The couple that almost was. Selena Gomez could have had a groundbreaking relationship on Wizards of Waverly Place.
Former showrunner and writer Peter Murrieta revealed on the Monday, March 27, episode of Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise’s “Wizards of Waverly Pod” that the show’s writers intended for Gomez’s character, Alex Russo, to have a romantic arc with guest star Hayley Kiyoko, who played Stevie Nichols.
“I wished we could have played more with — well, it was quite obvious to a lot of us — was the relationship between Stevie and Alex,” the television producer shared. “But we weren’t able to in that time, but it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was, and that would have been fun.”
Kiyoko, 31 — who has been dating Bachelor Nation alum Becca Tilley since 2018 — appeared on four episodes of the Disney Chanel show’s third season in 2010. During her story arc, Stevie befriended fellow teen wizard Alex before attempting to get her to join a wizarding world revolt. In defeating her friend-turned-foe, Alex accidentally turned Stevie to stone and tipped the statue over. Alex ended the series in a relationship with her werewolf boyfriend, Mason, played by Gregg Sulkin.
In the years since Wizards of Waverly Place’s conclusion in 2012 — and after the 2013 follow-up movie, The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex — the children’s network has incorporated LGBTQ+ characters into several shows, most notably Andi Mack and the animated series The Owl House.
“They did it,” Murrieta said on the podcast, referring to Disney Channel’s inclusion of queer characters. “At that time, it wasn’t a thing, but we got as close as we could to — I mean, it was pretty close. It was pretty much right there. That would’ve been great.”
Gomez, 30, recently chatted with Stone, also 30, and DeLuise, 51 — who played Alex’s best friend, Harper, and father Jerry, respectively — on the February 27 episode of their rewatch podcast, during which she admitted she wished she’s kept more in touch with her former castmates. The series also starred David Henrie as Alex’s older brother, Justin, Jake T. Austin as younger brother, Max, and Maria Canals-Barrera as Alex’s mom, Theresa.
“I felt ashamed of the decisions that I made. I didn’t want you guys to see me in the state that I was in,” the Only Murders in the Building star confessed. “Because A: you would have told me the truth, which terrifies me. And B: I didn’t want to let you down.”
During her time on Disney Channel, Gomez dated ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber off and on from 2010 to 2018. She has also dealt with numerous health issues over the years, including being diagnosed with Lupus and bipolar disorder.
The “Rare” singer continued: “Little did I know that I ended up with everyone I needed to be in my life [from Wizards]. I think I felt safe, and that’s a really hard thing for me to feel. I know that you guys love me for me. You guys genuinely loved me, and that’s all I could have asked for. The unconditional trust and bond we had, I miss it so much.”
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In October 2022, the Monte Carlo star snapped a pic with a Waverly Place street sign while in New York City. She shared the nostalgia-inducing photo with fans via Instagram, which she captioned, “Where it all began.”