While Claire Foy has given up her throne as Queen Elizabeth IIon the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Crown , it certainly does not signify an end to her reign in Hollywood. Taking a break from the spotlight before hitting the promotion circuit for the Damien Chazelle biopic First Man, the actress has been out supporting close friend and co-star Vanessa Kirby, who played Princess Margaret.
Her hiatus hasn’t stopped her from enjoying some time at the theatre, and there’s one stage production in particular that blew the actress away. Claire recently watched her 30-year-old friend’s performance in a production of Julie in London, she told Vanity Fair. “The thing about Vanessa is that she’ a star. She literally sparkles all over her. She’s out of this world,” she gushed. “But I know her and what she’s like, so I’m a bit like, ‘You’re so amazing, but you’re a complete wally sometimes.’”
The two were mesmerizing as the royal sisters, who sit on two opposite sides of the personality spectrum – the Queen as a stoic and poised leader and the princess on the more rebellious side, grappling with true love and abiding by royal rule. They’re passing on their torches to Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter, who will play the monarch and her off-kilter sister respectively. Speaking of passing the torch to Olivia, 44, Claire said: “If anything, I was like, ‘I’m going to leave you completely alone. Have a nice time,’ just because you don’t need many cooks getting involved … We spoke on the phone, but we didn’t have an [in-person] powwow.”
Claire first broke onto the TV scene with her well-received role in the series Little Dorrit, based on Charles Dickens’ struggles and hardships in 1820s London. Now with over 10 years of acting experience under her belt, the award-winning actress has some career advice for aspiring stars. “In this industry, you just have to be brave enough to say no [to roles]. And it doesn’t mean you’re being ungrateful. It doesn’t mean that you’re never working again. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love something. But you have to say no in order to have new experiences and challenge yourself.”
You also have to have the courage to stand up for yourself and what you deserve, something Claire learned all too well when her salary on The Crown became the subject of a major pay gap controversy. After discovering that she was paid significantly less than co-star Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip, the 34-year-old admits that she learned how important it is to ask for what you want. “I’ve learned so much from it about how much I should be involved, or what I can ask when I would’ve been too scared to ask before,” she explained. “Now I just think, ‘What’s the danger? They’ll turn around and say, ‘Well, we’ll just offer it to someone else’?’ If so, that’s fine. But in life, you have to be able to ask.’ There are no stupid questions, especially when it comes to standing up for yourself.”