Rose Leslie on Clare’s messy flings (spoilers)


Spoiler alert! The following contains details about Sunday’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” Don’t read until you’ve seen Episode 4. Warning does not apply to time travelers.

That’s complicated.

In Sunday’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife” Episode 4, troubled Clare (Rose Leslie) commits the ultimate friendship foul, embarking on flings with both of her best friends. Best friends who happen to be a couple: Gomez (Desmin Borges) and his girlfriend, Charisse (Natasha Lopez), who is also Clare’s roommate.

We told you. Complicated.

Even womanizing Henry (Theo James), Clare’s cavalier, time-traveling lover wouldn’t step into this kind of personal dumpster fire. “Game of Thrones” star Leslie was taken aback when she read the head-swiveling developments of bedding both besties in the script for the HBO series.

“It was like, ‘Oh, my God, what is going on with this woman?’ says Leslie. “It was wild.”

In the episode, a flustered Clare tells Charisse after their surprise kiss: “Oh, my God, what was that? It’s just that you’re my best friend, and Gomez is my best friend. And I could never betray one of my best. friends with another of my best friends. That would just be awful. “

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Throughout the many iterations of “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” Clare has blurred the friend line to varying degrees. In Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 novel, Clare sleeps with BFF Gomez (twice), despite her relationship with her best friend, Charisse, and their eventual marriage.

In the 2009 “Time Traveler’s Wife” movie, Ron Livingston’s Gomez clearly has deep feelings for Clare (Rachel McAdams), even attempting to talk her out of marrying her time-traveling boyfriend Henry (Eric Bana).

In all situations, all four principals – Clare, Henry, Gomez and Charisse – somehow remain the best of friends.

In the HBO series, this is even more difficult with the Charisse development following quickly on the heels of Clare’s dalliance with Gomez. Clare does attempt to stop the wine-induced Charisse kiss. But we fast-forward to the morning-after scene with Clare looking guilt-stricken and Charisse popping up on the bed next to her.

Leslie says she and Lopez had several conversations pondering the dynamics.

“We were wondering why is it that Clare and Charisse are still quite tight when she’s not being a great friend to her closest friends,” says Leslie. “We were interested in the fact that there wasn’t that girlfriend-to-girlfriend conversation, ‘I’ve slept with your man, and now we slept together, too.’ “

Even with all sides suspicious or aware of the others, “this friendship group is very stable,” says Leslie.

The answer to how is never fully developed in Season 1 of “Time Traveler’s Wife.” But there is room for exploration in potential future seasons (HBO has not officially greenlit a new season). “Hopefully, fingers crossed, this is something we could explore if we get to go again,” says Leslie.

As for Clare’s motivations, it’s something to distract herself with while she’s missing her “time-falling” Henry, the man she wishes to spend her life with. “It shows a kind of narrow-mindedness, not thinking of the repercussions, solely wanting escapism,” says Leslie.

Whatever the personal complications, it’s not as frenetic as the Episode 4 dinner party scene featuring Clare, Charisse, Gomez and two Henrys (time-traveling Henry from 2008, older Henry from 2021), along with Henry’s girlfriend, Ingrid (Chelsea Frei).

The rapid-fire dialogue scene was the first shot in the entire series – with James shooting all his 2008 Henry parts, and then his 2021 Henry parts the next day.

“It was a dance with a steep learning curve. But also quite fulfilling,” says James. “I got to play two very different versions of myself as the same character. How often do you get to do that?”

Leslie had it relatively easy with Clare seated at the table for the entirety of the scene.

“I was able to sit back and observe what Theo was having to endure, remembering exactly where his older Henry put the salad bowl or his glass of wine,” says Leslie. “That’s the first time that I’ve ever experienced anything like that.”

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