On Cobra Kai, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka have picked up with their iconic Karate Kid characters decades down the line. When the actors were approached for the martial arts drama, they of course recognized the rare opportunity in front of them. “[It’s] wonderful to play characters 34 years apart, and yet discover new things about them,” Macchio said during an appearance with Zabka at Deadline’s virtual Contenders Television awards-season event.
Created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, Cobra Kai centers on the renewed rivalry of Karate Kid‘s antagonists Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (Zabka).
While the series debuted on YouTube Red and moved over to Netflix in its third season, it has enjoyed critical acclaim and fan engagement all along the way. This level of success wasn’t taken for granted. Certainly, though, its stars are enjoying the ride.
“The Karate Kid is…the gift that keeps on giving,” said Macchio. “You carry such a responsibility and a pride in playing these roles that have become part of pop culture around the world.”
In Season 3, both actors took on new responsibilities as co-executive producers. But one of the more challenging aspects of the show is the stunt work it requires. Given the fact that both actors are now in their 50s, Macchio joked, “It takes a little more work, and you feel it a little more the next day.”
“Yeah, we come away with a lot of bruises,” added Zabka. “It’s good though. That’s part of the fun.”
Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Cobra Kai’s fourth season is currently in production in Georgia, with Netflix saying recently that it will debut sometime during the fourth quarter of this year.
Check out the conversation in the video above.