Xochitl Gomez On The Future Of America Chavez In The Marvel Cinematic Universe [Interview]

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After raking in nearly a billion dollars worldwide and breaking viewership records on Disney+, Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has finally arrived on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD this week. With the MCU sequel making its physical media debut, the studio provided /Film with the chance to have an exclusive 1:1 with the movie's young breakout star, Xochitl Gomez ("The Baby-Sitters Club"), who plays the multiverse-hopping America Chavez

With the fourth, fifth, and sixth phases of the MCU now officially known as "The Multiverse Saga," it's a safe bet that Chavez and her particular set of skills will play a huge part in what's to come. Gomez spoke to us about some of those future possibilities, including which characters she'd like to be paired with and how her new pals at Kamar-Taj figure into things. Also be sure to check out our previous excerpt from the interview where Gomez discusses a major change that happened during reshoots on "Multiverse of Madness." 

Warning: Spoilers for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" ahead.

'People love America and want to see more of her'

You're in a billion dollar movie, not to mention all the play its getting on Disney+ and now Blu-ray. From the many people who have seen "Multiverse of Madness," what's been your favorite fan reaction to America so far?

Ooh, that's a good one. Just in general, the fact that people love America and want to see more of her. That's just so heartwarming to know that people actually really enjoy the character and want to see more of her.

The MCU as we know it was formed and announced the year you were born, so you literally have not known a world where the MCU wasn't a part of it. Besides now being a place where you punch a time clock, what does the MCU mean to you?

When I was growing up, I literally idolized all the superheroes and the actors and actresses. It means so much to me that I get to work with them, because I literally had action figures of them. To think that I get to call it my job and say that these are people I work with is an honor. Also the MCU is so good at telling stories. It's not just watching superheroes and watching things blow up in the background, but there's actually a story to them, and that's what I admire most about Marvel.

'He loves gardening'

Likewise, Sam Raimi has been directing movies since the year I was born, and there's a lot of people out there like me who think we know what a Sam Raimi movie is. But you've worked with the man. What's something about Sam as a moviemaker that you experienced that his fans might not realize?

I'm not sure if people realize this ... I mean, there's a few little things about Sam that people don't really realize, but one little thing he does is that when he gets a shot he really likes and he thinks that's the one, he likes it — it is approved by Sam Raimi — he'll get to the edge of the seat and he'll be like, "CUT! CUT IT NOW!" in this old-timey voice, which is so Sam Raimi. One little other note is that he loves growing avocados, so he has different types of avocado trees and he's a big guy in gardening, he loves gardening. I think you might not have known that about him, but there you go.

That would explain why there's a very long gardening scene at the beginning of the movie.


'She has a place that she can feel like she belongs'

At the end of the movie, America's joined the same mystic order as Doctor Strange and Wong, training to become a sorcerer. How do you see a character like America, who's been on her own for so long, adjusting to being within a group dynamic like that?

Yeah, we see her at Kamar-Taj and she's learning the mystic arts, which is really cool because it's different than her actual own powers. But I think it's important that she has some kind of structure and discipline with Wong. I'm glad that she's spending time there, and she has a place that she can feel like she belongs, and has a home. I think that's needed after all that loneliness.

Oh, that's interesting. So you see that as something she's been craving to be part of — a kind of surrogate family.

A little bit, yeah. Getting taken away from your family like that is really hard. It's not something that you realize you're going to lose. It's something that you crave because it was just kind of taken away.

We get a brief glimpse of that loss in the flashback to her home dimension, the Utopian Parallel, but then there's a lot to fill in between America as a little girl and America as a teenager, not least where she got that jean jacket. What do you know of that in-between time and how she scraped an existence together hopping through dozens of dimensions?

I didn't know too much. I was going off the script, so I knew that she had obviously gone through 72 universes and she's met lots of people and lots of trauma and so she obviously keeps her guard up and has trust issues. Whatever story comes after this movie, I think she's got lots of backstory that's just waiting to be told, and I think she's got a lot more to discover about herself and her powers and her moms, obviously. Whatever comes next, hopefully we get to explore some of that.

Obviously going to find her moms is going to be huge part of her overall arc.

Huge thing for her, yeah.

'I find Loki really exciting'

The special sauce of the MCU is its ability to mix-and-match its characters. With the Multiverse Saga only just beginning, who would be your personal preferred character or characters to team up with in the future?

Characters, oooh. I find Loki really exciting, to see that mischievous side, but also I'm a really big fan of Florence Pugh so ... that too! There are so many new characters that I would love to work with, like the actors and actresses I'd love to work with, but also seeing the characters as a fan, just seeing them interact would be really fun.

I can see you and Loki being really fun. I mean, he would obviously see you as no different from a Cosmic Cube or something he could exploit for his own ends.


Like America Chavez, a lot of actors these days are hopping from one franchise to another. You see Marvel actors in DC movies or Star Wars movies, and vice versa. Is there another franchise besides Marvel you'd like to dip your toe into?

That's a good question. I know there's a few franchises that I'm a fan of, but Hunger Games ... obviously "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" is shooting, so I'm telling you right off the bat I'm not in that! I'm not in that. (laughs) But I would love to be in a Hunger Games movie just because I love Katniss Everdeen, and the Hunger Games series is so good. Just know that when that movie comes out I will be in the theater watching that opening day. I will be sitting there with everybody else.

Worse comes to worst, you'll get to work with a Hawkeye or two.

Yes. (laughs)

'I would literally have lunch and then go back into a harness'

In "Assembled: The Making of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," the stunt guys said this movie had an extensive amount of wire work, even for a Marvel movie. How long after a meal can you be put in one of those harnesses?

It's really funny because for some of the scenes, I would literally have lunch and then go back into a harness. I'd have to eat lunch with my harness, just sitting in this chair with my harness undone and just a mess, but it's my job. One thing that really helped was doing warm ups and also core exercises right before doing whatever it is, because it got my core used to the fact that I'm gonna have to use that. I remember the first time I had to do some kind of wirework and then involve my core. I was like, "Oh, I got to work on that because that is a very important part of all of this." Just being able to know that you can own it, but also making sure that you can hold your body in that weird position is work.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is available now on home video.