Get to Know Xóchitl Gomez, Marvel's 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' Breakout Star

From the meaning behind Xóchitl Gomez's name to why she got banned on TikTok, here's everything to know about the actress playing MCU's newest superhero

Xochitl Gomez
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/WireImage

Xóchitl Gomez is impacting lives for the better both on and off the screen.

The 16-year-old rising star might be known for kicking butts and saving lives as America Chavez in Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — but to Gomez, playing the superhero means so much more.

"She is a powerful, smart, charismatic, queer Latina," Gomez told People En Español. "The fact that she is on the screen and is important to the story will make people feel seen in a way that they have never been."

Prior to nabbing the role of a lifetime — in which she stars alongside Academy Award-winner Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, and Rachel McAdams — Gomez had gotten attention for her roles in young adult TV series.

Xochitl Gomez
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

The actress dabbled in commercials prior to landing television and film roles like Raven's Home in 2018 and Shadow Wolves in 2019, respectively. It wasn't until 2020 that the then 12 year old at the time landed her big break in Netflix's reboot of The Baby-Sitters Club.

Gomez played Dawn Schafer in the series, but left after season 1 due to scheduling conflicts with Marvel. Her character was recast for season 2 before Netflix terminated its run on the platform.

Between Gomez's love of skateboarding and getting banned on TikTok, here's everything to know about the actress on the rise.

Xóchitl Gomez's name means 'flower'

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Gomez is a California native from Los Angeles born to parents of Mexican descent in 2006. Her first name, "Xóchitl," is pronounced "So-Chee" and means "flower" in Nahuatl, an indigenous language of Mexico.

Xóchitl Gomez's Multiverse of Madness character was written for her

Xochitl Gomez
Marvel Studios; Marvel

Gomez didn't think she had a shot when she first auditioned for Multiverse of Madness because she was 13 years old at the time and the role of America was originally written for a young adult around the age of 18.

A month later, the actress was invited to audition again — but this time, for a reimagined, younger version of the character similar to Gomez's youthful self.

Xochitl Gomez
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

In order to "blow [the casting directors'] minds," the aspiring black belt put her martial arts skills and knowledge to use and stunt trained "every other day for hours," Gomez told Entertainment Weekly.

"She brought a spirit or freshness of youth, of not going to take Doctor Strange's guff," director Sam Raimi told the outlet. "She has a little bit of a flippant quality to her, which I really like. She's got a lot of spirit."

Diversity is important to Xóchitl Gomez

Xochitl Gomez
Xochitl Gomez/Instagram

Playing the role of America, Marvel Cinematic Universe's first queer Latina superhero, means a lot to Gomez for more reasons than one. The actress told Elite Daily that she didn't have many Latina role models to look up to when she was younger due to a lack of diverse representation on screen, and she now hopes to inspire other young girls like her.

"Rarely having representation on screen except for Selena Gomez and Dora [the Explorer], I'm proud of America Chavez and I'm very excited to bring her to the MCU," Gomez said. "What I love is that she's a leader and a problem solver; she just happens to be a lesbian, but it doesn't have to be the focus."

Xochitl Gomez
Marvel Studios

In addition, Gomez is an advocate for inclusion of age in the entertainment industry as well, especially the importance for "teens to feel represented as teens," she told Variety of her character, who was written to be 14 (in a departure from the comics). "I feel like teens don't really get that much representation because they have like 20 year olds playing 15 year olds, so what's better than an actual 14 year old playing 14, right?"

Xóchitl Gomez's TikTok got banned

Xochitl Gomez
Xochitl Gomez/Instagram

Despite all the positivity generated around the LGBTQ representation Gomez's America brings into the MCU — the character hasn't been well received everywhere, and the actress has been the one taking the heat.

Not only was the Multiverse of Madness film itself banned in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but Gomez's TikTok account was banned as well due to the amount of hate comments she received.

She ultimately got her account back, posted a video, and acknowledged the situation head on. "I thought it was only right to post a TikTok of (me saying) nothing can break me down, I'm going to stay strong, just keep going because it's very important for young teenagers to have a positive person to look up to," Gomez told News 18.

The actress told Elite Daily, "I try to stay honest about who I am, and I'm grateful to have very supportive fans that are much louder and more enthusiastic than a few haters" — though the social media ban was "really hard to ignore."

Xóchitl Gomez likes to skateboard

Xochitl Gomez
Xochitl Gomez/Instagram

When Gomez isn't on set, memorizing lines, or training for roles, she enjoys skateboarding in her spare time — and has even shared the learning process on her Instagram with a few videos. Though it's a fun hobby for her, she has to keep it low-key so an injury doesn't derail her career.

"I do a little bit of skateboarding, but ever since I started getting some roles, I was like, 'I can't really injure myself here,'" Gomez told Marvel Entertainment at the Spider-Man: No Way Home premiere. "So I just graze a little bit."

Xóchitl Gomez has her own action figure

Xochitl Gomez
Xochitl Gomez/TikTok

Between playing an MCU superhero and starring alongside some of Hollywood's most A-list actors, there have been many perks that come with the job — but one of the most exciting (and unique) for the actress had to be when she found out she'd be getting her own action figure.

"Benedict was there when I first saw it," Gomez said of her Doctor Strange costar, Benedict Cumberbatch, on the Kelly Clarkson Show.

As Cumberbatch recalled, "I was on set when she first got [the action figure]. I get reams of approvals for figurines and action figures… [Xochitl] gets it and and goes, 'Oh my god!' and just bursts into tears."

Gomez shared the news on TikTok with a fun stop-motion video of her America Chavez figurine dancing.

Xóchitl Gomez got her acting start in theater

Xochitl Gomez
Xochitl Gomez/Instagram

Before Gomez picked up roles in television and film, she discovered her love for acting through theater at a very young age.

"When I was five, my mom put me in musical theater class and I absolutely loved it," Gomez told People En Español. "I was always in a show or rehearsing. I did it from [when I was] five to 12 years old, so I've done like 22 full-length musicals, which is pretty insane."

She also touts theater as a helpful place to get started in acting, per her Instagram. The actress noted that she wasn't always the lead; her first role was a horse (with no lines)!

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