Here we bring you the fourth part of the exclusive interview with Xochitl Gomez to talk about his role America Chavez in the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The sequel used quite a few physical sets for filming, rather than relegating everything to the use of CGI. This often makes things easier for actors when it comes to acting, and in Gomez’s case, it was no different.
Yes. A lot of the scenes we did take place on real sets. As an actress it helps me a lot because it’s more natural and believable to have real people and things that you can touch. Closing a real door is much better than doing it in an empty space. It’s much more difficult when you only have a mark, like an X painted on the ground. This is how you see actors behind the scenes on YouTube, in front of a green screen on a giant stage. We’ve done it many times and it’s fun, but it’s not the same as acting with something real.
When there are monsters chasing us, it’s much easier to imagine them in these real sets. Even though it’s actually a huge stick with a tennis ball on it, at least there’s the set, close to you and the actor and extras are terrified. Add more realism. Having a preview of what the monster looks like helps too.
When asked if shooting the action scenes was difficult for her, the actress replied as follows:
Well, it’s a Marvel Studios movie. You know there’s going to be a lot of action and this movie is no slouch in that regard. Specialists are very good professionals. They make everything look real. They are fantastic. Both stuntmen and cast spend a lot of time hanging from wires.
It was the first time I was tied with cables. It took me a while to get used to being dangled twenty feet up and having to perform. When you’ve been up there for two minutes, you start to think and look down. But the truth is that my case fit with what was shooting.
If she was really scared then all the better, because it seemed even more believable and natural. We started physical training before the shoot. I had to work my back and abs because when you have to jump and run and do a lot of cable work, having enough strength is a must. I watched a lot of videos on YouTube and exercise videos.
It’s tricky to wear a harness, especially when you’re on the fretboard. The fretboard takes almost all the gravity out of you. Lizzie does it very often and spends a lot of time on the fretboard. I started out doing some of Wanda’s moves. I had to do it for about five minutes, but then I needed to take a break.
One thing his character does a lot in the film is yell, something that sounds silly but requires preparation and some care for the voice.
The most curious thing is that I did not know that I was going to scream so much in this movie. When I passed the screen test, there was no screaming. I just thought it was going to be your typical Marvel Studios movie. But with Sam Raimi things always go out of the ordinary. So it’s going to be great. He hadn’t yelled in a long time so when he asked me to do it I needed to put a lot of courage into it. One day I came to the set and put Lizzie Olsen’s technique into practice. I breathed for a couple of minutes before they said action, and I yelled at the top of my lungs. I can’t believe what I’ve done because I’ve never had a role like this before. I’m so glad Sam thought he could do it.
I’m sure there are amazing methods, but I’m just yelling. At first, when I started screaming, my throat itched and burned. So tea with honey, lemon and ginger was always on hand. But since I’ve done it so many times, I think I’ve been getting better and it doesn’t hurt anymore.
Aside from shooting the movie, some of the cast and crew would do dance battles on set, and the actress tells us a few stories about it.
The truth is that I don’t think there is anything better than the three of them dancing at the same time. I mean it’s tremendously epic. But Benedict Wong, who I call Benny, is absolutely amazing. He carries a huge loudspeaker does not stop jumping. It’s like a traveling rave party. They all go crazy. We get to dance, and it’s pretty epic.
Benedict does some very graceful moves. But I think my movements are a bit more graceful. Although he is an award-winning actor, I think he could beat him in that field thanks to TikTok. I’ve been teaching him some moves and I hope that one day he will outdo me. But he learns very quickly. It scares me that one day he comes to work and knows all the dance steps.
You can read part 1 of the interview here, part 2 here and part 3 here.