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How 'The Time Traveler's Wife' keeps its grasp on reality

Kate Feldman, New York Daily News on

Published in Travel Tips

In a show about time travel, two friends hold down the center of the universe.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which premiered Sunday on HBO, revolves around one couple, Henry (Theo James) and Clare (Rose Leslie), as the former is torn from time at the drop of the hat and the latter is left standing there, waiting for him to come home. Leslie calls Clare Henry’s “anchor.” That leaves her best friend Charisse (Natasha Lopez) and Charisse’s boyfriend Gomez (Desmin Borges), who eventually becomes Henry’s best friend, to keep Clare in her own reality.

“They’re ride or die, whether it’s the main love interest or Claire and Gomez or Claire and Charisse. The main thing that really connects us is how much we love each other,” Lopez told the Daily News.

“It doesn’t matter how crazy it gets. ‘Oh, your husband’s a time traveler? Should we have more bread or more wine?’”

When Henry vanishes yet again, leaving the shower running and a pile of clothes on the bathroom floor, Charisse and Gomez are still there. At times, Gomez runs off to protect Henry, wherever and whenever he is. But they’re always there. Clare is Henry’s anchor and Charisse and Gomez are hers.

“It’s love in its different incarnations through the eyes of four people over decades. We start with the triangle between Gomez and Charisse and Claire; it’s a very early 20s sort of love where you don’t really know if you’re in love, you’re in lust or if you’re just reaching for something that you can’t have,” Borges said.


“As they grow older, we see that the love between Charisse and Gomez is actually quite fulfilling for both of them and that the love between Henry and Claire is probably the pinnacle of what all love should aspire to be.”

That pinnacle is messy and heartbreaking at times, particularly at the end but doomed from the start. Clare can’t say no because Henry is the love of her life, from the time she was 6 years old. Charisse and Gomez choose to stay on the roller coaster, even as it hurtles toward the ground.

“Once you see (time travel) and you experience it and you know it’s real, there’s no really turning your back on it,” Borges told The News.

“Natural human curiosity and inclination starts creeping in. Once you’ve experienced your first high, there’s no going back, so you continue to chase.”


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