ComingSoon spoke with Xochitl Gomez about her role as America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Gomez talked about advice that she received from Sir Patrick Stewart, having merchandise of her character, and how meaningful the film’s representation is.
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“In the film, the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before,” reads the synopsis. “Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now available on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.
Tyler Treese: Tell me a bit about the fan response. When you’re entering the MCU, millions are reaching out. It has to be so exciting, especially for your fellow Mexican-Americans to see that representation on screen.
Xochitl Gomez: Yeah, it’s really heartwarming. I did have a little bit of that experience with Dawn [Schafer, Gomez’s character in The Baby-Sitters Club]. Young girls would just reach out to me and tell me that they felt seen and honestly just leave the most sweet messages that would make me cry sometimes. But obviously, I’m just so happy that I get to bring that representation to a bigger, larger scale. Obviously, Marvel is so much bigger, and I’d never really had that experience until America was out in the world. When girls would come up to me in the middle of the street and literally be shaking and like cry and just want to hug me because they feel like so seen and feel so happy that I’m there representing them … that’s just such a special feeling. No words can really describe that.
Marvel is so much bigger than the films too. It has to be surreal, walking into a store and you see yourself on a t-shirt. There are toys being made of you. How wild is it seeing all this merchandise?
Honestly, I love it. I own lots of it just because it means so much to me. I remember when I first saw the mock-up of the action figure on set, we were doing reshoots and Richie Palmer had the mock-up of the action figure on his computer. I saw it and Benedict Cumberbatch was sitting there. We were both looking at him and he was approving his and saying things that were wrong or right or needed tweaking, and when I saw mine, I literally just cried. Tears were coming down my face because I was so happy that there was an action figure of me and that I could buy it, and I could buy multiple! And it’s just … it’s me! So it means so much to me.
America’s such a likable and great character. When you see the character, what similarities do you see between yourself and America?
We’re both very optimistic. When everything’s kind of just coming down on you, people are hunting you down or something like that, you persevere during tough times. And that’s something that I think we both do.
You have a martial arts background. How much does that help when doing more stunts and filming?
It helps so much. I didn’t even realize … well, I’m sort of new, but I didn’t really fully understand that the type of martial arts I do, Wushu, is the best for doing stunts. If you’re doing stunt training or if you’re someone who does stunts, Wushu is probably the best form of martial arts, just because it really helps you, especially with all your muscles that you have to do and all the weird stances that are just … all I can say is that Wushu has definitely helped me, especially when I was first starting training for America. I was like, “what are these new things?” Especially with wires. I was like, “how do I do this? I don’t know how to do all this!” And I started Kickbox training and stuff. I realized the similarities between my martial arts training and all the stunt training. It’s really helpful to have it all under your belt when you start because when you first … I don’t even know how it would feel to just kind of be pushed into it, but that would be really scary.
America goes through so much in that first film and at the end, she’s staying on Earth-616. You’re learning magic, and everyone’s wondering what the future holds. Where do you view America at mentally at the end of that first film? She seems to be in a good place.
Yeah, she does. I mean, we see her and she’s left at Kamar-Taj and she’s practicing mystic arts. That’s a different form of magic than her own powers, but I think leaving her at Kamar-Taj is the best, since there’s Wong, and she’ll have some discipline and some security and just a place to call home. During the entire movie, we found out more about her parents and she hadn’t been with them for a while.
Between you, the two Benedicts, obviously Elizabeth Olsen, what kind of advice were you given by these Marvel vets?
I got a few little bits of advice. Patrick Stewart gave me advice, Lizzy and Wong. One thing that really stuck with me was something that Patrick Stewart said, to really pay it forward and really welcome people that are entering … especially with the Marvel universe, that’s what he was doing. He was welcoming me to this craziness and I truly felt welcomed. He’s just such a beautiful soul and such a caring person that he really made me feel like I was a part of the Marvel family, you know? And what’s better than Sir Patrick Stewart just talking to you in general? It was just really crazy.
There’s just such a rich history in the MCU and so many exciting characters within it. What heroes do you want to see America interact with in the future?
I think Loki could be really fun, just because he’s so mischievous and you never know what he’s going to do, and obviously the background with Loki and America from the comics … I think that could be fun to explore. But also, Kang. I’m excited to see what they do for him and what madness he unleashes. I think it could be really cool to see America in a Kang project, just to see how that goes.
The MCU has been so huge, so I’m sure you were a fan yourself before this. So what were your favorite projects before you became a part of the MCU?
This was actually like right when I started, when we were filming … well actually, right before we started filming, WandaVision was coming out, and that was my favorite TV show. It still is, along with Loki. Those are my favorite.
And then you got to build off that storyline, so that makes it even more special.
It really was. Each episode, especially with the sitcoms, that really made me interested, and also just because Elizabeth is so good.