Rachel McAdams does a beautiful job of portraying Doctor Christine Palmer in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange is in theaters November 4, 2106.
Dr. Christine Palmer is a highly skilled trauma surgeon, who is not only Dr. Strange’s colleague but a friend as well. When the devastating accident that crippled Strange’s hands takes a toll on their relationship, Dr. Palmer comes to realize that Strange needs to rediscover his worth on his own. But she never dreamed of the unlikely path that he would one day walk—or how it would come crashing back into her own life.
She sat down with 25 bloggers at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills and freely answered all of our questions about bringing Dr. Palmer to life, working on the Doctor Strange set and super powers. She walked in and her whole being immediately lit up. We knew this was going to be a fun interview.
How is it joining the Marvel universe?
It was everything I had hoped for and more really. I assumed I would be working with the crème de la crème and really and I was! It was just great to be in such great hands. Everything from costumes to everything was just so well done, so beautifully thought through and well-crafted. They didn’t even make me pretend that much with green screen. They had real things on fishing wires to actually try and scare me.
Have you seen the film?
I have, I’ve seen an early cut of the film. I think the effects were about halfway done but they were still mind blowing. It was so great, so trippy. I loved how trippy it was.
Were you a Marvel fan prior to doing the role?
I hadn’t read the Dr. Strange comics growing up. I was reading Judy Blume and stuff like that. But yeah, but I’ve since educated myself. The Dr. Strange ones are so different from the other comics which is nice. I mean, I love the movies but I hadn’t read a lot of the comics.
You’re playing a doctor. Did you do some research there or was there anything specific you did?
I’m a little funny when it comes to blood and guts and stuff like that. My mom is a nurse so I’d kind of grown up with medicine which is probably why I became an actress instead. But I did get to shadow some amazing brain surgeons, a female brain surgeon in Toronto, another surgeon in London. And then we had a surgeon onset every day. He taught me to do sutures and was practicing on turkey breasts, raw turkey breasts.
Oranges, that was a little more easier to take in my purse so I could practice wherever I went. I read this really great book called ‘Do No Harm’ by Henry Marsh who is a world-famous brain surgeon. I don’t know if anybody has read it but it was just a phenomenal book and really like eye-opening when it comes to you know being your own advocate when it comes to your health.
And I thought it was so funny…he said ‘The number of people who don’t ask me how many times I’ve actually done the surgery I’m about to do on them is extraordinary.’ So it gave me some good insight into things, questions to ask if I was ever in that position. One of the doctors offered to take me up in the Evac helicopter for the weekend. So cool, right? But I’m terrified of flying. And I have a weak stomach. I actually think for the sake of everyone I should decline this really generous offer. So I didn’t unfortunately get over my fear and do that. But I’m just worried I was going to be fainting in the corner of the helicopter and causing problems. And I became kind of obsessed with the suturing. It was like, almost like knitting. I just took it everywhere with me and would put it on a doorknob. I think I looked little crazy but it was fun.
What was it like to be in scrubs with everyone else all in superhero costume?
I loved it. So comfortable. I got to wear orthopedic running shoes every day. And I was a little jealous of the levitation cloak but I was happy to be comfortable.
Did you ever put it on?
No! You couldn’t touch that thing. Sacred cloak. No, I just got to look at it.
How do you prepare to get genuinely startled?
You hope they get it on the first one because that is usually startling, the first time. And then you just kind of fake it the rest of the time. Like I said, they were very kind and helpful. I was never quite sure where the startling was coming from or the sounds were coming from. I’m also a total scaredy-cat in real life. So you know it’s not a far stretch for me.
Your character is so intensely emotional in the film. Is there a special memory or place that helps you to you draw on that emotion for the character?
Good question! I do think having a mother as a nurse who’s so compassionate and she really unfortunately would take her work home with her sometimes. I think Christine’s more that kind of character. So I think I kind of grew up with that a little bit and have great admiration for people who do that for a living. So I suppose, I drew from my mom a bit.
