Thirty years after they shared the screen for six episodes of Saved by the Bell, Mark-Paul Gosselaar can still see the heat he and Leah Remini generated as Zack Morris and East Coaster Stacey Carosi during their character's hot summer romance in 1991.
NBC Leah Remini and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Stacey and Zack on 'Saved by the Bell'
Gosselaar and his Zack to the Future cohost, Saved by the Bell revival writer Dashiell Driscoll, were joined by Remini on the most recent edition of their podcast, and as they prepared to launch into a discussion of the final episode of the summer run where the Bayside kids worked at the Malibu Sands Beach Club, the leading teen-turned-leading man shared an observation.
"We brought this up through the other five episodes of this beach [series] — 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. "Those are real kisses, those are like — by the way, because Tiffani [Thiessen] and I never had a kiss like we have on the sex — six eps — I think I slipped right there — on these six episodes. 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. Now, you wouldn't think that right? You always thought, 'Oh, it'd be Zack and Kelly [Kapowski].'"
Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Kelly and Zack on 'Saved by the Bell'
Remini, who was 21 when the episodes were filmed, admitted she was "petrified" that the audience wasn't going to be receptive to her character, Stacey, "because of Kelly," as well as her being a New Yorker, who was a little "mean" — at first — to Zack.
"They loved it, though," Gosselaar recalled of the reaction to their romance, quickly adding that the pair's chemistry was all on camera.
"We may not have had a relationship in real life, but on screen, it definitely seems like there's something there," he said. "And you know that when you work with an actor, if you really like the actor, it shows on screen."
"And we liked each other," Remini said. "We got along, we laughed, we had a good time — I don't know if you remember that, but there was never any, like, weirdness between us."
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