CS Interview: The Cast of Cobra Kai on Season 3
Cobra Kai Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix, which means you need to drop what you’re doing and watch it now if you haven’t already. Seriously, the new season is a blast from start to finish and ups the ante for the show in every way; and takes Cobra Kai and Miyagi Do into some cool new directions.
For those in need of a refresher, Season 2 left our heroes, namely Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and their respective students at their lowest point after the two dojos carried out a battle royale at their high school — an event that left Miguel (Xolo Mariduena) in a coma and Robby (Tanner Buchanan) on the run.
Season 3 continues these characters’ journeys in some unexpected ways. Case in point, Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz, who began the series as a quiet outsider but has since morphed into one of Cobra Kai’s more formidable, if not outright violent, students. Even so, actor Jacob Bertrand believes Cobra Kai has ultimately had a positive influence on the character, more or less.
“You know that quote where it’s like, ‘Is it better to have love and lost, than to never have loved at all?’ You know? I think that’s kind of like that argument,” Bertrand told ComingSoon.net during a roundtable interview. “Like, would it have been better if he just stayed in his shell his whole life and just kind of was, I don’t know, just gaming the whole time and never really had the experiences he’s had?”
Said experiences include having a girlfriend and standing up to high school bullies, something that never would have been possible without Cobra Kai. Yet, Bertrand also acknowledged the negative effects of Johnny’s “sweep the leg” tactics. “I mean,” Bertrand continued, “I guess he wouldn’t have lost his best friend [Demetri], either. But I think it was needed for him. And I think Johnny’s Cobra Kai was good for him in a lot of ways.”
Unfortunately, at the end of Season 2, Johnny ceded control of Cobra Kai to his former mentor, John Kreese (Martin Kove), who has darker plans for the dojo. “I think Kreese’s shadowy corruption stretches far and wide and has definitely touched the soul of Hawk,” Bertrand said. “And season three, I think you definitely get to see that come to fruition.”
Another character who has definitely turned to the dark side is Tory Nichols, the tough-talking lone female of Cobra Kai (now that Aisha has vacated the premises for greener pastures), who more or less kick-started the high school fight when she attacked Amanda LaRusso (Mary Mouser). But, considering Miguel’s predicament and Hawk’s reluctance to go full cobra, is she the de facto leader of Cobra Kai?
“I don’t want to go that far,” actress Peyton List said. “But I do think that Kreese really is fighting for her and taking her under his wing. And she has no adult guidance except for him in her life, really, and no one that’s ever really shown so much interest and care for her — that’s sort of an authority figure. So, I do think that by default, Kreese really is taking her in. And I don’t know how much I can say about Hawk and his journey and everything else, but I mean, with him going the way he is, it’s kind of like, who’s the one left? And who’s loyalty is still to Cobra Kai at the end of the day? Mine.”
As for Johnny Lawrence, who finds himself reverting back to his beer-guzzling ways at the start of Season 3, his character continues to evolve in a number of different ways. When we first met Johnny, he was a down-on-his-luck loser with no family and practically nothing going for him. Since then, he’s developed a strong relationship with Miguel, built a business from the ground up, and slowly but surely buried the hatchet with Daniel. Coincidentally, his character has also developed a respect for all things technology related, which actor William Zabka believes has played a big part in his character’s sudden change.
“He’s feeling a little more connected,” Zabka said. “I don’t know. I think he’s stepping into this world the way we all did way back when, you know, we first got the first Mac computer or Apple and little LC or whatever that was. It’s a new world for him. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know if it’s good for him or not yet. I don’t know. I think he’s better off just not so connected, in a way, you know? But he’s definitely going through changes and the technology is a big part of it.
“He’s very much an artifact of the 80’s who woke up in 2000, now, 2020, ’21 like if he was in a deep freeze for all this time in a chamber and they let him out and he’s like a caveman, experiencing all these things for the first time. And certainly, those things are going to inform his character. But I love that he kind of gets it, but he doesn’t get it. The internet’s something you send places to. You send it to the internet and all that’s a lot of fun.”
In Cobra Kai, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka revisit their star-making roles from the iconic film franchise, The Karate Kid. The epic adversaries return to the dojo, thirty years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. A down-and-out Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, reigniting his rivalry with a now-successful Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi.
The upcoming season will see Daniel LaRusso returning to Japan in order to continue to navigate through life without the mentorship of his Karate Kid sensei, Mr. Miyagi. LaRusso fought in Japan during the events of 1986’s The Karate Kid Part II. With a new sensei at the helm of the Cobra Kai dojo, a three-way feud takes center stage. Old grudges — like Cobra Kai — never die.
The series also stars Courtney Henggeler (Amanda LaRusso), Xolo Maridueña (Miguel Diaz), Tanner Buchanan (Robby Keene), Mary Mouser (Samantha LaRusso), Jacob Bertrand (Hawk), Gianni Decenzo (Demetri), Vanessa Rubio (Carmen), Peyton List (Tory), and Martin Kove (John Kreese).
Netflix previously renewed Cobra Kai for a fourth season. All three seasons are available right now.
Cobra Kai is written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg via their production company, Counterbalance Entertainment. Will Smith, James Lassiter, and Caleeb Pinkett executive produce for Overbrook Entertainment along with Susan Ekins in association with Sony Pictures Television, with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka serving as co-executive producers.