Sometimes a kiss isn't just a kiss especially when it's shared by two gay youths on TV's angstiest teen drama, Dawson's Creek
. In tonight's highly anticipated episode (airing at 8 pm/ET on the WB), handsome jock Jack (Kerr Smith
) plants one on his prom date, Toby (David Monahan
). Of course, Jack's kissed a boy before, so why is this his most scrutinized smooch yet?
"Last year, Jack kissed somebody who was in a relationship with someone else," points out executive producer Greg Berlanti. "In this one, he kisses and the guy kisses back. So it's our hope that it will be the beginning of a real relationship between them." Plus, reportedly clocking in at just over five seconds long, this full-bodied buss won't be as brief as the last one either!
"I don't know how full-bodied it is," Smith demurs, cracking a smile. "It is daring, that's for sure. I just think it's a good thing. We're shedding some light on a subject that was formerly not as accepted. So I think we're sending out a positive message without going too far.
"I think what's so interesting about Jack is that I play him straight," Smith continues. "I don't play into any kind of stereotype. I mean, [Creek creator] Kevin Williamson, Greg Berlanti and I made an agreement that we weren't going to make this story trite. We were going to tell the story of a kid who was coming to terms with his sexuality and dealing with the repercussions of that with his friends and his family and I think we did it right."
As evidence, Smith cites the grateful fan letters he's received from gay kids who, inspired by Jack's saga, found the courage to come out to their parents. "That's heavy duty," he says. "I think it was then that I realized the responsibility that comes along with a role like this." Then, he grinningly adds: "I still get a lot of letters from women, which is nice too!"