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INLOVE with ‘Cobra Kai’

Netflix recently announced the Season 5 premiere date for “Cobra Kai,” and by the looks of it, things are about to get even more exciting. New alliances are formed, enemies return, and it would seem that the title for best master dojo is still up for grabs. 

The sequel series to “The Karate Kid” films has been adored since it first premiered in 2018 on YouTube Red. It had answered the question fans of the original would often ponder – what would Daniel and Johnny be up to today?

© Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Now airing on Netflix, as the series progresses, we see familiar characters get their shot at redemption while a new generation comes into the picture, learning the same hard lessons their parents once were taught. 

The cast and creatives were on hand at this year’s in-person PaleyFest, reminding new and longtime fans exactly why they fell in love with this franchise in the first place. 

The April 8 “Cobra Kai” event at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood included actor/executive producer Ralph Macchio [Daniel LaRusso], actor/executive producer William Zabka [Johnny Lawrence], Josh Heald [writer and executive producer], Jon Hurwitz [writer and executive producer], Hayden Schlossberg [writer and executive producer], Mary Mouser [Samantha LaRusso], Tanner Buchanan [Robby Keane], Jacob Bertrand [Eli ‘Hawk’ Moskowitz], Peyton List [Tory Nichols], Gianni DeCenzo [Demetri Alexopoulos] and Thomas Ian Griffith [Terry Silver]. 

Hurwitz, Heald, and Schlossberg have done an excellent job at weaving the story together over time, with recurring and new characters, but bringing back unresolved storylines for an update is one of the things that longtime fans have particularly enjoyed about the show. 

© Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

“I think my favorite was when we brought back the original Cobra Kais. What was special about that is Billy [Zabka] and all those guys have stayed in touch over the years. There’s a true brotherhood between those guys, so for them to be able to act together again was really special,” Schlossberg told INLOVE Magazine on the red carpet.  

Heald adds, for him, it was bringing back Elisabeth Shue, who, of course, played Ali Mills in the original film (Daniel and Johnny’s love interest). “For Ali to come back into the universe, it completed it in so many ways. To see Elisabeth Shue step back into character, with Johnny, with Daniel, for the first time in 35 years, gave us all goosebumps,” Heald said.

Jon Hurwitz says his favorite part was bringing back Thomas Ian Griffith, who plays Terry Silver. Silver was the main antagonist in “The Karate Kid Part III.” Hurwitz tells INLOVE Magazine, “Nobody would ever expect the villain from [that film] would resurface. The fact that we brought that character back to life is a surreal accomplishment.” 

So, what other redemption arcs or cameos might happen in the coming season? It’s anyone’s guess. “There’s a lot still in store,” Schlossberg teased about what’s to come. “There’s more fun to be had for sure.”

We also had some fun with the cast on the red carpet, giving us yet another reason to be INLOVE with “Cobra Kai.” 

 

Thomas Ian Griffith [Terry Silver]

© Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

 

What do you love most about Terry:

His commitment to his path. He has a philosophy that he has lived his life by, and he’s struggled with his demons. When he’s brought back into this world, he really believes he can make a difference.

Favorite reference or storyline from the movies that has made its way into the series:

Terry has these great lines … “If a man can’t see, a man can’t fight…” He’s still passing along that message to the next generation, so I love all those moments.

Favorite ’80s trend:

They’re all the bad ones. I had to give them all up [laughs]. 

Favorite series other than “Cobra Kai”:

“Breaking Bad” and “Ozark” 

 

Mary Mouser [Samantha LaRusso]

© Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

 

Favorite reference or storyline from the movies that have made their way into the series:

Off-camera and in the story, the Mr. Miyagi quote, “Walk on road. Walk right side, safe. Walk left side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later… get squish, just like grape.” That’s something that’s meant a lot to me in my personal life. It’s about finding your path. Wandering in the middle isn’t always the answer.

Favorite ’80s trend:

Legwarmers… also “The Karate Kid!” 

Favorite series other than “Cobra Kai”:

“Vampire Diaries”

5 things Mary Mouser is INLOVE with: 

Sports

Her vintage emo playlist (includes The Used)

Doc Martens

Her dog, Lady Charlotte

Her people – family, castmates, and lifelong friends

 

Gianni DeCenzo [Demetri Alexopoulos]:

© Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

 

What do you love most about Demetri:

No matter how good he gets at Karate, he always keeps his personality. He doesn’t try to be the cool kid. He’s always going to be Demetri, “the nerd.” He’s comfortable in his own shoes.

Favorite reference or storyline from the movies that has made its way into the series:

I love the montage that Demetri had of training: sanding the floors and painting the fence. 

Favorite ’80s trend:

Legwarmers 

Favorite series other than “Cobra Kai”:

“How I Met Your Mother” and “The Office”

5 things Gianni DeCenzo is INLOVE with: 

His girlfriend

Magic: The Gathering

His fantastic Pac-Man suit worn on the PaleyFest carpet

Chocolate

Diet Coke

 

Tanner Buchanan [Robby Keane]

© Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

 

What do you love most about Robby:

He ultimately always wants to do what’s right. He has a really good heart – even though he may make some bad decisions. Deep down, he cares about everyone in his life, no matter what. 

Favorite reference or storyline from the movies that has made its way into the series:

Wax on, wax off! I got to do that, and I had Ralph [Macchio] there showing me how to do it. 

Favorite ’80s trend:

Roller skating 

Favorite Series other than “Cobra Kai”:

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Gilmore Girls” 

5 things Tanner Buchanan is INLOVE with: 

Guitar

Metal music

Ice skating 

Riding motorcycles

“Cobra Kai”

 

INLOVE Spotlight: “Cobra Kai”

Peyton List

© Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

 

5 things Peyton List is currently INLOVE with:

Pantsuits

Eye gems

Sunscreen

Nutella (and waffles)

Her dog, Mo

Also, check out Peyton’s beauty line, Pley!

Season 5 of “Cobra Kai” premieres on September 9 on Netflix. Click here for a look at the announcement trailer!

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