Robert Rodriguez directorial Alita: Battle Angel is a cyberpunk action film that features a cybernetic character in the title role called Alita. Alita has been designed as an anime character with characteristic facial features. Rosa Salazar plays the role through motion-capture.
Even though Alita is a cyborg with cybernetic body parts, she is also human in many ways. Salazar says that she is just a regular girl and can experience a range of emotions.
“Alita is… just a regular girl! In the same way that all of the mo-cap stuff kind of bleeds out when you’re in it, Alita is a regular girl who happens to be made of cybernetic parts and has an insane, traumatic history. Alita’s just like me. She has a whole palette of emotions. She’s insecure. She’s brave. She’s courageous. She’s strong. She’s curious and she’s defiant. She’s powerful and she’s weak.”
“She has a real soul and I think that she bares it all the time. She doesn’t really hold anything back. She doesn’t suffer fools. She doesn’t pull punches. But she doesn’t actually know who she is. She’s learning everything for the first time. Now that she’s been reawakened,” adds Salazar.
She also talked about Alita’s quest for self-discovery. After waking up, Alita is awed at the post-apocalyptic world of Iron City (the fictional setting of the film) and unaware of the way things work there. Salazar says, “So, she wakes up and she doesn’t know what the world is. She doesn’t see it as nasty or horrible or violent at first. She’s just wide-eyed, literally, and ready to learn.”
She adds, “And what she soon finds out is that there are menacing forces in this world. There are evil people. There are cruel people. There are people who are opportunistic, who are totally fine screwing you over and ruining your life in order to get what they need to survive.”
Co-produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, Alita: Battle Angel releases in India on February 8.