Last year at this time, it was revealed that Amy Landecker, who is best known for starring in the Emmy-winning series Transparent, had joined the cast of Marvel's Doctor Strange. At that time, no details were provided about her role, and even after I saw the film on Thursday, I couldn't have told you who she played because I couldn't recall seeing her in it. Well, there's a good reason behind that.
"I have to preface this by saying I was at an event and someone said that I was in the credits. So, it’s possible that I’m still in this film," Landecker told The AV Club. "But to my knowledge, I was cut out of this film. But I don’t know. [Laughs.] So basically, the way Marvel works is, you don’t get to read the script at all. And I did audition for this part, so I knew it was a doctor in a surgical kind of scene, and I knew it was with Benedict, and she flirts with him a little and it was kind of fun. And there was a take where they had me put a mask on. But I thought that was just to kind of see what I looked like in a mask. Which is one of those funny Hollywood things, as if it was going to change whether or not I got cast. [Laughs.]"
Now that she mentions it, I think she may have been the female character in the opening surgery scene that marvels at Dr. Stephen Strange's ability to listen to a song and quickly the name the artist/band and the year it was recorded.
After her audition, she was told she got the part and would need to set aside three weeks for filming in England. When that time came, she did her hair and makeup test and was given a costume, consisting of a surgical mask, scrubs, and a cap. "There will not be a moment in the film where I do not have the mask on my face," the 47-year-old actress explained. "So I’m finding out… 'Okay, so my performance is my eyes. Okay. I’m humble. Okay, I’m still in a Marvel movie. It’s still really exciting.'"
She was also informed that she would get a crash-course in brain surgery, but when that moment arrived, she learned that her character isn't a surgeon. And they’re like, 'Oh no, you’re an anesthesiologist. You’re not actually a surgeon. So you don’t really participate in the surgery, and you sit off to the side at this console and you sort of just push buttons,'" she shared. "So now I’m like, okay, great, I’m in England. It took about five minutes to do my hair and makeup test and learn how to perform surgery. And I waited until everyone came. And yeah, it was really fun. And Benedict Cumberbatch is super lovely. And sexy. And kind. And it was fun doing this little scene with him."
When it came time for the second part of her shoot — since she didn't have any lines and her character would have her back to the camera — Landecker asked to not be included in the scene, so she could attend a special Transparent premiere at the White House. Marvel honored her request.
So, why did Marvel pursue her to begin with? Landecker later found out that director Scott Derrickson really enjoyed her performance as Mrs. Samsky in 2009's A Serious Man, especially the chemistry she had with Michael Stuhlberg — who played Nicodemus West in Doctor Strange.
"I couldn’t figure out why I was invited in the first place," she said. "I was like, “What am I doing here? They flew someone from LA. I feel like someone local could have easily played this.” So it turned out that the director was a really big A Serious Man fan. And Michael Stuhlberg was in that second scene. So, the whole thing was kind of a fun 'let’s get Michael Stuhlberg and Amy back together' in Doctor Strange.'"
From Marvel comes DOCTOR STRANGE, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place – a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange – armed with newly acquired magical powers – is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence. Join Strange on his dangerous, mystifying, and totally mind-bending journey.
The cast features Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Into Darkness, The Imitation Game), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale), and Tilda Swinton (The Grand Budapest Hotel).
The film is directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister) and written by Derrickson, Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), and C. Robert Cargill (Sinister).
Marvel's Doctor Strange is produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth, Stephen Broussard and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.
Marvel's Doctor Strange will cast a spell on audiences November 4, 2016.