DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS Interview With America Chavez Actor Xochitl Gomez (Exclusive)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness star Xochitl Gomez talks about playing America Chavez, her MCU future, the character's scrapped Spider-Man: No Way Home role, getting an action figure, and more.

Interviews Opinion

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now available on Blu-ray, and earlier this week, we spoke to star Xochitl Gomez about making her MCU debut as the reality-hopping America Chavez.

The actor stole the show in the movie, putting this popular comic book character on the map ahead of her no-doubt becoming a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Multiverse Saga. During our conversation, we talked about America's future, the chances of her being a mutant, and what Xochitl thinks about how the hero's story ended. 

We also find out how close she came to playing America in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and get some intel on the experience of working alongside the actors who played The Illuminati and a zombified Benedict Cumberbatch. Finally, Xochitl breaks down that awesome moment America gains control of her powers, and reveals what it's like to be an action figure.

The actor is one heck of a talent, and as we're sure you'll agree after watching this interview, she definitely has a lot of love for this character and the wider MCU.

Check out our chat with the Doctor Strange sequel star in the player below: 

I'm very excited to talk with you, especially as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is out now on Blu-ray and we've just had Comic-Con as well, of course. Kevin Feige announced that we're now in The Multiverse Saga, so with your character being the only one we know of who can travel through the Multiverse, how excited are you for the future? 

[Laughs] I saw that and I was like, 'Oooh!' I mean, I haven't gotten a call or anything. I haven't been told what is next for America, but obviously, as a fan, I was listening to the things that were rolling out, and I was like, 'Oh, there's a possibility America could totally be in that!' So, just fingers crossed. I'm really excited to see what happens because the Multiverse...there's unlimited possibilities with that. It's fun.

We're starting to see mutants pop up in the MCU, like in Ms. Marvel, and as this film only just scratches the surface of who America is, would you maybe be interested in taking her down the route of being a mutant?

Yeah, I mean I'm honestly open to anything. As long as we get to see...I think there's so much more to her and her story that we haven't really seen yet. I think there are lots of layers to America, and I think there are some fun things to explore. Hopefully, we get to explore the things, and yeah, I think that's all I'm gonna say [Laughs].

We've seen some concept art floating around from Spider-Man: No Way Home with America in it, so is that something you were ever told about or had it all changed by the time you joined this project?

It was all changed by the time I joined the project, yeah. I mean, it was never ending constant changing because when you have new projects that are coming out, fans react to things, and so they feel like they need to change it, but they do lots of screen tests for the movie over and over again so Marvel knows what's working and what's not. If the fans aren't loving something, they just change it. The reshoots were addressing some of the things that came out from testing that people didn't like or they thought needed more of this and stuff.

Talking of reshoots, that is par for the course with a Marvel movie, but is there anything that was cut you missed? We've seen a still of you and the two Benedicts in an alley that I think was moved to the rooftop, but was there anything else like that you'd wish we'd seen?

Well, you did a lot of work for that one. Maybe not too much probably saw it and were like, That's a good question!' [Laughs] There was a little scene that America had where she got to mourn over Defender Strange's death and this was prior was a secret that Defenders Strange was going to kill me and take my power. It wasn't that before, it was that he was saving me. There was this whole other turn where she got to mourn over his death and have this grieving moment. It was really special, but that didn't end up getting used because they changed it and decided to make it that differentiating journey to take her power. I think that actually worked better because you got to see that mistrust and see her walls go up. Slowly, as the movie goes on, we see her take those down and then at the end, she's in Kamar Taj and has a safe home.

Your character's arc plays out brilliantly, and talking of the ending, how did you feel about the way things wrap up for America being there with Wong in Kamar Taj?

Yeah, you see her in Kamar Taj and she's learning the mystic arts, which is a different form of magic than her powers. I think it's really cool that she's learning that, and also just being at Kamar Taj gives her some [Laughs] discipline and just a place to call home since, obviously, she doesn't really have a place like that. Being there with Wong I think is a good choice and a smart decision.

