‘Cobra Kai’ Star Jacob Bertrand Reveals if He Relates to Hawk

Jacob Bertrand

Getty Jacob Bertrand poses at the Paley Center for Media in 2019.

On “Cobra Kai,” Jacob Bertrand portrays Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz, who is first presented as a quiet, bullied high school student. However, Hawk becomes increasingly violent after he starts practicing karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. In “Cobra Kai” season 3, he does realize the impact of his behavior and takes steps to become a better person

Jacob Bertrand Appeared on a Recent Panel With His ‘Cobra Kai’ Co-Stars

During a recent panel at the Salt Lake FanX 2021, alongside his “Cobra Kai” co-stars William “Billy” Zabka, who plays Johnny Lawrence, and Martin Kove, who plays John Kreese, Bertrand was asked if he based his portrayal of Hawk on “any real world experience.” The actor shared that he identified with his character because “[he] was bullied quite a bit when [he] was a younger kid.”

“So I definitely related to that in a lot of ways,” said Bertrand. 

He then asserted that he is not “as bada** as Hawk” and joked that he would like to have his personality. 

“That’s more like who I aspire to be. If I could just be my unequivocal self then I think I would just punch everyone in the face. No, but the character is really fun. I love everything that the writers give me. I couldn’t be happier with the role. It’s fricking bad***,” quipped Bertrand. 

During the panel, Bertrand also discussed on-set injuries. He shared that his co-star and close friend Xolo Maridueña, who portrays Miguel Diaz, once accidentally injured him. He noted that they were filming a scene for “Cobra Kai” season 2, where Miguel and Hawk were “walking to the Cobra Kai dojo.” Bertrand decided to try to “make [Maridueña] flinch.”

“I go to make him flinch and so Xolo is like, ‘Oh I’m going to try to make you flinch’ and so he kept trying to fake punch me. And so one of the takes we walk through the doorway and he just turns around and doesn’t look and does this huge back fist and just clocks me right in the nose. My nose instantly starts bleeding. He’s like, ‘I’m sorry!’” recalled Bertrand. 

Jacob Bertrand Discussed ‘Playing a Villain’ on ‘Cobra Kai’

While speaking to Pop Culture in January 2021, Jacob Bertrand revealed he enjoyed portraying an antagonist. 

“I mean I selfishly love playing a villain. I mean it’s just so much fun. Like playing the nice guy is fun. It is. But playing a villain. I don’t know what it is about it. It’s just nice to act really bad. I don’t know it’s fun,” said the 21-year-old. 

He noted, however, that he believed Hawk needed to make amends to Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo) and to quit the Cobra Kai dojo.

“I don’t believe anyone looks at Hawk and is like yeah, we want him to keep breaking arms and knocking people out and just getting on top and wailing on them. And he is, Hawk is a very all in type of person,” explained the actor. “So in this switch, it’ll be really good for him and coming back to Demetri, his binary brother, and Miguel and realigning back with Johnny, I am excited for his growth, in relearning how to be a good kid but it is definitely going to take some time for everyone to be okay with him again because he did do some bad things.” 

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