If you saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, you probably were wondering … who the heck is that teenager with epic powers? Meet Xochitl Gomez.

Xochitl (pronounced soh-chee) is an American teen actress with a few acting jobs under her belt already! Other than starring as America Chavez in the Marvel Universe, she also starred as Dawn Schaefer in Netflix’s season 1 of The Baby-Sitters Club. Other work she’s been in include Raven’s Home, Gentefied, Shadow Wolves and Roped.

The young actress, 16, has been thrust into the spotlight after her massive role in Doctor Strange, which shows vital representation as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first queer, Latina superhero. “[America will] make people feel seen in a way that they never have before,” Xochitl told Teen Vogue.

“I feel like America represents so much in the MCU. I’m excited for the world to meet America Chavez because she’s a powerful, smart, charismatic, queer Latina, and the fact that Marvel brought her from the comics to the MCU is really exciting.”

Another aspect Xochitl thought was an enormous thing for the franchise to add was a teen lead — young stars in the MCU are few and far between, especially with Hollywood’s habit of casting adults as teens. She especially wanted to ensure her character’s youth “didn’t get lost in all the adult conversations and all the adults” in the film.

A long with aged up actors, Xochitl shared that her experience growing up and watching media often did not portray anyone that looked like her. “In the past, Latinas were often portrayed with negative stereotypes… It’s great to see more diversity on-screen than what I had growing up,” she said. “I think you feel if movies or TV shows are being made and about people that have similar cultures and heritage that you have, it validates you and it makes you feel like your story matters and that your life is important. Everybody has a better understanding of others outside their culture when you get a chance to see their stories on-screen.”

Scroll through our gallery for an introduction to Xochitl and everything we know about the newest Marvel star.

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