Producer Victoria Alonso Talks Hiding Spoilers, Baby Groot, And Living Up To The Avengers: Endgame Hype
Over the weekend, Avengers: Endgame (unsurprisingly) blew all box office estimates out of the water, pulling in approximately $1.2 billion globally. We can credit much of the film’s creative and financial success to executive producer Victoria Alonso, who joined the MCU as a producer in 2008 and has helped bring Captain America: The First Avenger, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, and countless other Marvel favourites to the big screen.
We recently spoke to Alonso about the pressures associated with ending Marvel’s Infinity Saga, Endgame‘s ridiculous amount of visual effects, and choosing a favourite Marvel character. Read Part 1 of our (spoiler-free) interview with Alonso below, and stay tuned for a slightly more spoiler-y Part 2 shortly.
Space: How hard is it been to hide spoilers from your friends and family?
Victoria Alonso: It’s a ridiculously hard thing to do, because it happens everywhere. It happens in the office—even the fans at Disney, that work for Disney, they want to know. Parents at the playground want to know, kids at the school yard want to know. If I wear—and I hardly wear anything that says Marvel—but if I have a moment and I put [on] something that has any any emblem…it’s hard. It’s an art form, I would have to say, to not say anything. It’s hard! We know so much…but you don’t want to spoil it for anyone. It’s an art form.
Having been a part of the Marvel team since Iron Man, do you feel like Endgame is closing off an era of your professional career or do you feel like things are just starting?
I think it’s both… if you see your career as a library, it’s a book that you put on the shelf that had all these chapters. Not to say that I want to have more books on my shelf, but it’s a big one to actually complete. And I think that what I’m most proud of is how we completed it. Because sometimes you can write all these beautiful chapters and then the end is like ‘meh.’ We always get disappointed with those season finales of all these TV shows. So for us…we didn’t want to do that and we didn’t want to disappoint anyone. Everything gets so hyped up, right? Then it’s so hard to sometimes not fail because the hype is so so high.
So were you confident the whole way through that you would wrap up the Saga in a satisfying way? Or was that always sort of something that you kept thinking about in the back of your mind?
I think that the way we work is we’re thinking about things that we could do even the day of the premiere. We were always thinking, ‘ if we would have had three more hours,’ ‘if we would have had two more days.’ You know what I mean? So we don’t get too comfortable, like ‘oh, we got it.’ We have never lived in that world. I don’t know what that world looks like or feels like. I don’t think it’s in my cards to feel that way.
So we’re constantly trying to make sure that what we do for this story that we want to tell is to honour the characters in the best fashion, so that the fans can have the best experience.
Is there any one character that you’ve become more attached to than the others?
No, you know [it’s] funny—I get attached to all of them in a very different way because they sort of get under your skin. And I find something…I find harmony with them every single time. So I know people have asked me this a thousand times, what’s your favourite movie or what’s your favourite character? If I had one I probably would say it Although unfair, I think I would. I would say that, as a mother, when we did Baby Groot my heart was filled with joy, not only because he’s a fully animated character, but because seeing the birth of a Baby Groot was just phenomenal for me.
As an executive producer on Endgame, I know you were really involved with helping to execute all the visual effects. Was there any one scene—without spoiling too much—that was particularly challenging in terms of the VFX?
No, this film was challenging throughout [laughs]. Out of the three hours, I think we had 60 shots that were not visual effects [shots]. So it’s one love letter to the craft. And we’ve had Canadian film companies that have worked on this. IMAX also has an office in Toronto…all these people, you guys have great companies.
It’s hard to say sometimes what is the most difficult when you have so many of these characters that are CG. Thanos was a huge challenge and Josh Brolin is brilliant. And we had the people at Digital Domain who went out and did an amazing job in two very different parts of the world. Because if Thanos doesn’t work, the movie doesn’t work. If Smart Hulk doesn’t work…you know what I mean? If Rocket and Groot don’t work, if Nebula doesn’t work…and that’s a lot of care and there’s a lot of things that you have to do to make that work. And there’s a bunch of supporting characters that are completely CG. So there were about 40 minutes of the final battle that had me awake at night [laughs].
Keep checking Space.ca for Part 2 of our interview with Victoria Alonso, and watch the Avengers: Endgame trailer below.