'Doctor Strange 2' 's Xochitl Gomez on Bringing More Latina Representation to the MCU: 'I'm Really Happy'

"Even though literally the entire world is against her, she's hopeful and you want to root for her," Xochitl Gomez tells PEOPLE about playing America Chavez in Doctor Strange 2

Photo: Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios

Xochitl Gomez is taking the multiverse by storm.

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the 16-year-old Los Angeles native stars as America Chavez, a young teen with the rare ability to travel the multiverse.

While joining the MCU is a huge career moment for Gomez, she tells PEOPLE that in many ways, her role as the young Latina superhero was written in the stars.

Years before working with Disney, Gomez actually got her start doing a production of The Little Mermaid. "It was my first musical, and I absolutely loved being on stage," she says. "I did 22 full-length musicals and at 10, I was like, 'Oh, maybe let's try this commercial thing.'"

At age 13, she booked Netflix's The Baby-Sitters Club, and the following year, she scored her role in the Doctor Strange sequel.

In another twist of fate, Gomez was the same age as America Chavez when she shot the Marvel film.

"What's really amazing about her is that in the MCU version of America, she's 14 years old and I was 14 when I shot it," she says. "So [I was literally] playing my age and that's a really big deal because [a lot] of teens don't get to feel represented because [there are] 20-year-olds playing 15-year-olds."

"What I also loved [about playing America] is that she's resilient and she is charismatic," she adds of her character. "Even though literally the entire world is against her, she's hopeful and you want to root for her. That's a really positive representation for Latinas and teens."

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios

In addition to bringing America to the screen for the first time, one of Gomez's favorite parts about filming was working alongside stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Benedict Wong (Wong), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda), the latter of whom Gomez says she was "literally in awe" of on set.

Being new to the MCU, Gomez reveals her costars were super supportive during filming. "One of my first days, Benedict Wong knocked on my trailer door, gave me his phone number, and was just like, 'I'm here for you if you ever want to talk. If you feel a little overwhelmed, I'm here for you,'" she recalls.

"That was really sweet because as a 14-year-old girl, I was just like, 'Oh my God. This is a lot.' It's such a huge character and [it's a] big responsibility. It was really sweet to have that support."

Xochitl Gomez
Jon Kopaloff/WireImage

Born to parents of Mexican descent, Gomez is excited to bring more Latina representation to the screen, both as America Chavez and in any future roles she takes on.

"When I played Dawn [on The Baby-Sitters Club] I got messages from young Latina girls that would just absolutely pour their hearts out saying, 'I see myself because you're there, and I've never felt that way before.'"

"I don't cry very much, but when I would read some of those [messages], I was just like, 'Wow. This is really making a difference to people,'" she continues. "I'm really happy I get to do that on this bigger level in the MCU, and other young Latina girls get to do that as well, so that it just becomes this normal thing that Latinas are a huge part of the story as well."

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