"We wanted to help kids be less afraid of death," the actress wrote in a tribute post on Instagram

By Gabrielle Chung
January 27, 2020 09:21 PM
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Kobe Bryant was working on a project to help kids understand the concept of death prior to his own tragic death in a helicopter crash on Sunday, according to Olivia Munn.

On Monday, the actress, 39, opened up about her friendship with Bryant in a tribute post on Instagram. Calling the late athlete a “wonderful friend,” Munn revealed she was set to meet with Bryant and his multimedia company, Granity Studios, about a collaboration meant to “help kids be less afraid of death” when he passed away on Sunday.

“Kobe. You were such a wonderful friend. Always positive and thoughtful and supportive and reliable and so, so bright. One of the brightest souls I’ve ever seen and I am absolutely devastated by this,” she began.

“We were supposed to get together this week to brainstorm more parts of the epic world you were creating at Granity Studios. You were creating a whole big world from scratch- everything from the continents to the oceans and rivers to the trees and even the leaves on the trees.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣”

Kobe Bryant and Olivia Munn
| Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images

According to Munn, the last conversation she had with Bryant was about friends of hers who lost one of their daughters to cancer. Detailing their exchange, the Daily Show alum said in her post that her friends explained death by telling their younger child that her sister had “turned into a star” when she passed.

“We wanted to help kids be less afraid of death and tell stories of all the little and big stars…. And now you’re one of them,” she wrote in her note.

“Sending all of my love to Vanessa and your daughters,” Munn added. “Rest in love my friend. I’ll look for you in the sky.”

Granity Studios is an “original content company focused on creating new ways to tell stories around sports,” according to its website. The company has produced a podcast and several books and films, including the Oscar-winning animated short Dear Basketball.

Bryant previously shared his views on death and what happens afterward in a November 2016 video interview with The Ringer, which has since resurfaced following the former NBA star’s death. At the time, Bryant said he had reached a calm way of viewing death.

“It’s a comfortable one,” he said. “It’s an understanding that you can’t have life without death, can’t have light without the dark, right? So it’s an acceptance of that.”

“When it came time to decide whether or not to retire, that’s really an acceptance of that mortality that all athletes face,” Bryant continued. “And if you combat it, you’ll always have that inner struggle within yourself, you know what I mean.”

“I’m comfortable with it,” he reiterated.

Kobe Bryant
| Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Bryant and his daughter Gianna were two of nine victims who perished in a deadly helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California.

The basketball star and his 13-year-old girl were on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks with parents and players from the team when the helicopter crashed amid foggy conditions and burst into flames.

Sarah Chester and her daughter, eighth-grader Payton, the head basketball coach at Orange Coast College John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, girls basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan were also on the aircraft during the incident.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.