Why ‘Cobra Kai’ Stars Say Tanner Buchanan Is Similar to Robby

Tanner Buchanan

Getty Tanner Buchanan strikes a pose at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

While the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai” is somewhat grounded in reality, it has some outlandish moments. For example, Johnny Lawrence’s (William “Billy” Zabka) inability to understand modern technology makes it seem as though he is a time traveler straight from 1984. For this reason, the show’s cast may have some difficulty relating to their characters. 


William ‘Billy’ Zabka, Peyton List, Xolo Maridueña, & Jacob Bertrand Recently Appeared on a Live Stream Together

GettyWilliam Zabka, Martin Kove, Xolo Maridueña, Ralph Macchio, Tanner Buchanan, and Mary Mouser speak onstage at San Diego Comic-Con 2019

A few of the show’s stars, William “Billy” Zabka, Peyton List, Xolo Maridueña, and Jacob Bertrand, recently discussed “Cobra Kai” on a live stream, uploaded on Sony Pictures Television Studios Instagram account. During the live stream, Zabka asked a question from a fan, which read, “who’s most similar to their character.” Bertrand, who plays Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz, joked that he believed List acts like her on-screen counterpart Tory Nichols, who is often quite violent. Maridueña, who portrays Tory’s ex-boyfriend Miguel Diaz, teased that he agreed with Bertrand’s assessment. 

“Peyton is kind of a backstabbing, you know, meanie for sure,” joked Maridueña. 

The 20-year-old actor went on to say that he thought he and Miguel share some similarities. 

“I think my character is the most like middle of the road of any of the characters,” said the “Parenthood” star. 

Bertrand then seemed to give a sincere suggestion by noting that he believed Tanner Buchanan and his character, Robby Keene, were alike. As fans are aware, the character is a talented martial artist who is somewhat soft-spoken and resents his father, Johnny Lawrence, and his former karate instructor, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). 

“Tanner is really angsty in real life. He’s such a bad boy in real life,” quipped Maridueña with a smile. 

Zabka agreed and stated, “Tanner is very much like Robby.” Maridueña interjected that the “He’s All That” actor “is just mysterious” like his character. List, however, seemed to disagree with her co-stars’ assessment of Buchanan and shared that she “feels like Tanner is a lot more of a goofball than what he lets on.” 

“Yeah, he’s definitely a goofball but he’s got that kind of mystery — like you don’t know, he could go either this way or that way a little bit,” asserted Zabka. The 55-year-old clarified that he meant his remarks as a compliment. 


Tanner Buchanan Recently Discussed the Show’s Emmy Nomination

Tanner Buchanan and Mary Mouser

Getty Tanner Buchanan and Mary Mouser pose together at The Paley Center for Media.

During an August 2021 interview with Variety, Tanner Buchanan briefly discussed “Cobra Kai.” He shared that he was pleased the show recently received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series.

“I wasn’t expecting it. I’m completely happy and it’s nice to see that everything that we’ve done the past few years, you know, it doesn’t matter, you know, how many eyes we had on it, we were still putting in the work, everybody was, and it’s just a big moment I feel like for everyone involved on the show because we have put that work in for so many years,” said Buchanan. 

He then shared that he and his castmates have been unable to celebrate the nomination as a group because of being busy with various projects and the coronavirus pandemic. He noted, however, that they were “texting each other” when the nomination was announced. 

“The first text [was] from Ralph [Macchio] which was pretty cool. I can’t remember what he said but the first text I got was from Ralph and then after that it was just texting everybody, you know, saying ‘congratulations,’” said Buchanan.  

READ NEXT: Why William Zabka Says He ‘Had No Business Playing Johnny Lawrence’


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