Pay close attention to actress Rosa Salazar. Whether she’s playing a cyborg warrior in the sci-fi movie Alita: Battle Angel or a kitten-spewing filmmaker in the TV series Brand New Cherry Flavor, Salazar is not going to let you forget that you saw her in something.
“My MO is to deliver things to the audience that, for better or worse, keep their attention,” Salazar, 36, told Remezcla during a recent interview. “I want to make things that will ensure that people won’t pick up their phone.”
Salazar’s mission to entice audiences with the unique projects she chooses seems to be working well. One of the best examples of this is her lead role on Undone, Amazon’s first adult animated original series, which just dropped a second season. On the show, Salazar plays Alma Winograd-Diaz, a Mexican American woman who develops the ability to time travel after she is involved in a near-fatal car accident. Undone uses rotoscope technology to animate its characters.
For Salazar, Season 1 only “scratched the surface of consciousness.” She’s looking forward to exploring Alma’s abilities and asking more complex and philosophical questions. Basically, she doesn’t want to play it safe.
“I’m so excited to share the next level that we’ve brought the show to,” she said. “We’re going to see Alma going full throttle through time and space and lineage. You can go to the far reaches of the universe to tell this story. It can happen with such fluidity that you end up in this trance-like state.”
As existential a storyline that Undone followed in Season 1, one might wonder if these thought-provoking, high-concept TV series are something mainstream audiences want. Wouldn’t most people these days rather turn on a program that doesn’t require them to think about something they might have learned in a college philosophy class? Salazar believes there are plenty of viewers who still consider entertainment an artform.
“We’ve become very complacent about art,” she said. “You can see this through all artistic industries. I don’t know if that’s a social media thing or an immediacy thing. My job as an artist is to connect with you. I want to show catharsis and go on a journey together. Asking you to be curious is the only thing we owe to each other. If you come to Undone with that curiosity, you will be rewarded tenfold.”
Undone isn’t just another series for Salazar. She considers it one of the most challenging roles she’s ever played. It’s even seeped into her own life. One day, she was walking her dog and stopped to think if maybe she could be a projection of Alma’s existence but also a figment of Alma’s imagination. If anything, it was a trippy, multiverse-like concept that crossed her mind.
“I’ve never had that feeling before,” she said. “It shook me to my core that the brain is so malleable in that way. Then my dog pooped, and I held it in my hand and thought, ‘No. THIS is reality.’”
Undone season 2 is now available on Prime Video.