She did IV therapy. If she would miss someone’s vein and she just like beat herself up [mentally] so bad. I guess it was a little bit personal that way. But also you know Benedict is such an extraordinary actor that you just have to be present with him and it all kind of falls into place. We did a lot of crying together. We cried one day for eight hours straight, every single take.
Benedict is such an extraordinary actor that you just have to be present with him & it all kind of falls into… Click To Tweet
And I’ve never been able to do that before. It comes, it goes, it comes back again. But with him I mean he’s so emotionally available and present that I’d look at him and I’d start crying. It was just water works all day long. We both had these incredible headaches at the end of the day. I was like, Well we’re dehydrated you know.’ So I really have to you know give kudos to him for that.
How did you go about getting this role? And when you found out that you got it what was your reaction?
Oh, I was just over the moon. I met with Scott [Derrickson] and he was just so incredibly passionate and you know, a self-proclaimed comic geek. I think that’s who you want at the helm of something like this. It was so personal for him. I just knew he was the right guy for it and that I’d be great hands. You know that Marvel would be so supportive as well. So, yeah I was just, I was just excited at the possibilities.
Was there a scene or maybe scenes during filming where you had to work just all by yourself? And is it hard for you to be in this environment surrounded by green, blue screens? Or did your role actually always have somebody there in place of Benedict?
That’s a good question. I wasn’t alone very much. I wasn’t alone as much as I thought it would be. They actually, there was a dummy, because there were times when Benedict had to be on wires but there also needed to be his body on the table as well. So, the dummy was so lifelike that I would talk to it. I would squeeze his arm and be like, ‘Are you okay? You know like, you haven’t said anything in a while. Are you hungry? Can I get you something? You know most of the time I had someone or something that looked like someone and emotionally available as well.
So we know that this movie won’t be the end of Dr. strange, how do you feel about being further involved in the Marvel cinematic universe? And what would you like to see your character do if you had your choice?
Oh, I want my own cloak. I haven’t really thought about it because it’s really is sort of to be determined. I think the success of the film determines that. So we’ll see. I loved being a part of it so of course you know I would be more than happy to go forward with it.
Is there a superpower that you either have or is there a superpower that you would like to have?
I don’t have any superpowers. I don’t. I just don’t. I would like to be invisible because I’d love to go into people’s houses and see their interior decorating. When you’re driving at night and you can kind of see through the window and you think, ‘Oh that looks so cozy in there.’ I wish I could like get a free pass. Yeah, so that’s probably the one I’d pick. I’d be a total creeper about it.
Do you have a favorite moment from filming or from watching the film?
Here favorite moment will be revealed after the movie is released November 4!!! Book mark this page and come back to see!!
How does it feel for you to come into this knowing that you have a huge fan base that are not Marvel fans? You’re going to be bringing new people to the Marvel universe. That’s awesome. How does that feel for you?
I hope the #MeanGirls like #DoctorStrange says #RachelMcAdams at the #DoctorStrangeEvent Click To Tweet
I hope the mean girls like it.I really hope everyone loves it. I think Benedict couldn’t be a more perfect Dr. Strange in the universe that they could have chosen. I hope everyone will love what he’s done and take the ride.
Here are your 25 bloggers with the amazingly talented, Rachel McAdams. Thanks to Dusty at AsMomSeesIt for being our in house photographer.
But there is more!
Marvel Studios Teams Up With Save The Children to Raise Fund Through Hero Acts
Marvel Studios has a very exciting announcement! With the help of Fotition, Marvel fans can upload a photo of themselves in their favorite super hero pose and Marvel will donate $5 to Save The Children. This activation runs through the end of 2016 or until fans have uploaded enough for Marvel to donate one million dollars.
Hear from Benedict Cumberbatch himself:
Marvel Studios will donate five dollars ($5) to Save the Children. Up to U.S. one million dollars, for every fan who uploads a photo of themselves in their favorite Marvel hero pose. Marvel Studios is collaborating with Fotition, a new social change platform, to power the experience on a brand-new website MarvelStudiosHeroActs.
Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE is in theaters everywhere on November 4th!