Rachel McAdams Explains Doctor Strange and Christine Palmer’s Romance

doctor strange christine palmer

Although there might be some other Marvel couples and love interests that capture Marvel fans’ attention more than Doctor Stephen Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. Christine Palmer (played by Rachel McAdams) in Doctor Strange and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the couple is starting to become a new favorite after fans have seen them in the Doctor Strange sequel this summer!

Rachel McAdams recently spoke to about Christine and Stephen’s status as star-crossed lovers. Spoiler alert: go see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before reading any further!

Now that you’ve seen the Doctor Strange sequel, you know that Doctor Stephen Strange and Doctor Christine Palmer sadly do not seem to end up together in any universe within the multiverse (and the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Doctor Strange confesses that he loves Christine in every universe, but it never seems to work out between them and the couple says goodbye as Christine gets married to another man.

The Mean Girls actress called the two characters’ goodbye “a beautifully written scene” that was “simple and straightforward” without any “bells and whistles.”

“Doctor Strange wasn’t trying to dance his way out of something,” the Notebook actress explained. “He was just so vulnerable, naked, and honest. It was heartbreaking and beautiful, and Benedict [Cumberbatch] played it so perfectly. It makes me cry every time.”


Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Credit:

We see in the Marvel movie that Christine Palmer keeps the watch that has been a special token of her relationship with Stephen Strange, even after they say goodbye.

“Part of her keeping the watch is a lot of unfinished business,” McAdams elaborated. “It’s a lot of trying to process the trauma she went through with him, but also hope there’s going to be a resolution within herself or from out in the world somewhere. When another Stephen shows up, she can’t help wondering if…. It’s hard not to transfer her love for the old Stephen and her desire for things to be different onto this Stephen. It’s very human for her to do that.”

Doctor Strange was often self-centered and distant, which was a big part of the couple’s problems. As Palmer said to Strange, he always felt he had to be “holding the knife”, at the expense of Christine and others around him.


(L-R): Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Credit:

But, McAdams added, “even when you’re betrayed, it’s almost harder to let go of someone who’s done you wrong. You kind of cling to them even tighter.”


‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ film poster. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams. Credit: Marvel Studios

We can see in the Marvel film that Christine Palmer gets a happy ending with another man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Doctor Stephen Strange does have a new love interest in the form of Clea, Charlize Theron’s character — so although some fans will mourn the love of Strange and Palmer, others might see the ending as a bittersweet change on a pathway to different loves for both characters!

Wanda and Doctor Strange

The Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) and Doctor Stephen Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) in ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Credit: Marvel Entertainment

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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