You get such a standout role in that final battle, as we see America come to grips with her powers, she does the iconic fist in the hand pose, and punches that hole in reality which is just awesome. That must have been a lot of fun for you to shoot?

That was really fun actually. I had a lot of fun...we came up with different kinds of ways of collecting the power and then pushing the power and then all that jazz. It was really fun. Being a superhero is just a whole other level of fun. It's really fun. Also, doing the flying punch thing was so cool. I felt so cool, except for the times when I kind of stumbled on the ground. I was like, 'Okay, I didn't land on my feet right.' I think there are only a few takes where I actually landed on my feet correctly because it was a weird length of space. It's lots of fun. Dude, I definitely recommend just going on wires one day. Just go to some warehouse or something where they do that and put you on wires because I feel like it's a feeling people should have. Just jumping around feel so fun [Laughs].


Something else I can imagine was quite fun was the secrecy going into the film with The Illuminati. How much of them did you get to see on set or were those cameos all a surprise to you?

Well, it's funny because I got to meet all of The Illuminati actors. Even Sir Patrick Stewart, he gave me some great advice about how important it is to pay forward and make people feel welcome. I know he certainly did that with me. He's just such a beautiful soul and so genuine, and it was like, 'Oh my gosh, no way is Sir Patrick Stewart talking to me and giving me great advice, but also talking to me like he really cares about me...I feel so important.' [Laughs]

How incredible. You get to work with so many great actors in this film, and I thought you did a fantastic job of holding your own up against them, especially in some quite unique situations. You've got Benedict Cumberbatch looking like a zombie and Elizabeth Olsen pretty much covered in blood; what were those days like on set?

Yeah, especially days with him being a zombie. Those were pretty crazy because it didn't even look like him. Playing a zombie is not an easy thing. There's lots of physicality and the grunting and stuff. That threw me off at first. I was like, 'Hmm, what is this?' [Laughs] It was really random, but I had to put my hat on and say, 'Okay, you know, this is my job while there's a guy going 'urgh,' and it's Benedict Cumberbatch being a zombie and I have to cry. It's a difficult acting challenge, but it was fun and at the end of the day, it was an experience I've never had before. Hopefully, in this Marvel Universe and the Multiverse, I get to explore other random crazy kooky possibilities like that.

Looking at that slate of films coming, there should be lots of opportunities for that. As a comic book fan myself, I know we can be a picky bunch, but everyone has embraced your version of America and a lot of people would love to obviously see more of the character, maybe in a Disney+ series or a solo film. What's it been like to see that reaction and to know that fans want to see more of your story?

It's pretty crazy that not only do people love the character, but they want to see more of her. They haven't told me what's next for my character, but I obviously can't ignore that America's powers are, you know, Multiverse and the next chapter of the MCU is called The Multiverse Saga [Laughs]. I'm just hoping that America Chavez has a role to play in that and hopefully, it gets to unfold over the next four years or so. Who knows!

It's exciting, and America has so much potential. I know many fans would like to see her join the Young Avengers, but I feel like she deserves a place on the main team. Would you agree with that? 

I am literally up for anything. Like, give me like a five-minute cameo...not even that. Two seconds! I will do it [Laughs].

Something that must have been awesome since this film came is seeing all the merchandise out there from Funko Pops to LEGO Minifigures, and action figures. What's it been like for you to see that? This Halloween, there are bound to be lots of kids dressing up as America Chavez.

I'm really excited for that. I'm not gonna lie, I have it all. Whatever you think it is, I have it all. The LEGOs, the shirts, the backpack, the Funko Pops...I have it all. To me, it matters so much that not only is there merchandise of the character, but it's a character I played, who is a young teenage girl who's Latina. Wow. Every piece of whatever, if it's a toy or if it's clothing, it means so much to me and I do wear it. Some people might just leave it in the closet, but I do wear it. I go out and I wear the backpack, even though it looks like I'm like a little kindergartener, I wear it [Laughs].

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now available on Digital and will be released on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD July 26.

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