American actress Xochitl Gomez portrayed Marvel superhero America Chavez in the 2022 film ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.’
Who Is Xochitl Gomez?
Xochitl Gomez has been acting since she was 5, when her mother enrolled her in a musical theater class. She went on to appear in 22 full-length musicals. Her acting resumé also includes commercials, film work and television roles. At 12, she played Dawn Schafer in a Netflix reboot of “The Baby-Sitters Club.” In 2020, Gomez landed the role of Marvel superhero America Chavez for the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Chavez, who made her first comics appearance in 2011, is a queer Latina. Gomez, who is of Mexican descent, has been pleased to help expand onscreen representation.
When Was Xochitl Gomez Born?
Xochitl Gomez was born in Los Angeles, California, on April 29, 2006.
How to Pronounce Xochitl Gomez’s First Name
The name Xochitl is pronounced, “Soh-chee.”
Gomez lived in Hollywood until she was 5 years old, then moved to the Echo Park section of Los Angeles. Her parents are of Mexican descent—her father is from Morelos, Mexico, and her mother is from Los Angeles—and spoke Spanish at home.
Growing up, Gomez played with other kids of Mexican heritage and had a Mexican babysitter. However, she didn’t see her world reflected in the media she consumed. “I grew up rarely seeing girls on-screen that looked like me or shared my culture,” she told Teen Vogue in 2022.
Start as an Actress
Gomez started acting at age 5 when her mother enrolled her in a musical theater class. The first production she appeared in was The Little Mermaid. “I absolutely loved being on stage,” she said of the experience.
By the time she was 12, Gomez had been in 22 full-length musicals. She began trying out for commercials at the age of 10. Her early credits also include approximately 13 student films.
“My mom would drive me around L.A. for hours every day after school, taking me to auditions. Sometimes we would have like four or five a day, it was crazy,” Gomez said of her mother, who was very supportive of her acting. As Gomez became busier, her mother quit her job to be more available for her daughter.
In 2019, Gomez landed a lead role as Dawn Schafer on Netflix’s reboot of “The Baby-Sitters Club.” She was excited that the character’s ethnicity was changed to make the show more diverse. “Latina girls tell me that they finally see someone who looks like them on TV and that it means so much,” she shared in a 2020 interview.
Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe
In February 2020, Gomez auditioned for an upcoming Marvel project, though she felt she was unlikely to get the role since the character was 18 and she was just 13 at the time. At her second audition six months later, Gomez learned that the character had been made younger and believed she now stood a better chance at landing the role.
Gomez prepared for the second audition by adding kickboxing and stunt training to a workout regimen that already included martial arts. She told Entertainment Weekly she did this “so that if I potentially got a test audition, I could blow their minds.”
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A few days after screen testing in London with Benedict Cumberbatch, Gomez was officially cast as America Chavez—the popular Latina American LGBTQ+ character who first appeared in Marvel comics in 2011.
In October 2020, news broke that Gomez was to set portray Chavez in the upcoming movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. She became the first Mexican-American teen to play a superhero in the Marvel cinematic universe.
Gomez told People en Español that she was delighted to embody the character. “She is a powerful, smart, charismatic, queer Latina. 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. I am waiting for the day when this kind of representation is so normal.”
Gomez was 14 during filming, the same age as the character she was playing. She held her own in scenes with stars like Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen and Benedict Wong.
The one downside to the role was it left Gomez unable to appear in the second season of “The Baby-Sitters Club.” The series was being made in Canada at the same time the movie was filming in England, and the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to fly between the two countries.
In Multiverse of Madness, Chavez’s two mothers appear in one scene. This content resulted in the film being banned in countries like Saudi Arabia and China.
Gomez was glad the scene wasn’t cut. However, her connection to the content led to online vitriol, and her TikTok account was temporarily banned. “I got my TikTok back and I posted a TikTok because I know that I do have a very strong young following,” Gomez explained. “So 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 can be seen dancing on TikTok and on Instagram.
Movies and TV Shows
In addition to her roles on “The Baby-Sitters Club” and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Gomez also had a role on Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ (2020). In addition, she has appeared on the show ‘You’re the Worst’ (2014), the action movie Shadow Wolves (2019) and the romantic film Roped (2020).
Gomez intends to continue working in the entertainment industry. “I want to achieve directing, writing, editing and acting on a film or TV. I know I have to start now, writing tiny movies and start on that,” she said in 2020.
In 2022, she reflected on her goals. “I’ve been thinking about what all the other Marvel actors have done, like indie movies, but also large stage movies too. I’m thinking about following in their footsteps, but I do have some ideas for music videos that I’d like to shoot for artists that I really like just because lots of the directors that I like started in music videos. So, that just seems like a good way to start. Also just through TikTok, I’m like directing my own dance videos and montages. I find so much joy in that.”