Interview with Ben Lester (editor of “ The Undoing ”) on the cliffhanger finale

For the publisher, winner of the BAFTAs Ben lester, the best part of editing any project is “trying to do justice to what’s on the page and recreate that feeling on screen,” he says, letting the audience feel what they want. does when he first reads a script.

As for his work on HBO’s six-part thriller “The Undoing,” Lester reveals that it was particularly difficult and exciting in the editing room after post-production ceased due to the pandemic, as the major department heads were able to review their work. months later, with a fresh and potentially more perceptive eye. “Having that distance and coming back to look at it more objectively was really great,” he admits. “Finishing it and being away from it for months,” he says, “was a bit disruptive. But we drove with it! Watch the exclusive video interview with Lester above.

SEE Exclusive video interview: Noma Dumezweni (‘The Undoing’)

“The Undoing” Was Created By Several Emmy Award Winning Writers / Producers David E. Kelley (“LA Law”, “Picket Fences”, “The Practice”, “Ally McBeal”, “Big Little Lies”) and directed by Emmy-winning director Susanne Bier (“The Night Manager”), based on the book “You Should Have Known” by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It follows Grace Sachs (Nicole kidman), who leads a perfect New York life as a successful therapist, married to esteemed doctor Jonathan Fraser (Hugh grant), raising their son Henry (Noah Skirt).

Their life is painfully unfolded after the brutal murder of a mysterious woman, Jonathan disappears and it is later revealed that the victim was Jonathan’s mistress. As a series of shocking revelations rock the world of Grace and the family endure a painful trial with their defense attorney Haley Fitzgerald (Noma dumezweni) hired by Grace’s wealthy and influential father (Donald Sutherland), she is forced to start over with her son, wondering if she really knew the man she married.

SEE Exclusive Video Interview: Hugh Grant (‘The Undoing’)

“The Undoing” was HBO’s most-watched series of 2020, ending last November with its explosive finale. It was the ultimate “who-dunnit,” leaving viewers to guess each character’s motivations and ultimately who was responsible for the gruesome murder central to the story, with each episode ending on a dynamite cliffhanger. And Lester agrees that this was decisive for him on this show, as the cut had to perfectly capture the deliberate rhythm of each episode to effectively build up with each shocking crescendo.

“Most of the cliffhangers were also written, because David is an amazing, amazing writer, so a lot of those endings were pre-existing, so it was just about making them come out as punchy and exciting as possible,” Lester explains. “He takes these close-ups, creates suspense. It’s a lot of the sound and music that ends up with a punchy finale, but it’s also the work you’ve done before to get to this point.

“Sometimes when you get a script you read it and imagine it and if it’s a good script like that, I’m on the edge of my seat reading it. And so when you get there and you finally read the material, all I want is to create that feeling in everyone else watching it, the feeling that I had when I read it for the first time, ”he says. “It’s about drawing it and slowing it down so you’re desperate to see what’s going to happen next, but not too long for you to lose interest, but long enough that when it does, it has an impact. and weight. “

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