How ‘Undone’ Allows Rosa Salazar to Be Her True Self

Amazon’s new original series Undone introduces the viewer to Alma. Rosa Salazar plays Alma, and then animators draw the show over her and her costars’ performances. It is a unique style of animation called rotoscoping, befitting a unique science fiction show. You see, Alma may have the power to time travel. Or, it may all be in her head. Either way, the viewer gets to go on the ride. 

Rosa Salazar
Rosa Salazar attends the #IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con 2019: | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

Kate Purdy co-created Undone with her Bojack Horseman producer Raphael Bob-Waksberg. Purdy and Salazar spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about how Alma’s struggles represent their experiences as women in the world. If that sounds like something you’d relate to as well, you can watch Undone streaming now on Amazon Prime.

‘Undone’ let Rosa Salazar drop the act

Rosa Salazar has been part of the Hollywood machine making movies like Alita: Battle Angel and the Maze Runner films. She’s also a human being who experiences social media. 

“It was incredibly cathartic and it was a relief,” Salazar said. “I think certainly for me in my day to day life, and I think for a lot of people, we’re all kind of posturing in one way or another to seem like totally okay, totally have it together, especially with social media. We’re all sort of presenting this better version of ourselves.”

Rosa Salazar in Undone
Rosa Salazar in Undone | Amazon

Playing Alma let her embrace her imperfect self.

“So to get to be the actual flawed person that I am through Alma was incredibly liberating and therapeutic for me,” Salazar said. “I’m sure it will be therapeutic for other people.”

‘Undone’ was therapeutic for Kate Purdy too

Kate Purdy had a breakdown years before. She incorporated that experience into Alma, and gathering a group of writers to write Undone helped her work through it even more.

Amazon’s original live-action/animated series Undone | Amazon

“Just to be able to sit in the writers room with people I love and trust and who love and trust me, and talk about our experiences and our hardships and our triumphs, it’s group therapy,” Purdy said. “ A writers room becomes a group therapy family space that’s fun and light but can also go very deep. To be able to do that and express that in the writing and artwork is tremendously helpful.”

‘Undone’ is also about parental issues

Alma’s time travel is inspired by her father (Bob Odenkirk). What convinces her time travel is real is the fact that her father died when she was a child, yet now he appears again. It could also be a chance for Alma to work through her unresolved issues over that loss. 

Rosa Salazar and Bob Odenkirk in Undone
Rosa Salazar and Bob Odenkirk in Undone | Amazon

“I would say in terms of the baggage between Alma and her father, when you go back and you see the earlier episodes, you sort of work through it all over again,” Salazar said.

‘Undone’ is a show for people who don’t often get shows made about them

The goal with any show is for the audience to relate, but Purdy specifically hopes people who felt like she did can see themselves in Undone.

Alma’s reality shatters in Undone | Amazon

“I think the only reason for me really to make art and to make television is so that I can feel like my experience and people I know, their experiences are reflective in the world so that we all feel a little less alone. So if you can see a woman who is broken and feels flawed and feels like she’s struggling the way I felt in my life or I’ve seen friends go through, and to be able to show that and demonstrate that and learn, does feel a little less lonely.”

Kate Purdy, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 7/27/19