Everything is not as it seems. Turns out, Selena Gomez‘s Wizards of Waverly Place character, Alex Russo, was supposed to be part of the LGBTQ community — and she was intended to be in a relationship with Stevie Nichols, a guest character played by fellow Disney star-turned-musician Hayley Kiyoko.
The revelation came in the latest episode of Wizards of Waverly Pod, on which cohosts Jennifer Stone and David Deluise — who played Harper Finkle and Jerry Russo on the Disney channel sitcom, respectively — sat down with head writer and executive producer Peter Murrieta to talk about the show’s arc. When Stone asked about a storyline he wished the Wizards team had explored further before the show concluded in 2012, Murrieta knew his answer immediately.
“Easy,” he said. “I wished we could have played more with what was quite obvious to a lot of us was the relationship between Stevie and Alex. But we weren’t able to in that time, but it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was. That would’ve been fun.”
Though the writers ended up being unable to explicitly say Alex had romantic feelings for Stevie, fans of the show may remember there was definitely an undeniably flirty chemistry and intensity shared between the two characters. “Disney Channel has had [LGBTQ] characters, they did it,” Murrieta added. “At the time, it wasn’t a thing. We got as close as we could. It was pretty close. It was pretty much right there.”
Recently, Gomez herself stopped by the podcast to talk about her experience on Wizards, which debuted in 2007 and propelled the Rare Beauty founder to meteoric stardom at a young age. While speaking with Stone and DeLuise, she opened up about regretting how she lost touch with the cast after the show wrapped.
“I think I slowly became kind of shamed. I felt ashamed of the decisions that I made,” Gomez said. “I didn’t want you guys to see me in the state that I was in, because A) you would have told me the truth, which terrifies me, and B) I didn’t want to let you down.”
Listen to Peter Murrieta talk about Alex and Stevie’s Wizards of Waverly Place relationship below: