In the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai,” Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) has a deep destain for ruthless sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove). When Daniel was a teenager, he was violently harassed by Kreese’s Cobra Kai students. 35 years later, the Vietnam veteran still encourages members of his dojo to fight without honor. After being manipulated by Kreese, Cobra Kai students break into LaRusso’s home and attack members of Eagle Fang Karate and Miyagi-Do. When Daniel realizes what happened, he confronts Kreese and gets into a physical altercation with him. To defeat the Cobra Kai sensei and protect his students, the LaRusso Auto Group owner forms an alliance with his former rival Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).
Since the actors have convincingly played enemies in the “Karate Kid” franchise for over 40 years, some fans may be curious how they feel about each other in real life.
Martin Kove & Ralph Macchio Seem To Have a Relatively Close Relationship
It appears that Macchio has a relatively close relationship with Kove. While speaking to Cigar Aficionado in February, the 59-year-old discussed his co-star’s love of cigars. He revealed that he considers his on-screen rival his “cigar sensei.”
“Martin is synonymous with cigars. You’ll find him outside the restaurant, on a bench, smoking his cigar. He loves cigars and loves talking about them. I ask him questions about cigars—it’s like learning about tasting wine or Scotch,” explained the actor.
Recently, Kove shared kind words about Macchio and William Zabka on Instagram. In the post, which was uploaded on April 30, the actor announced that the fourth season of “Cobra Kai” had “officially wrapped.” He wrote in the caption that he was “humbled to work along side” Macchio and Zabka and noted that they “put the work in day in and day out and day in and day out.”
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada, Kove discussed how he felt about working with Macchio and Zabka after a long hiatus. He explained that before filming “Cobra Kai,” the three co-stars had not “acted together [for] 34 years.”
“It was really cool, and it was tingling, and it was fun. It kind of made the work easy, you know, because we were just looking forward to play. And it was a good scene too. It wasn’t like work. It wasn’t like difficult dialogue,” asserted the actor.
Kove & Macchio Attended Fan Events Together Before “Cobra Kai” Premiered
While the original members of the “Karate Kid” cast had not worked together for three decades, they still interacted with each other over the years. During an August 2020 interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Kove revealed that they would often attend fan conferences together.
“Ralph Macchio, Billy and I, we’ve gotten to do all the [fan shows and conventions] and stay together 30 years before this new series came along,” said the actor.
He stated that at these fan events, he realized that quite a few people viewed “The Karate Kid” as “a religious experience.” He explained that this reaction occurs for “one of three” reasons.
“Number one, in 1984, [the main characters] were really bullied. Number two, there’s a relationship with a woman, or romance that did not work out. And number three, there’s the fish out of water theme, somebody who is moved around a lot and never has any roots,” asserted the actor.
To see more of Macchio, Kove, and Zabka, check out “Cobra Kai,” available to stream on Netflix.