In a present concerning the villain of the primary Karate Kid movie that options the villain from the Karate Kid sequel, you simply knew the villain of Karate Kid part three needed to present up ultimately. And this year? Cobra Kai delivered. The fifth season of the hit show is now on Netflix and it features a stunning story arc for Mike Barnes, “Karate’s Bad Boy,” who was employed by the evil Terry Silver in the third film to defeat the Karate Kid himself, Daniel LaRusso. Of course, Barnes loses that match and we by no means hear from him within the film once more.
The similar can’t be mentioned, nevertheless, for the actor who performed him. His title is Sean Kanan, and Kanan turned enjoying that slimy karate bully into an extended profession that started on cleaning soap operas like General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful, and has continued in roles each in entrance of and behind the digital camera. io9 spoke to him final week about lastly returning to the function that made him a star: Karate’s Bad Boy, Mike Barnes.
Germain Lussier, io9: So once I watched this season, it had not but been revealed you have been in it. And so if you confirmed up, it was like “Yes! They finally did it. They finally completed it.” I’ve been asking [Cobra Kai creators] Jon [Hurwitz], Hayden [Schlossberg], and Josh [Heald] “Where’s Mike Barnes? Where’s Mike Barnes?” for like 4 seasons now.
Sean Kanan: You and me each.
io9: [Laughs] Yes, precisely. Well, that’s my first query. When did you first hear concerning the present, and was your speedy thought, “Could I be on it”?
Kanan: Yeah. I mean, look. Obviously it was in all the trades. Everyone knew about it. I was very excited just that the show was going to happen because I thought it was a terrific idea. I think everybody wanted to wait and see what the execution was, and it was flawless. And of course, immediately that’s when I started getting the questions pretty much on a weekly basis. Dozens of people in the beginning and it eventually snowballed into hundreds of people a week asking. So, you know, it took a minute, but better late than never.
io9: So did you get contacted just for the season? Or had you talked to the creators a couple seasons before to say like, “Hey, we’re working on it?” Basically, was there ever a clue that you’d be in this season before you officially signed?
Kanan: I had some contact with [producer] Josh Heald instructed about it. And, the one factor that they mentioned, and I actually revered, is that they needed to deliver individuals in organically. It wasn’t cameo, stunt-casting stuff, which I actually appreciated. And, true to the phrase, I believe that we got here up with a very nice arc and story for the return of the “Bad Boy of Karate.”
io9: So how did they pitch the function to you? Do they simply ship you a script? Did they inform you what the thought was? And how a lot enter did you get to get to have all of it, if in any respect?
Kanan: We had a Zoom assembly, [producers] Jon [Hurwitz] and Josh, and myself. Hayden [Schlossberg] couldn’t make it. And they have been great. They requested me what a few of my concepts have been and actually the one factor I mentioned was, “Look, far be it from me to dictate plot to you guys.” I mentioned the one issues that I’d request respectfully are first, that the character shouldn’t be the one-dimensional thug that he was within the movie. And that was very a lot by design. That is what [director] John Avildsen needed and so I gave him what he needed. But now 34, 35 years down the road, as each an actor and an individual, I needed to guarantee that we have been capable of deliver much more dimension and colours to the character. And I additionally mentioned, one of the crucial good issues about Cobra Kai is the humor. And as a man that does get up and comedy, it was essential to me to place a comedic spin on the function once I may. And I believe we additionally have been ready to try this.
Note: The remainder of the interview has spoilers for Barnes’ function within the season.
io9: Oh, completely It’s so sudden and nice. And clearly I think about furnishings salesman was not one thing you ever imagined.
Kanan: So that’s the half I didn’t actually get. They have been pitching that concept to me and it wasn’t crystallizing. I mentioned, “Look, whatever it is that you guys have in mind, I know it’s going to be brilliant. I’m in. Let’s do this.” I believe we had a Zoom assembly in like July or August even. And I used to be in Atlanta filming in September.
io9: Oh, wow. So it was quick.
