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Michelle Tesoro (‘The Queen’s Gambit’ editor): ‘The story is about the cost of genius’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]


“The story is about the cost of genius,” explains “The Queen’s Gambit” editor Michelle Tesoro. For our recent webchat, she adds, “That colored everything we did, how we cut things, what the point of view was. If we kept all of the scenes with that aspect in mind, it made it more interesting that trying to make us understand what the chess is. Ultimately that’s not what’s important. What’s important is understanding what it means to Beth.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a Netflix limited series that follows the rise of chess prodigy Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) during the Cold War. Tesoro says, “We are with this young lady and relate to her with all of her faults and all of her triumphs. I think, in the end, that’s what attracted people to the show.”

The editor reveals, “One of our biggest moves was splitting up three episodes into four. The first three episodes were very long and had so much story. It was really important for relating to the character and understanding where she was going. Plus, everybody fell in love with Beth’s adoptive mother Alma (Marielle Heller). We didn’t want to cut any of that out. So, instead of trying to whittle down what was scripted to one hour pieces, we decided to break those episodes up. I think that was our biggest move.”

Previously Tesoro has edited other acclaimed Netflix limited series, “Godless” and “When they See Us.” She admits that “Gambit” brought some new challenges for her: “I’ve never cut this much play of a game. Before I had cut horse racing, which I didn’t understand and poker which is another game I don’t know. But I haven’t cut this amount of sports drama before. Keeping it exciting and making it different every time was a challenge. Also, I hadn’t cut many flashbacks before so that was a new feel for me.”

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