The Crown’s Claire Foy has gone on-record for the first time to discuss the salary storm that she found herself in following comments made at the INTV conference in Jerusalem.

The actor, who plays the Queen in the Netflix drama said that she was “surprised” to find herself in the center of the controversy. “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. 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 something] that you didn’t particularly ask for,” she told Entertainment Weekly.

This comes after a Deadline-hosted panel at the Keshet-organized conference, where The Crown exec producer Suzanne Mackie tacitly acknowledged to me that Foy had been paid less than Smith in the show’s first two seasons. This led to strong reaction and a Care2 petition calling on Smith and Netflix to donate the difference in paychecks to the Time’sUp Legal Defense Fund.

Left Bank issued a statement apologizing to Claire Foy and Matt Smith for fallout from comments made last week about the salaries of the series’ stars, adding that the actors “have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own”. Mackie, however, added that going forward, it was really important for the Queen to be paid more”.

Foy’s co-star Jared Harris, who plays King George VI in the drama, also commented on the situation, telling UK website Digital Spy that the situation was an “embarrassment”. “I understand [Left Bank] made an apology but, you know, an apology and a check would be more welcome,” he said. “She worked longer hours. Her performance is a huge reason why this thing is going to have a season three, four, five and six. Send her a paycheck and – in retrospect – bring her pay up to parity.”