Matt Smith of Pay Disparity on 'The Crown' Set: "It Ignited a Seed in All of Us"

Smith is nominated for an Emmy for his role as Prince Philip in the Netflix royal saga.

Matt Smith is receiving the royal treatment after garnering his first Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Prince Philip in Netflix’s The Crown. The historical drama received 13 nominations in the actor’s final season as the Duke of Edinburgh and he told The Hollywood Reporter that he believes there is often a misconception, particularly in England, about the monarch. 

“There was this idea that [Philip] was just this kind of doddering old fool who says the wrong thing,” said Smith. “The research I did was quite contrary to that. He's bright, articulate, funny, very funny actually, but from people's response to the series' version of Philip, you know, [they clearly think] there's a long way for him to go." 

Smith noted that the direction of the series and the unfolding history of Britain has continued to take him by surprise, especially in the second season's penultimate episode, "Paterfamilias."

“[Queen Elizabeth II and Philip] are both related to Queen Victoria, which is weird,” Smith admitted to THR.

In regard to the royal marriage, the British leading man offered his own insights into their long-lasting partnership. "They're still together and I know there were indiscretions along the way, but ultimately I think there is a profound deep connection between the two of them.”

The actor revealed that co-star Claire Foy, The Crown’s reigning Queen Elizabeth, has remained a great friend on and off set and he hopes that her highly publicized pay gap discrepancy can lead to positive change that amounts to workplace equality.  

"I think it's part of a wider conversation and one hopes it's ignited a seed in all of us that are in this industry and not just this industry, but across all industries, to reevaluate the way that we remunerate people,” said Smith. 

Watch the video above to hear Smith reveal whether or not Prince Philip is watching the series, what advice he offered to the new set of actors and more.