Recently, a Cobra Kai star revealed that he had some reservations about working with the “Karate Kid” himself Ralph Macchio.
In a February interview with Page Six, Xolo Maridueña, 19, disclosed he initially expected Macchio and William Zabka, who portrays Johnny Lawrence, to be unfriendly co-workers, as they found fame at relatively “young” ages.
“To be quite honest, I thought, ‘Oh, these guys are going to be jerks. They got so famous when they were so young, there’s no way,’” explained the actor, who is best known for his portrayal of karate student Miguel Diaz.
Maridueña Clarified That He Was Wrong About the Actors
When speaking to Page Six, Maridueña quickly clarified that his assumptions about Macchio and Zabka were incorrect.
‘But even on that first day, they were so fricking welcoming. It’s so much more pleasant to work with people who are respectful than jerks,” said the actor.
Maridueña Has Previously Spoken About Working With Zabka
Maridueña previously spoke about working with Zabka in a January interview with Looper. When asked about his “favorite on-set moment” while filming the show, the actor referred to a scene in Season 2 Episode 3. During the scene, Johnny opens up about being an absentee father.
“Getting to film with William Zabka in that burger restaurant where he’s talking about how Johnny abandoned Robby — I think it’s really a moment that feels offbeat,” said the actor.
He then explained why the sincere moment was unexpected for the Eagle Fang owner. He told the publication:
And you really don’t think that Johnny has it in him to be this vulnerable and the whole season he’s yelling ‘Quiet!’ and saying all this stuff where you’re like, ‘You cannot say that in 2018.’ But he really allows himself to be vulnerable and come from a place of honesty. And I think for that reason, it really didn’t feel like we were filming a scene. It felt like I was just talking to someone and they were sharing their story. I think that was definitely one of my favorite scenes to film.
Maridueña Compared His Relationships With Zabka and Vanessa Rubio
In the same interview with Looper, Maridueña also compared his relationships with Zabka and his on-screen mother Vanessa Rubio. He suggested that he is not as close with the actress, as he does not regularly interact with her.
“We moved to Atlanta to film the show and she lived in New York, so she would come down to film our scenes and then fly back. And because of that, it was a little bit harder to get that chemistry with someone like Vanessa than with someone like Billy, who I see on a day-to-day basis,” noted Maridueña.
He went on to compliment the actress, describing her as “the sweetest woman ever.” The 19-year-old then proceeded to praise all of his co-workers.
“Everyone on that show is so easygoing,” stated Maridueña. “From the first second you meet them, it feels like a family and I think that’s something I definitely take for granted because not every set is like that and Cobra Kai is definitely a gem in its own regard.”
To see more of Maridueña, be sure to watch Cobra Kai Season 3, available on Netflix.