‘Undone’ star Constance Marie continues to change Hollywood with season 2 of groundbreaking Latina-led series

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It’s easy for Constance Marie to get animated about her twist-filled streaming series “Undone.”

The actress believes the psychological cartoon about a Mexican American family with a time-traveling daughter is special due to its groundbreaking style of motion-capture animation and its depiction of three complex Latina women as its central characters.

“You get to see us in San Antonio,” Marie, who starred as Angie Lopez on “George Lopez,” told Viva. “Whenever you think ‘Texas,’ you don’t think ‘Latin people.’ Texas used to be Mexico, so the fact that we don’t put those two things together, I think it’s a wonderful history lesson that we’re there.

“And I think the maternal bloodlines also don’t get explored,” Marie, 56, said. “Usually, it’s the patriarchal that we’re exploring, the ancestry, so you put the two together and I just think it’s the perfect storm.”

The second season of “Undone” premieres April 29 on Amazon Prime Video and continues the story of Alma, a cynical young woman played by Rosa Salazar, whose relationship with time is changed after she survives a catastrophic car crash.

Season one, which came out in 2019, saw Alma use her newfound ability to manipulate time to uncover secrets surrounding her father’s death. Marie portrays Alma’s mother, Camila, and says the adult animated series’ new season offers more insight into her character’s complicated backstory.

“She’s a tough-love mom, but you don’t realize what makes her so tough,” Marie said. “In season two, you actually get to explore Camila’s background and what made her the way she is, and all the traumas of her ancestry.”

The series is Amazon’s first to use rotoscoping, an innovative technique that turns live-action performances into animated sequences through motion capture, with oil paintings used to render the backgrounds.

“We shot it in the very first season in a conference room with no sets,” Marie said. “I mean, literally, if you went into your living room, that’s where we would shoot it. They just had cardboard with black X’s on it.”

Production for the second season took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant fewer crew members working in person. They shot scenes on a stage using green-screen technology, with the actors sometimes not even in the room at the same time.

“Oftentimes I would say, ‘What does this look like? Where am I?’ All the producers were on Zoom,” Marie said.

“For us to see [the final product] finally, it’s just like, ‘Wow!’ It’s just gorgeous. And when we’re actually shooting, it’s harder than live action because you have to imagine everything.”

Marie is no stranger to pioneering roles. She starred as Nina Gonzalez on “American Family,” which premiered in 2002 as the first drama series starring a mostly Latino cast to air on broadcast television. Her portrayal of the matriarch Angie on “George Lopez” from 2002-07 was also historic, as the success of the long-running sitcom helped change the landscape for projects predominantly featuring Latino actors.

“When I was growing up in Los Angeles ... I didn’t see anybody who looks like me unless they were the bad guy or just not a great depiction,” Marie said. “I remember asking my mom, ‘Where are all the Latinos that look like us?’

“They weren’t on TV, so I didn’t have that representation, but when I found out that Wonder Woman was half-Mexican, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll take her as a role model,’” Marie said, referring to actress Lynda Carter.

With her own career, Marie says she saw an opportunity to take on roles that “say a lot about my community.”

“I don’t know that it was a conscious decision, but I just felt like I wanted to reflect roles that I was proud of and that other little girls could be proud of if they were to ever see me on screen,” Marie said.

“Honestly, if something was stereotypical or cliche or a misrepresentation of my community, I was not very good in the role. I knew I wouldn’t be because my heart was not in it, so I figured better to just stay away from that.”

Marie — who got her start as a dancer and also portrayed the mother of the titular Tejano singer in 1997′s “Selena” — says she’s witnessed a “tremendous amount of growth” in terms of Hollywood casting Latino actors to play Latino characters since her career began.

But there’s still work to be done, Marie says, to get more Latino stories and stars reflected in movies and TV shows. She believes that shift begins with studios hiring Latino filmmakers and showrunners as executives for their companies.

“We just can’t quit,” Marie said. “In all honesty, I wanted to give up acting twice — like very seriously, twice — in my career, and two times people have stepped in and said to me, literally, ‘Constance, if you stop, then somebody has to start all the way from zero, so you have to just keep plugging along and keep making headway.’”

She’s happy to be making projects like “Undone” — and to keep representing her community.

“It was just a beautiful way to give back to that little girl that I was who did not see anybody who looked like her on television,” Marie said. “Now, I’m changing that.”