Entertainment TV Selena Gomez's 'Wizards' Character Had a 'Pretty Clear' More-Than-Friends Bond with Hayley Kiyoko's Stevie Creator Peter Murrieta admitted it was apparent "to all of us" behind the scenes of the Disney Channel show that the characters' relationship was more than platonic By Julia Moore Julia Moore Twitter Julia Moore is a digital news writer at PEOPLE. She recently received a Bachelor's in in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and has been an avid PEOPLE reader for years. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 28, 2023 11:46 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Eric McCandless/Disney Channel via Getty Between monster hunters, werewolves and bad boys, Selena Gomez's Alex Russo had her fair share of love interests in Wizards of Waverly Place, but there was one unexplored storyline that the series creator wishes the show had explored further. Peter Murrieta, who wrote and produced the first three seasons of the hit Disney Channel series, revealed that Hayley Kiyoko's Stevie — whose four-episode arc in the third season of the show saw her bond with Alex over their rebellious ways — was a character he had intended to be a romantic interest for the show's protagonist. "We could have played more with the relationship between Stevie and Alex," Murrieta said when asked about what storyline he wished he had explored further on the March 27 episode of PodCo's Wizards of Waverly Pod. "Right!" agreed Jennifer Stone, who played Harper Finkle and co-hosts the podcast with David DeLuise, who played Jerry Russo. "But we weren't able to in that time," added Murrieta. "But it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was." Murrieta added that, since the Wizards days, "Disney Channel has had characters" who explore same-sex relationships, as Stevie and Alex would have, but "at that time, it wasn't a thing." "But we got as close as we could. I mean… it was pretty close," he said. Wizards of Waverly Place Cast: Where Are They Now? Since its premiere in February, the podcast has taken a deep dive into the Wizards world, revisiting old storylines (such as the spell Alex and David Henrie's Justin used to redo their first kiss), exploring alternate ones and chatting to stars including Gomez herself, who appeared on the Feb. 27 episode. During her appearance on the podcast, Gomez emotionally admitted that her biggest regret was "not staying in touch" with her costars after the hit Disney Channel show ended in 2012. "I felt ashamed of the decisions that I made," said the actress, 30. "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." Bruce Birmelin/ Disney Channel via Getty The Only Murders in the Building star's honesty touched both DeLuise and Stone, with Stone sharing that she previously blamed herself for the rift that formed between them. "I appreciate you saying that too because, to be perfectly blunt, there has been times where I'm like, 'Did we stop being friends because I didn't tell her what she wanted to hear?' You know what I mean? So, I appreciate you being that honest." DeLuise wiped away tears as he said, "That's really sweet, and thank you for saying that. Obviously I miss you." Eric McCandless/Disney Channel via Getty Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Gomez has often shared her appreciation for her time on the hit Disney show, even comparing her character, Mabel, from Only Murders to that of an older Alex-like figure. "I feel like Mabel is an older version of Alex in a way," she said during an appearance on Entertainment Weekly's Awardist podcast in June. The actress also said that she "adored" being on Wizards when she was younger, adding that the show's cast "got really lucky" with the team running the show, and the freedom they had to play around. "I still look back at that and laugh at certain things just because I thought it was so fun, and we tried."