“For the longest of times, I was always one of the few women on set,” she says. “Thank God there was a makeup artist or a costumer or a hair person.”
Today, Alonso is part of the holy trinity that runs Hollywood’s most successful superhero label, along with Marvel president Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D’Esposito. She joined the company in 2006 as chief of visual effects before her promotion in 2015 to her current post, in which she manages 68 employees and an army of vendors who make all Marvel movies and TV series.
Alonso, who moved to the U.S. from Argentina when she was 19, and her wife, Imelda Corcoran, live on the Westside with their 7-year-old daughter and are opening an Argentinian restaurant in downtown L.A. She sat down with THR in her office on Disney’s Burbank lot to talk about the upcoming Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson — the first Marvel film with a female lead — and the gender imbalance in Hollywood.
Did you watch superhero movies growing up in Buenos Aires?
No. I watched Batman as a TV series and Wonder Woman. It was more DC Comics for me.
Marvel’s next film is Avengers: Infinity War. With a budget upwards of $300 million, is it the biggest movie you’ve worked on?
Infinity War is a dream come true. Everybody has had other journeys, but this is sort of the moment in time where their journeys collide. We didn’t have everyone there all the time. That only happened for two or three days.
Were you there when everybody was there?
Yes. I’m not going to lie to you, I cried. You say to yourself, “Huh?” You have big stars talking about other big stars as in, “Gasp, is that Michelle Pfeiffer? It is! Oh, was that so-and-so?” It’s like their little Hollywood moment, which I found lovely and endearing.
The movie was shot in Atlanta, where the Georgia legislature has in recent years considered bills that would allow discrimination against same-sex couples. Would you advocate pulling Marvel movies from the state if such a law passed?
The Walt Disney Co. has been very vocal about that, and I side with the company. I have very strong feelings about it. My wife comes with me everywhere. We’ve been married for 16 years. We have a child. I’m as out as they come. I don’t walk in every room and say, “Hey, I’m gay, nice to meet you!” [But] when people say “Are you married?” I never shy from saying, “Yes, to my wife.” That to me is part of the advocacy that needs to happen in order for us to have a common ground.
You wanted to make Black Panther for many years. What took so long?
I’ve been saying the same thing for a long time: You have to build a foundation so you can see the floors rise, right? Having people in front of and behind the camera that represent who we are as a culture and as an audience is exactly what is needed. This is not a political move for us. We answer to the fans, we answer to the characters. We have built this company on that philosophy; this is what the company is about.