Reboot stars Josie Totah and Alycia Pascual-Peña, who portrayed Bayside High students Lexi and Aisha in the short-lived sitcom, reveal the surprise tidbit in Thursday’s all-new episode of Dare We Say, the best friends’ Crooked Media podcast also featuring Yasmine Hamady.
In EW’s exclusive first listen of the episode (above), Totah and Pascual-Peña share that the late Bryant was scheduled to film the pilot episode of the reboot episode days after his untimely death in January 2020. The beloved L.A. Lakers superstar and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were two of nine passengers aboard a helicopter that crashed in California. He was 41.
Clicks Images/Getty Images Kobe Bryant
“A wild tidbit that I don’t think a lot of people know, or, it’s not important at all because obviously, we are the least of importance when it comes to this legend and his daughter’s passing, but we were actually supposed to film with Kobe two days after he died,” Totah shares, calling the addition of Bryant “so surreal.”
Pascual-Peña noted that the energy on set “shifted greatly” when it came time to film said pilot — and reflects on the legacy of the sports giant.
“I remember learning that he had passed through one of our best friends Anjelika Washington,” Pascual-Peña says. “She called me specifically because she knew that I’d been talking about it for a month with her — that I was so excited to meet Kobe on set and I can’t believe that he was a fan of the first Saved by the Bell and that he was excited to be on the show.”
Chris Haston/Peacock/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Josie Totah and Alycia Pascual-Peña on ‘Saved by the Bell’
“It’s really beautiful and eye-opening to see how one person can. . . bring joy to so many people. Some people live their entire lives never seeing the full impact they had on the world until they pass,” she continues. “Thankfully Kobe was given his flowers. That man was so loved and so respected.”
For more from the episode, tune into the new episode of Dare We Say on Thursday, when new episodes drop weekly wherever podcasts are available.
Listen to Totah and Pascual-Peña’s full tribute to Bryant above.
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