Xolo Mariduena is incredibly impressive as the new ‘Karate Kid’ in YouTube Red’s ‘Cobra Kai!’ HL talked to him about the iconic role!
Ralph Macchio, the original Karate Kid returns to the screen in Cobra Kai, in which 16-year-old Xolo Maridueña takes over the Karate Kid role. The YouTube Red series premiered on May 2, and in it, Ralph returns as an older Daniel LaRusso, facing off against his old nemesis, Johnny Lawrence, reprised by William Zabka. HollywoodLife.com spoke exclusively to Xolo Maridueña, who plays Miguel Diaz, a budding Karate student with low self-esteem. “It’s very surreal,” the actor told HL of working with the original Karate Kids, “For me, for the torch to be handed down to me is definitely a lot of pressure, just because Ralph Macchio did it so well. It’s humbling to know that I can put my own gist on the Karate Kid.” Xolo’s Miguel is an asthmatic junior in high school, who Johnny takes in and acts as his sensei, reopening the Cobra Kai dojo.
“He is very sensitive. I think that a lot of teenagers are. He is put in this situation where he needs to find himself,” Xolo said of his character. “Because of that, he looks for an emotional attachment in Johnny. I think through the progression of the season, you start to see that he toughens up a little bit. I wouldn’t say becomes less sensitive, because he is still sensitive, but he’s sensitive in a different manner, in the sense that he is more comfortable in his body. More than anything, he’s passionate.” Oh, and he does all his own tricks!
Cobra Kai was an absolute hit following it’s release on YouTube Red! Consisting of 10, 30-minute episodes, Cobra Kai is truly for anyone, whether you’ve watched any of the Karate Kid films, or you’re new the franchise, you will love the comedic relief and heartwarming story.