Interview: Xochitl Gomez reflects on Doctor Strange 2, Entering the MCU

ComingSoon spoke with Xochitl Gomez about her role as America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Gomez talked about the advice she received from Sir Patrick Stewart with 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, aided by mysterious allies both old and new, traverses the multiverse’s mind-numbing and dangerous alternate realities to confront a mysterious new adversary.”

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now available in 4KBlu-ray, DVD and Digital.

Tyler Treese: Tell me a little bit about the fan reaction. When you enter the MCU, millions reach out. It must be so exciting, especially for your fellow Mexican-Americans, to see that representation on screen.

Xochitl Gomez: Yes, it’s really heartwarming. I had a 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 they felt seen and honestly just leave the sweetest messages that would make me cry sometimes. But of course I’m just so happy that I get to bring that representation to a bigger, bigger scale. Obviously Marvel is so much bigger and I had never really had that experience until America was out in the world. When girls come up to me in the middle of the street and are literally shaking and like crying and just want to hug me because they feel so seen and feel so happy that I’m there representing them… it’s just such a special feeling. No words can really describe it.

Marvel is also so much bigger than the movies. It must be surreal to walk into a store and you see yourself on a t-shirt. Toys are being made of you. How crazy is it to see all these items?

Honestly, I love it. I own a lot 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 both looked at him and he approved of him and said things that were wrong or right or needed adjusting and when I saw mine I literally just cried. Tears came 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 more! And it’s just… it’s me! So it means so much to me.

America is such a likable and amazing character. When you see the character, what similarities do you see between yourself and America?

We are both very optimistic. When everything just falls on you, people are chasing you or something like that, you persevere through hard times. And that’s something I think we both do.

You have a martial arts background. How much does it help when doing more stunts and filming?

It helps so much. I didn’t even realize… well, I’m kind of new, but I didn’t fully understand that the type of martial art I do, Wushu, is the best for doing stunts. If you do 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 the muscles you have to do and all the weird positions that are just … all I can say is that Wushu has definitely helped me, especially when I first started training for America. I thought, “what are these new things?” Especially with wires. I thought, “How do I do this? I don’t know how to do all this!” And I started doing Kickboxing and stuff like that. 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’re starting out, because once you… I don’t even know what it would feel like to just kind of be pushed into it, but it would be really scary.

America goes through so much in the first movie and at the end she ends up on Earth-616. You learn magic and everyone wonders what the future holds. Where do you see America mentally at the end of the first movie? She seems to be in a good place.

Yes she does. I mean we see her and she’s left in Kamar-Taj and she’s practicing arcane arts. It’s a different kind of magic than her own powers, but I think it’s best to leave her in Kamar-Taj since there’s Wong and she’ll have some discipline and some security and just a place to call home. Throughout the movie we found out more about her parents and she hadn’t been with them for a while.

Between you two Benedicts, obviously Elizabeth Olsen, what kind of advice did you get from these Marvel vets?

I got a few small pieces 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 coming in… especially with the Marvel universe, that’s what he did. He welcomed me into this madness and I felt really welcome. He’s just such a beautiful soul and such a caring person that he really made me feel like I was part of the Marvel family, you know? And what’s better than Sir Patrick Stewart just talking to you in general? It was just crazy.

There is just such a rich history in the MCU and so many interesting characters in it. Which 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 of course 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 craziness he unleashes. I think it could be really cool to see America in a Kang project, just to see how it 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 joining the MCU?

It was actually right when I started, when we were filming… well actually right before we started filming, WandaVision was coming out and it was my favorite TV show. It is still with that Loki. They are my favorite.

And then you have to build that story line further, so that makes it even more special.

It really was. Every episode, especially with the sitcoms, really kept me interested, and also just because Elizabeth is so good.

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