'Saved by the Bell' : Mark-Paul Gosselaar on 'Undeniable Chemistry' and 'Real Kisses' with Leah Remini

"There is not a single person that Zack comes into contact with, in my opinion, that had a chemistry that you and I had," Mark-Paul Gosselaar told Leah Remini on his Zack to the Future podcast

Mark-Paul Gosselaar; Leah Remini
Mark-Paul Gosselaar (L); Leah Remini. Photo: Marcus Ingram/Getty Images; Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Mark-Paul Gosselaar will never forget the sparks that flew between himself and Leah Remini at the Malibu Sands in the summer of 1991.

On the most recent episode of his Saved by the Bell-focused podcast Zack to the Future, Gosselaar, 47, and Remini reminisced about the romance between their characters Zack Morris and Stacey Carosi, respectively, during the season 3 episodes that saw them working together at the fictional high-end beach resort.

"There is an undeniable chemistry between you and I that we have seen, and you'll see it in this episode as well," Gosselaar told Remini, 51, of the last episode in the Malibu Sands storyline run, which is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

During her six-episode stint, Remini played the headstrong daughter of club manager Leon Carosi (Ernie Sabella), visiting from New York.

While at first Stacey is presented as a foil for the surfer-minded (yet equally stubborn) Zack, the two soon find themselves in the throes of an undeniable opposites-attract situation — but their relationship ends as the summer does, with Stacey returning to the East Coast.

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Saved by the Bell Leah Remini and Mark Paul Gosselaar
Leah Remini and Mark-Paul Gosselaar on Saved by the Bell (1991). NBC

"Those are real kisses," Gosselaar said of the intimate scenes between himself and Remini, comparing their dynamic to that between himself and Tiffani Thiessen, who played Zack's main love interest (and eventual wife) Kelly Kapowski on the series.

"Tiffani and I never had a kiss like we have ... on these six episodes," he told Remini. "But there is not a single person that Zack comes into contact with, in my opinion, that had a chemistry that you and I had."

"And, to top it off … the audience is really into us. They really, really loved seeing Zack and Stacey together," Gosselaar went on. "Now, you wouldn't think that, right? You always thought, 'Oh, it'd be Zack and Kelly.' "

And while they "may not have had a relationship in real life," the actor said, "it definitely seems like there's something there" in the episodes.

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"And we liked each other," Remini told her former costar. "We got along, we laughed, we had a good time — I don't know if you remember that, but there was never any weirdness between us."

Whether Zack and Stacey could have reunited somewhere down the line remains a mystery — but Saved by the Bell executive producer Peter Engel did tell TVLine back in 2019 that Zack and Kelly probably wouldn't have ultimately been able to save their own marriage.

In the final installment of the original series, the lovebirds tie the knot in Las Vegas during their college years — to the initial protests of Zack's family, considering their young ages.

"They'd be married — but not to each other," Engel said of Zack and Kelly.

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