Cobra Kai: Ralph Macchio Talks Reunion with "Karate Kid II" Co-Stars

With Netflix's Cobra Kai season three mere days away from premiering, there are new elements in play with the fallout following the season two finale school-wide brawl and Daniel's upcoming trip to Okinawa, Japan teased in the preview. Providing some context are stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka as they spoke to Collider about Daniel and Johnny's next chapter in their long storied rivalry. Daniel LaRusso's return to Okinawa is a call back to the Karate Kid Part II (1986), which was more centric to his sensei Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) that took the pair to Japan.

COBRA KAI (L to R) RALPH MACCHIO as DANIEL LARUSSO and WILLIAM ZABKA as JOHNNY LAWRENCE of COBRA KAI Cr. CURTIS BONDS BAKER/NETFLIX © 2020
COBRA KAI (L to R) RALPH MACCHIO as DANIEL LARUSSO and WILLIAM ZABKA as JOHNNY LAWRENCE of COBRA KAI Cr. CURTIS BONDS BAKER/NETFLIX © 2020

"It was a whirlwind," Macchio said. "I'm really thankful and proud of the production and Sony for letting us go there for what was only about two days of shooting. [Laughs] It was like a long weekend. Most of the time was in the air. It was blessed, you know? It just felt like I was in the land of Miyagi and I finally got there, and Yugi was with me. Tamlyn [Tomita] did not get to go so the stuff with Kumiko we were able to shoot stateside if you will. We had one gorgeous day of weather and one just miserable day of weather, and we were able to cherry pick and get what we needed."

cobra kai
COBRA KAI (L to R) TAMLYN TOMITA as KUMIKO of COBRA KAI Cr. TINA ROWDEN/NETFLIX © 2020

Macchio was excited to reunite with Tomita and Yuji Okumoto, who reprise their Part II roles as Kumiko and Chozen, respectively. "It's the same thing I talk about when Billy and I stepped on together; there's just a history and you share something that's an unspoken language, that there's a connection and both of them did such a beautiful job, brought their A games," he said. "With Tamlyn it was like we were these teenagers, you know? It was smiley and it was sweet and it was angelic and all those things that you remember from that film. We couldn't help but be that way! And it lends itself to the story. It has that line where, 'It's been 30 years, but it feels like five minutes,' and it felt that way with both of them. And Yuji does such a spectacular turn in his character and he knows where the comedy is and the action and the drama and the heart, and that all comes through with both of them so I'm really proud to have that in this season."

Cobra Kai released its season 3 trailer (Image: Netflix screencap)
Cobra Kai released its season 3 trailer (Image: Netflix screencap)

The Karate Kid franchise star adds Kumiko and Chozen play major roles in the upcoming season. ""It also propels the story, the LaRusso [and] Johnny Lawrence story," he said. "It's not just there as a standalone. It's, how do you deal with a rival and how can you get to the other side?" You can check out more on the interview where Zabka opens up about coming to terms with Miguel's injury and his bond with the actor behind the character in Xolo Maridueña below.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.