‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Star on That Surprising Clare & Charisse Moment
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1, Episode 4 of The Time Traveler’s Wife.]
When it comes to book-to-television adaptations, it’s not unusual for the series to deviate from its source material a bit. That was the case with The Time Traveler’s Wife‘s fourth episode.
In the June 5 installment, viewers got a peek into Clare’s (Rose Leslie) life with her friends Charisse (Natasha Lopez) and Gomez (Desmin Borges). But this iteration saw changes in the dynamic between Clare and Charisse, who were never more than besties in the book by Audrey Niffenegger.
While it’s clear that Charisse and Gomez are a couple from early on in the episode, brief flashbacks show how they’ve each been more involved with Clare than the other realizes. First, during a two-year period of time when Clare’s waiting for Henry (Theo James) to drop back into her life, she has a one-night stand with Gomez, which she almost instantly regrets.
Gomez is not shy about conveying his feelings, but Clare doesn’t want to mess things up between her and Charisse over something she knows isn’t part of her future with Henry. While Clare never reveals this hookup to Charisse, they talk over wine about relationships.
Charisse notes that everyone thinks Clare is a lesbian because she won’t give any guys around her attention and in response, Clare jokingly says that she is leading Charisse to misread the situation. When Charisse leans in for a kiss, Clare is startled and flattered but tells her friend that she’d never want to jeopardize their friendship or hurt Gomez. Still, one thing leads to another, and it’s revealed that Clare and Charisse got together during a one-night stand of their own.
This moment one of the biggest deviations from the source material so far, but Lopez was excited to explore this uncharted territory in Charisse and Clare’s story.
“They really allowed us to be collaborative and create this from scratch,” Lopez says, “and so I think it’s a very fun scene. It’s a very human moment where you’re in your twenties and in exploratory phases and those lines can be crossed.”
As for the implications of what this scene could mean for Clare and Charisse moving forward, Lopez notes, “it’s more than Charisse being in love or having these feelings for Claire, it’s more they cross the line between being young and exploratory and the love that they have for each other.”
So, while it deviates from the source material’s original path a bit, it doesn’t tread too far off. “They are so ride-or-die it really doesn’t affect their friendship in the aftermath of it all,” Lopez clarifies.
It was a big moment for Lopez on a bigger scale as the actress notes that it was her “first onscreen kiss ever.” While the actress says it was an “honor” to have Leslie as her first onscreen liplock, she admits it helped that Leslie “has such a calming energy. She’s so nice.” At the end of the day, Lopez says, “I just felt very honored to be Charisse in that moment.”
See what else is in store for the friends as The Time Traveler’s Wife continues on HBO.
The Time Traveler’s Wife, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO