Undone, Season Two!
At a recent press conference for the upcoming season two premiere of Undone, Enspire Entertainment caught up with creators Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy, and lead actors Angelique Cabral and Constance Marie. All eight episodes of the Amazon Prime original series debut on April 29th, picking up where season one left off. Alma Winograd-Diaz, played by Rosa Salazar, continues her time-bending journey, accompanied in this second season by her sister Becca, played by Angelique Cabral. The rotoscoped sci-fi fantasy comedy-drama goes deeper into generational trauma than in the first season, bringing a fresh and touching perspective to the growing mental health conversation in scripted film and television content. Many have questioned the representation of schizophrenia in season one but Executive Producer Katy Purdy made clear “the show is careful not to specify any diagnosis because that’s the mystery and appeal - is it in Alma’s head or is something else going on.” Much of the show’s appeal is the rotoscoped animation. “Audiences are ready to accept emotional storytelling from animation - there’s a market for that, a want for that, and that’s what we did with Undone,” noted creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg. They chose to rotoscope, an animation technique that animators use to trace over motion picture footage because it puts the audience in a slightly real and slightly unreal world. “We wanted those boundaries to be somewhat porous. It feels very grounded and then gradually magical things begin to happen. If it were live-action and special effects started, it would be a clear delineation between a real world and a cartoon world,” Raphael remarked. Addressing questions about improvements in technology over the two years since they produced season one, creator Kate Purdy explained, “The technology hasn’t changed significantly but our incredible team of artists has had more time to develop their skills together. They’ve gotten stronger and know the show better, that’s the difference.” “We talk a lot about the language and imagery of the visuals, how that helps tell the character’s psychology,” Kate explained. “Our incredible editor, Brian Swanson, can work magic and finds all sorts of creative solutions, especially in the transitions. The visual effects they come up with are mind-blowing and always elevate the emotion.” Though animation requires more structure than live-action, the technology isn’t the only place the story is allowed to evolve. “We have very determined actors who will tell us if something doesn’t feel right,” Kate laughed.
Actors Angelique Cabral and Constance Marie chimed in. “One of the things that I love in this show is that my children are bi-racial,” commented Constance Marie, who plays the mother Camilla Diaz, “because really we are all we are an amalgam of every experience we have ever had, and it’s wonderful how we get to explore this complexity of different cultures without hitting you with a sledgehammer.” Angelique added, “Kate and Raphael do such an incredible job of layering each of us without making the show about that.” The second season moves further away from the father’s storyline, played by Bob Odenkirk, and more into the sci-fi realm of elastic time and shared realities, while staying firmly rooted in the Winograd-Diaz family experience. Speaking on her own character’s journey in the second season, Angelique remarked, “Becca has probably known her entire life (of her powers) but she’s trying so hard to be, in my opinion, White. She discovers her abilities and by the end of the season, she leans all in, making decisions for herself. It was the best arc, I am so happy what she got to play with this season.” Acting for season two took on a new dimension for them all. Although the rotoscoping workflow already required striped-down green screen sets, this second season, filmed in lockdown, isolated the actors completely. They performed alone, doing their own hair and makeup, while the writers and director zoomed in. Reflecting on how it challenged and improved their craft, Constance commented “you don’t have the distractions of giant sets and amazing lighting to lean on, you have only yourself and your imagination.” Angelique added, “season two was the biggest test and we all feel really strong as actors coming out of this season. We’ve never been better.” “Season two is expansive, it’s epic, and we discover more about the family. Every viewer will be impacted by different aspects of this season,” Angelique said. This interpretive element of the storytelling includes the season finale. Creator Kate Purdy explained, “We wanted to find a season-ending that could be read a couple of different ways, was also closed off emotionally, yet also leaves a door open to another season. We want to raise more questions than we answer because we feel that’s what life is. How do you live in the unknown?” Fans of the show will have to answer that themselves as no news on a season three has been released. Catch season one and all episodes of season two on Amazon Prime on April 29, 2022.