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Actress Claire Foy says she felt compelled to speak out about the pay gap between herself and The Crown co-actor Matt Smith to open doors for others fighting for fair play.

Foy became a figurehead of sorts for those fighting for gender equality when she spoke out about the fact she was paid much less than Smith — even though she was the Queen to his Prince Philip on the drama. The revelation forced the show’s bosses to publicly apologise to both stars for inadvertently putting them in a very awkward position.

Now, in a magazine, Foy has said the whole drama was very upsetting and she had moments when she wished she didn’t have to be the one making waves, reports aceshowbiz.com.

“I was deeply hurt by it, because I’d been working on that show for two years. I loved everybody on it. And then I realised, ‘There’s been a big, fat, dirty secret that nobody’s ever talked about’,” said Foy.

“But then there was also that thing [of being] an inadvertent spokesperson. Why did it have to be me? I could have said nothing. And I think everyone would have preferred that. But I thought, ‘If I do that, I will be cheating myself and all the other women I know.’”

Foy recently dismissed reports suggesting she had been offered $225,000 (Dh826,236) in back pay to settle the gender pay gap on The Crown.

The actress will next be seen in the film First Man, which also features Ryan Gosling in the lead role, out in the UAE on October 18.