'Asked & Answered with the Women of Marvel': Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Get to know the 'WandaVision' songwriter and then listen to her tunes on the Marvel Studios series on Disney+!
She’s written some of the most beloved musical showstoppers of the last decade (Frozen's "Let it Go," Coco's "Remember Me"). She’s won multiple awards, including Oscars and Grammys. Now Kristen Anderson-Lopez has made hers Marvel by penning the nostalgic and super-catchy theme songs for Marvel Studios' WandaVision — surely, I can’t be the only one playing “Agatha All Along” on repeat!
Anderson-Lopez’s songs are funny, smart and often leave you with a lump in your throat. To say that we comics-loving-theatre-nerds are psyched to claim her as a Woman of Marvel is an understatement. We had some questions for her.
We asked, she answered.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Check the time and maybe glance at the NY Times app.
Superpower of choice?
Wanda’s — she’s got mind control but can also float which would come in handy on the NYC sidewalks.
The key to collaboration is…?
Safe, honest communication.
Developed any new skills over the last few months at home?
We’ve been doing these Hello Fresh meals for our family which is like getting a LEGO set for dinner. The step-by-step instruction and ingredients kit are everything I need to learn how to cook.
Favorite TV theme song?
Gilmore Girls — Carole King and daughter duet, yes please!!
When humans live on Mars, what one food item must we bring with us?
My husband’s unbelievably delicious homemade smashburgers.
In an alternate universe, what would your alternate job be?
Psychologist. Preferably a couples or family counselor—a good one can transform so much pain into love by helping a family listen and communicate.
What’s on your desert island mix tape?
"Tiny Dancer" (Elton John)
"Penny Lane" (Beatles)
"Get Out the Map" (Indigo Girls)
"Rainbow" (Kacey Musgraves)
"Make Your Own Kind of Music" (Mama Cass version)
"Sir Duke" (Stevie Wonder)
"Kyoto" (Phoebe Bridgers)
"Feelin’ Alright" (Joe Cocker)
"Can’t We Be Friends?" (Ella Fitzgerald)
"Graceland" (Paul Simon)
"The Lazarus Heart" (Sting)
"What a Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong version)
"In My Life" (Beatles)
"Both Sides Now" (Joni Mitchell)
"Bittersweet Symphony" (The Verve)
What was your favorite book, movie, or TV show as a kid?
Anne of Green Gables. I truly relate to her wild imagination and the way her “extraness” creates the highs and lows in her life. We named our second daughter after Anne.
What is your favorite book, movie, or TV show now?
Oh wow. There are so many. Currently obsessed with Minari, a beautiful movie that will definitely win multiple Oscars. I also really love Ted Lasso. I love stories that celebrate good people just trying to do their best.
Best advice you’ve gotten?
Oprah had an article with the pull quote “You are not your thoughts. You are the thinker of those thoughts.” It’s good to make sure your thoughts know who is in control so they don’t take over.
Musical or show-stopping number that still knocks your socks off?
I’m sorry if this is lame, but I know how hard it is to sing “Let It Go.” So I have extreme respect for the actresses who bring down the Act 1 curtain in the Frozen live action musical. They are singing their faces off while also initiating and executing very complicated stage magic. They are pulling off the impossible and it’s breathtaking.
What or who makes you laugh?
My husband is hysterically funny and makes me laugh out loud at least a dozen times a day.
What was 13-year-old Kristen’s jam?
EVITA. I did a one-woman version in my walk-in closet on my Mr. Microphone. Like, every day of 8th grade, this happened.
Other than Wanda and Vision, Marvel character(s) most deserving of their own theme song?
He’s Tony Stark!
Fighting crime is his walk-in-the park!
Servin’ up justice with a side of snark!
He’s our Tony Stark!
Board games or video games?
Board games. Definitely board games. We are very into “The Game of Things” at the moment. I DID just try an Oculus game where you get to drum beat by hitting cubes in the air. It made me feel like a badass, but I looked insane and felt like I was going to hurt someone.
Stage or screen?
I love both for different reasons. I love stage for the one-of-a-kind spiritual experience we can all share in one space together. I love screen because I can stay home in my sweatpants, I don’t have to take a long car-ride or subway to an overly crowded place, and I don’t have to stand in a long ladies-room line to go to the bathroom. But having experienced ONLY the screen for 10 months now, I’m VERY excited to experience the transcendence that can only be found through live theatre.
Times Square — where dreams are made or just a place to get a selfie with an unauthorized Spidey?
See the above answer! Times Square can be tough to navigate if I’m exhausted and burnt out as sometimes can happen if I have a new show in the unique form of hell that is called “Previews.” That said, there have been some incredible moments looking up at the buildings on a breezy spring evening and seeing a big billboard for something I’ve created up there. That is pretty darn magic and I’m so grateful to have had that feeling.
Favorite lyric you’ve written?
Oh, I can’t possibly answer that. Once they are out in the world, they don’t belong to me anymore. I’m excited about some of the things I am writing for our new projects!
Mantra or quote that keeps you going?
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” — Calvin Coolidge
Best thing about being a Woman of Marvel?
Wow! I didn’t realize I was a Woman of Marvel??! Well, the best thing is the incredible fan base. It has been an honor to create and feel myself in conversation with this global, diverse, intelligent audience.
Listen to songwriting duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez's original songs on Marvel Studios' WandaVision — all episodes now streaming on Disney+! Or listen to the soundtracks for Episode 1 - 9 over at http://hollywoodrecs.co/WandaVision!
Want to hear more from Kristen? Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez break down each of the theme songs in WandaVision here!
MacKenzie Cadenhead is a children’s book author and an old school (Read: former) Marvel editor — not old-old but let’s just say she knew Gwen Stacy when she was dead. She co-authors the "Marvel Super-Hero Adventures" chapter book series for young readers and is a proud Woman of Marvel. You can see what she’s up to over at Instagram @mackenziecadenhead.
The Women of Marvel podcast assembles to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes are released every other Thursday. You can find Women of Marvel on Sirius XM, Marvel.com/podcasts and Apple Podcasts.
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