restart stars Josie Totah and Alycia Pascual-Peñawho portrayed Bayside High students Lexi and Aisha in the short-lived sitcomreveal the surprise treat in Thursday’s brand new episode dare we say itthe best friends Crooked Media podcast, also with Yasmine Hamady.
In EW’s exclusive first listen of the episode (above), Totah and Pascual-Peña share that the late Bryant was scheduled to direct the pilot of the reboot episode days after his untimely death in January 2020. The beloved LA Lakers superstar and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were two of them nine passengers on board a helicopter that crashed in California. He was 41.
Click Images/Getty Images Kobe Bryant
“A wild tidbit that I don’t think a lot of people know about, or doesn’t matter at all because obviously we’re least important when it comes to this legend and his daughter’s death, but we’re really supposed to be filming with.” Kobe two days after he died,” Totah shares, calling Bryant’s addition “so surreal.”
Pascual-Peña noted that the energy on set “changed a lot” when it came time to film the pilot – reflecting the legacy of the sports giant.
“I remember learning that he went through one of our best friends, Anjelika Washington,” says Pascual-Peña. “She called me specifically because she knew I’d been talking to her about it for a month – that I was so excited to meet Kobe on set and I can’t believe he was a fan of the first one 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 enlightening to see how one person…can bring joy to so many people. Some people live their entire lives without seeing the full impact they’ve had on the world until they die,” she continues. “Luckily, Kobe got his flowers. This man was so loved and so respected.”
For more information on this episode, check out the new episode of dare we say it on Thursdays 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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