Kanan: It moved in a short time.
io9: In all of the years since The Karate Kid Part III, and particularly when Cobra Kai began and also you began getting the questions on coming again, did you have got any concept in your thoughts what Mike could be doing?
Kanan: That’s an incredible query. So I at all times questioned what occurred to this man as a result of he was a 17-year-old child, clearly nonetheless very malleable and life may take him in a variety of totally different instructions. So I figured both he continued to go down the trail of sociopathy that he had began on and doubtless wound up in jail. Or perhaps, he wound up going into the navy and sort of getting straightened out and getting a way of honor and perhaps even turning into an officer. The finest one which I ever heard, although, was any person mentioned, wouldn’t or not it’s humorous if Daniel and Johnny needed to go to court docket mandated anger administration counseling and Barnes was the counselor? And I assumed that was fairly good.
io9: Was there something lower out of Karate Kid III or that you just shot that spoke to any of that or knowledgeable his character in any respect?
Kanan: To the very best of my data, no, there have been no different scenes that talked about Mike’s background. In an ideal world, I believe it might have been actually cool to have Mike actually articulate that what he was doing to Daniel was not private. That it was all primarily based on enterprise. And the rationale he was doing it was as a result of he wanted cash for his household. I believe that might have given it a variety of depth and I believe it might have been a straightforward repair. Yeah. But, once more, it wasn’t the Mike Barnes story. It was the story about Daniel and Mr. Miyagi.
io9: I only in the near past rewatched Karate Kid III, which I are inclined to do if it’s on, and I forgot that Mike negotiated 50% of Cobra Kai from Terry Silver. I noticed issues would have been very totally different on this present had you received that event.
Kanan: That’s proper. And Mike brings that up and says, hey, hear, I insisted they put within the contract. So there may be apparently a contract someplace.
io9: Yes, precisely. Okay, I would like discuss concerning the finale. I couldn’t imagine what I used to be seeing as a result of clearly you’re away for a pair episodes after which we get what I’m calling “Karate Kid: Endgame,” the place you get all foremost villains from the Karate Kid movies collectively to battle one particular person. Did you ever suppose, in all these years, that you’d find yourself on display screen with all of these guys, and what was it wish to movie that?
Kanan: No, I didn’t suppose that I’d be on with all of them. I didn’t have any concept how they’d create a bridge between Mike Barnes and Chozen which I believe is implausible. But it was nice. You know, I do know Yuji [Okumoto] and Billy [Zabka], I’ve recognized him for years. Yuji was simply in my hometown of Newcastle, Pennsylvania, for a martial arts event a few years in the past. And so these are guys that I do know, and to lastly have the ability to work with them in spite of everything these years was terrific. And I’ve to say, I actually thought that the 4 of us had a very enjoyable, fascinating chemistry collectively.
io9: Oh, completely. So what was it like on set? Was it enjoyable? It should’ve been tough to shoot, since there’s a variety of a variety of choreography.
Kanan: Yeah, it was actually the most effective filming experiences I’ve ever had. It was enjoyable. We labored onerous, however the guys have been nice, like I mentioned. Ralph [Macchio] and Billy and Yuji, terrific working with them. There was a sort of a “pinch me” high quality to it. Even Ralph and I at one level we checked out one another, and go “Can you believe this?” I imply, 34, 35 years later, right here we’re doing this once more. And, I’ve mentioned this earlier than, however it was so good to have the chance to get to re-meet Ralph as an grownup now and join with him on a really totally different stage then as this brash 22-year-old child enjoying his nemesis all these years in the past.
io9: That’s so cool. Now, as soon as you probably did signal on in, was it tough retaining the key? How did you handle that?
Kanan: It was very tough. I used to be getting requested continually by everyone, and all I saved saying is “Keep the faith and we shall see.”
io9: Finally, we don’t know what season six goes to carry, and Mike’s story appears fairly nicely wrapped up. But in the event that they requested you to come back again, would you want to come back again? Do you suppose there’s nonetheless extra for the character?
Kanan: In a heartbeat. I’d like it.
Cobra Kai season 5 is now on Netflix.
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