The first season of Undone debuts on Amazon Prime today, bringing to life a truly unique animated series. At the center of the eight-episode narrative is Alma (Rosa Salazar), a disaffected young woman who learns that she has a unique relationship with space and time after getting into a car accident. The series deals with anxiety, family, grief, love, disability, and existential dread with astonishing ease, accompanied by the show's unique rotoscoping animation style. As the Alita: Battle Angel and American Horror Story alum revealed to ComicBook.com during this summer's San Diego Comic-Con, filming the series made her look at her life in a whole new way. Mild spoilers for the first episode of Undone below!
"I was at a point, which I come to a lot in my life, so it wasn't the first time I had reached this juncture in my life." Salazar explains in our interview, which you can check out above. "But I was at another one of those points where I was fed up with the monotony and the patterns of life. And I am constantly searching, is there more? There must be more. There must be."
"There was. This show," added series co-creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg.
"And it was this show!" Salazar added. "And I got an excuse to delve into that stuff and call it research. And write it off on my taxes. No. But I did peak behind the curtain on this show and it terrified me. I mean, I experienced about a fraction of what Alma experiences in this show. I did have a moment where I truly, I was exhausted and I truly did question the nature of my reality. It was just for a split second, and it was terrifying."
As Salazar later explained, the intimate scale of Undone's production - with very specific sets used to achieve the pre-rotoscoped performances - led to her briefly having a bit of an existential crisis.
"I was working all day, we shot 23 pages in one day." Salazar revealed. "Which is crazy! Anyone who works in the business knows that you don't, you shoot about an eighth of a page to three pages a day, then you go home. But the way we shoot, it's very much a set up like this. And it's like black-box theater. So you're able to just keep going. Wheeling in flats, wheeling out doors, wheeling in tables, wheeling in the bed for the bedroom scene.
"There wasn't a lot of set up of shots, because the backgrounds are going to be painted." Bob-Waksberg echoed. "It didn't have to be perfect."
"Background's painted, lights are always crude overhead to get everything lit." Salazar added. "So you're just going. I never sat down, never used my cast chair, never messed around on my phone. Like, that just wasn't what I wanted to do either. I really wanted to keep this thing alive. So we shot all day. I still had the bruise make-up on my face. I went home, I have three dogs and I'm like, I gotta walk these dogs. So I'm walking. I'm on a street, there's no lights. I'm in this total darkness and I'm just thinking about the day, and all of the emotions we went through. We had just done the car crash scene. I had been crying and then I'm breaking up with this person and I'm finding out this thing and then I'm dealing with my father and then I'm dealing with the charged relationship with my mother."
"And I was just so in it, and I just had this moment where I was like, 'What if Alma is real, and I'm [the] imagination?' Like, I've been imagined." Salazar continued. "And it really terrified me. I know it sounds hokey now. 'Cause we're in this room and it's like... But it really did terrify me. It sent a chill down my spine and like I said, I peeked behind that curtain just slightly and a fraction of what Alma sees. And I was terrified. And I didn't know for a second. And then I looked down and my dog was taking a huge dump. And I was like, 'Nah, this real!' This is real, this is real right now. God, I'm about to walk home with this bag of goodies! No, this is real. But I shit you not, pun intended, it was, it really did. And it started to happen more and more and more. We all have that Truman Show moment. Several times in our, am I the, am I? 'Cause you don't really, you don't know."