Award nominations should not be surprising at this point to husband-and-wife composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Between them, they have won practically every entertainment award on the books for beloved projects like “Frozen,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Coco” and “Avenue Q.” (Robert, in fact, has conquered the EGOT twice (!) and accomplished the first feat before he was even 40 years-old.) But even they could not have predicted the attention that their mic-drop reveal song “Agatha All Along,” as heard in the eventful seventh episode of Disney+ and Marvel’s “WandaVision,” would end up garnering.
In a Q&A with TheWrap, the Lopezes discuss their Emmy nominations (they are nominated in the Main Title Theme Music category as well as Music and Lyrics), the shock of seeing their infectious, just-over-one-minute ditty charting on Billboard, and why Kathryn Hahn is such a pro she needs to be shared with family.
Congratulations on the Emmy noms! I’m actually going to ask first about the Main Titles nod. This show has a whole bunch of main titles sequences (1950s-themed to the present), did the nomination encompass everything you did for all the decade openers?
ROBERT: I’m pretty sure the ’80s episode is what we submitted. But it’s an unusual show with a lot of different main title sequences. That was sort of where we came in and the whole reason for the need for us in the first place. The trick was, “How are we going to make these all feel like one show?’” And so we came up with our own little theme that’s in every song in some form, it’s almost like little hidden signature in each one. It’s in “Agatha All Along” as well.
KRISTEN: In my mind, it’s for all of them. And I’m hoping that’s how the voters saw it too.
As for “Agatha All Along,” it obviously had to be very secretive. How was it knowing this song would be a humongous reveal?
KRISTEN: Let me just say that I’ve never had to do so much security in my entire life. I mean, the firewalls had firewalls. It felt very Russian spy-like. (laughing)
ROBERT: (Director/exec producer Matt Shakman) is a friend and did an amazing musical episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” called “The Nightman Cometh,” which is a family favorite.
KRISTEN: Matt and Bobby had actually done theater in a swimming pool back at Yale. He basically said there’s this thing I’m working on, and would you be interested?
ROBERT: It was one of those dream phone calls you never expect to get, the pitch was writing TV theme songs. We just sing them all the time. There’s like a whole quarter of each of our brains devoted to it.
It must have been kind of shocking when it started to chart on Billboard and took social media by storm.
KRISTEN: It was unbelievable. We started getting messages from friends saying, “Did you see what this person on TikTok did?” or seeing people creating dances to it. It helped get us through February, honestly.
Was the song written knowing that Kathryn Hahn (Agnes/Agatha) would also be performing it?
KRISTEN: We knew Kathryn was doing (the show), but we didn’t know that Kathryn was going to record it, and she could not have been more game or more fun. It’s also really cool because my younger sister (Kate Anderson) writes for “Central Park” and also writes for Kathryn. It’s been a fun overlap. And now she’s had a No. 1 hit on the Billboard charts! Iconic.
ROBERT: The Andersons are sort of lyric witches with magical powers. (laughs) The version that appears in the show has a little bit of padding within it because they needed to fit in some scenes where the music didn’t accommodate. So, there’s a couple of extra vamps. Kathryn was so amazing. She had recorded the ‘And I killed Sparky too!’ and it was just glorious. I wish we had had that in the version that went out to iTunes and Spotify, because it’s the most amazing line reading I’ve ever heard.
“WandaVision” is now streaming on Disney+