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Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, the stars of "Cobra Kai" on Netflix, talk about season 3 and the death of their co-star, Rob Garrison.
- Why would you even let this guy back in your life?
- Because I thought he could change. Turns out I was wrong, so I pushed him away.
KEVIN POLOWY: As you guys sort of keep rolling into season three now on Netflix, how do you look back with perspective now at the beginning of this journey and what your expectations were then?
RALPH MACCHIO: It's exceeded my expectations. Not that I didn't feel we were making something great that was connecting to the original story, the nostalgia of the "Karate Kid" universe, and paying homage to that, and never losing sight of that. To propel to this level on YouTube, break out in that way.
The low expectations helped us, I think, where the press and the media is like, yeah, OK, so they're doing this now. Yeah, sure, no one has any original idea. Why not do this? So that was a good thing for us. And also being out on YouTube, which was not known for original content.
Now the move to Netflix, and that happened-- in the middle of that transition happened during this pandemic, trying to move a show that was homeless. But we had season three in our back pocket. Now it's just blown up in a zillion different languages and with a big, fat embrace.
And the characters and the dives into the nuances of all our characters and the ensemble has grown deeper, with the stakes higher. And then there's more heart feels and '80s references. And it's kind of a recipe for success, and I just don't want to mess it up.
- You're gonna fight this.
- Nah. That part's done. It's in here now.
KEVIN POLOWY: The first episode in season three is dedicated to the late Rob Garrison. Tommy Sheridan, speaker of one of the franchise's most famous lines--
- "Get him a body bag! Yeah!"
KEVIN POLOWY: --he dies in season two as the character. Rob passed away in between filming that episode and season two airing. Were you guys aware he was ill when you filmed that?
WILLIAM ZABKA: Yeah, I'm glad you asked that because that's going out there. He was not sick when we were filming that episode. He was such a supporter of the first season. He was just thrilled, and was invited to come back and to play Tommy in the condition that Tommy was into to put him in a body bag. I thought he might have a hard time with that, but he did it with his whole heart. And he loved every second of that.
He got sick later. It was, in a way some, kind of serendipity. I don't know. But he had a chance for the last Tommy out there, and lay Tommy down the way he would have wanted to as an artist. And he was beautiful in that. So yeah, it's a tribute to him.
- You still got one thing that's more important than anything, Johnny.
- What's that?
- Time. You still have time.