Victoria Alonso is not only Marvel Studios’ EVP of Physical Production & AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Executive Producer, but she is one of the THREE founding members of Marvel Studios! She has done ALL of that while becoming and being a working mom! So, it was an absolute pleasure to be able to sit down with her during my time in LA (hosted by Disney) for the #InfinityWarEvent press trip! I’ve had opportunity to interview Kevin Feige from Marvel Studios a few different times over the years, which is always great! But getting to sit down with Victoria, a real change-maker woman in Hollywood and fellow working mom, was really something extra special! We got to chat with her the morning after the Avengers: Infinity War Premiere – what an epic 24 hours! We were all running on very little sleep, but that didn’t stop her (or us – HA)! I was prepared for a talk about Marvel and move production, but what we got was SO much more. She was honest and kind and genuine and inspiring… in fact there were tears shed during the interview by MANY people in the room! Instead of just talking Avengers or Marvel or even film-making in general, we ended up having candid conversations about parenting, motherhood, and work/life balance!
Working for Marvel
As one of the 3 founding members of Marvel Studios, Victoria has had a hand in just about everything Marvel has put out these last incredible 10 years. As the EVP of production and Executive Producer on the movies, she is involved in every aspect of making the movies! Talk about a very cool (and I imagine – very stressful) job!! !We did talk a few movie spoilers (that I won’t share here) and some general things about her job. But as she pointed out, her real title is “working mother”. That was definitely a point of emphasis for her…and something almost everyone in the room could relate to. HOLLYWOOD, CA – APRIL 23: (L-R) The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, Executive Producers Victoria Alonso and Jon Favreau, Walt Disney Studios President Alan Bergman, Taika Waititi, Executive Producer Louis D’Esposito, President of Marvel Studios and Producer Kevin Feige, and director Peyton Reed attend the Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)
Take a look again at that photo! Victoria is the only woman in it! It’s no secret that many of the executive positions in Hollywood (and the rest of corporate America) are held by men. So, we talked about that and how to handle “being a woman at a man’s table”. And wow did she have a powerful answer for that:
When you go to that table, you sit at that table, not on the side, not behind. You sit at the table. And own it. That’s it. I own it every time I wanna sit at that table. I don’t make an apology for being there. If I’m at the table, that means somebody decided I should be here. So, I am here.
I LOVE that! You own it and make NO apologies for it! Talk about a good reminder and great inspiration. I’m thankful for her seat at that table! She also had another powerful statement when she talked about women needing to believe IN THEIR CORE that they are equal. She said her mom used to say:
“If it HAS been done, it CAN. If it hasn’t been done, it SHOULD.”
It’s such a simple, but profound thing! I’m sure here mom’s message helped instill those characteristics that got her to where she is today!
While Victoria helped create Marvel Studios over the past 10 years, she adopted her daughter who is just 8. So, we got to talk about how motherhood and parenting have influenced/impacted her job.
“Having children changes who you are as a person and how you see the world. I think that I thought I would’ve died for someone. I know I would die for her. Hands down. You just show me where the train is. I’ll go first. That kinda feeling on a daily is like — is that stab necessary? Do we need to see that blood? Can we just stop the punchy punch?… I think it’s a constant question as a parent. I say it aloud in every room, ‘how am I going to explain this in the playground’, which I go to every morning to drop her off. And that creates a conversation.
And she is completely right that becoming a parent changes YOU. It can’t not – you think it won’t or you think you know all these things, but it impacts just about every area of your life! So, I LOVE that she kept emphasizing that her title is “Working Mother”. That’s it! She KNOWS that trying to find the balance of the whole work, parenting, marriage, home, life thing is HARD! Based on talking with her for just the short time that we got to, it’s obvious that she values all of her roles greatly, trying to balance it all:
“All I can do is every day I give it all I got. And what you see is the combined efforts of hopefully the best storytelling that we could tell. And then sometimes it’s a little bit geared towards the inner child of some of the comic book fans.”
Clearly, that role of working mother definitely impacts her role at Marvel Studios – and it’s one that she clearly is doing a GREAT job with since Avengers: Infinity War just SMASHED every opening weekend box office record EVER! So, If you haven’t already, go see Avengers: Infinity War in theaters NOW! You can read my no-spoilers Infinity War review here!