[The following story contains mild spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.]
It’s been nearly six years since Rachel McAdams appeared in Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strangebut she’s delighted to be back in a whole new way.
In the promotional material for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, McAdams’ Christine Palmer is shown in a wedding sequence, as well as in a futuristic lab. The answer to the latter setting, of course, lies in the Multiverse, as different realities and different versions of familiar characters are explored in Sam Raimi’s mind-bending sequel.
“She is part of the Multiverse. She is a Multiversal expert of sorts. She has a very different relationship with her version of Stephen Strange. He was quite corrupt in the end, so she’s coming into this film with a lot more baggage than the Christine Palmer of the film before,” McAdams tells The Hollywood Reporter at the press junket for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
In that recent conversation with THR, McAdams also discusses why she didn’t worry about whether she’d return to the MCU or not. Then she looks back at her two most iconic lines from her game night and Mean Girlsas well as her 2017 indie darling Disobedience.
Because it’s been six years since the first movie and so much has changed in the MCU, I was really worried that we wouldn’t get to see Dr. Christine Palmer again. So were you ever worried that you wouldn’t get the chance to play her again?
(laughs.) I can’t believe it’s been six years. It didn’t feel that long. I sort of try to go with the flow on these things, and it all works out for a reason. There are real masterminds at work with the MCU. So I just really enjoyed the experience of the first one for what it was, and it was just wonderful and exciting and surprising to be back again. So I just went into it with gratitude, and here we are.
What can you say about Christine’s role or roles in this movie?
(laughs.) So she is part of the Multiverse. She is a Multiversal expert of sorts. So she’s very much not an emergency room doctor anymore, and she has a very different relationship with her version of Stephen Strange. He was quite corrupt in the end, so she’s coming into this film with a lot more baggage than the Christine Palmer of the film before.
When you’re out and about, which quote do you hear more: “Oh no, he died!” or “Stop trying to make fetch happen…”?
(laughs.) “Stop trying to make fetch happen” is still in the lead.
Much like Christine Palmer, I’ve been waiting six years for [The Edge of Seventeen filmmaker] Kelly Fremon Craig’s second feature. So how was your experience on Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret?
It was such a wonderful experience. It was great to go from this big Marvel universe shoot in London to this incredibly small family, where Judy Blume is on set in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was such a different experience [than Doctor Strange 2], but not one better than the other. And Kelly runs a beautiful set. I had just had a baby, so it was a very mom-positive set to be on. Once again, I just felt so lucky to be invited on that journey to help tell that iconic story and bring this beloved book to the screen. It was really special, and I hope to make Judy proud.
I know how this sounds, but at the Black widow junket, scarlett johansson and i bonded over your movie disobedience.
I’m just trying to process what you just said to me. (laughs.)
Now that you’re a handful of years removed from it, what does that movie mean to you?
I love that movie exists. I thank Rachel Weisz every day for finding that story and getting herself behind it and bringing me along and trusting me to be her partner in that. It was such a positive experience for me. It was so creatively satisfying, and I got to dip into a world that I knew so little about. It’s made me a better person, I think. That maybe is overstating it a bit, but that’s one of those films that just stays with you forever. So it’s something that I’m really proud of.
Interview edited for length and clarity.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens in theaters on May 6.