lead role.
The Care2 petition read: 'You know gender pay gaps are a problem when even the Queen isn't paid fairly. Women in all industries are facing a struggle for pay equality, women in the US typically earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts for full time work.
'While it may be easy for some to dismiss gender pay disparity for already high-paid actors like Claire Foy, I believe that publicly addressing high-profile cases of sexism will also help create greater opportunities for all women — in all careers.
'This is critical moment for Netflix and Crown co-star Matt Smith to show that they stand with women and do the right thing.'
Early talks: It had been reported that Paul Bettany dropped out of early talks to take on the role of Prince Philip in the upcoming next two seasons of The Crown
While it is not known how much Matt earned on the show, it was revealed that Claire's wages were $40,000 per episode throughout her stint.
Meanwhile, Tobias Menzies, who is set to hit screens as Prince Philip later this year, is currently starring in AMC’s The Terror - but he has a regal background onscreen.
He has played Caesar's nemesis Brutus in HBO’s Rome as well as Edmure Tully, son and heir of the late Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun, in HBO's Game Of Thrones.
He also took on the dual roles of Frank Randall and the sadistic Black Jack Randall in Outlander.
Patrician part: London-born Tobias Menzies played Caesar's nemesis Brutus in HBO's Rome
The star most recently wrapped King Lear in which he played the Duke of Cornwall alongside Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson for BBC Films and Amazon Studios.
Helena Bonham Carter has been cast as Princess Margaret in her more mature years, replacing Vanessa Kirby.
Show creator Peter Morgan planned for the casting changes, designed to show the royal characters as they aged.
Left Bank produces the show with executive producers Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie.
In his sights: He also starred as Edmure Tully, son and heir of the late Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun, in HBO's Game Of Thrones
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