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Xolo Mariduena on ‘Cobra Kai’ and ‘Twin Peaks’

COBRA KAI’S Season two, which originally aired in April 2019, ended with a shocking cliffhanger. After a massive, literally high-profile fight at school, Xolo Maridueña’s character Miguel was in a coma after stepping down the stairs and landing on his back. The fans really wanted to know Miguel’s fate and even had some fancy theories. But on October 2, the trailer for the third season, which is due to be released in January 2021, confirmed that Miguel survived the fall.

“I’m so excited that everyone is at least a little bit at peace because I swear the main question I get is ̵

6;Are you dead?'” The 19-year-old star said on the phone. “We’ll see how healthy Miguel is in the end, but at least I’m excited that he’s alive now.”

The big fight scene in the season two finale became one of the most talked about moments of the show on social media. It is extremely impressive and complex, as the children Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do compete against each other. It turned out that filming it was as intense as it looks; Ordinarily, such a sequence would take a full day, however Cobra Kai did it in just three hours and takes a couple of hours. “It is very exhausting to train every day for something that you only have one day to film,” he says. “But I feel like we made the most of what we got. We did six or seven takes and that was it – but I think that’s all we needed.”

Maridueña owes the impression of the scene to the stunt coordinators Hiro Koda and Jahnel Curfman, who helped the actors perfect their movements and feel comfortable.

“There are so many moving parts, so many different people who have to move at the same time to make sure nobody gets hurt,” he says. “They have the cameraman who has to make sure they don’t get hit in the face by anything, and that goes with the chemistry. The chemistry we have on set is unparalleled in my opinion for any show I’ve ever worked on have.”

And yes – according to Maridueña, accidentally kicking the cameraman in the face has “definitely happened before”. Fortunately, this scene was filmed on a steadicam – so he narrowly avoided the life that imitates art.

Did Miguel in Netflix 'Cobra Kai Xolo Maridueña die as Miguel Diaz in Netflix' Cobra Kai?

Xolo Maridueña in Cobra Kai.


Not many teenage actors can say they were part of two great pop culture phenomena from the very beginning of their careers. Maridueña had a minor role in the restart of Showtime Twin peaks back in 2017. “It’s definitely surreal,” he says. “”Twin peaks and The karate kid are two projects that were so impressive when they came out and two projects that I think really lived up to the original … I’m really grateful to David Lynch and the Cobra Kai Creators are the biggest fans of their own projects, and that’s why they know it like the back of their hand. “

In contrast to his role on Twin peaks, however, Cobra Kai It took a whole new set of skills and prep, mostly weight training, to keep up with the physical demands required to play an ass kicking teenager. “Right now I’m just trying to enlarge myself, look bigger and get stronger, while the goal on set is really to improve the choreography and keep stretching so you don’t get hurt.”

While filming, training includes an hour of stretching, an additional hour of circuit training, cardio training, and hours of choreography to prepare for battle scenes. The show also requires Maridueña to train off-set even if there isn’t a pandemic going on.

His home routine includes an hour of stretching and then an hour of cycling training, including days specifically for legs, shoulders, and abs. At night he alternates between a yoga routine or just stretching and relaxing. “It’s been like that for the past few months, especially in quarantine,” he says. “It’s difficult to meet with a coach or someone else to try to train, so the goal right now is to get home training suspended.”

“In many cases, writers and creators will say, ‘Oh, you know, the main brown kid is Mexican because it’s easy.'”

When you watch the show it is easy to believe that Maridueña has always been a karate master, but surprisingly, it is not. Similar to Miguel before meeting Johnny, Maridueña had little previous karate experience Cobra Kai. He’s actually one of the least experienced in the cast. “I played karate for a couple of years when I was very young, like first or second grade, and that was it. Everyone else on the show – Tanner [Buchanan]At least the guy who plays Robby has been doing gymnastics and jiu-jitsu and all those things for years. So training with them is like training with professionals, “he says.” I always feel like I’m all the way in the back of the group, but because of that, it’s much better to motivate myself and look forward to something. Because when I get a kick that is better, or when we wrestle and I can nail her down, it feels so much better. “

Aside from lack of experience, this role was a perfect fit for Maridueña, who had a lot of experience on television – he played Victor in the NBC family drama for three seasons prior to his current hit streak Parenting, from Friday night lights Creator Jason Katims.

With Cobra KaiThe actor was able to bring his experience and much-needed Latinx portrayal to television, becoming the color’s first youthful protagonist within the Karate kid Franchise in the process. Maridueña says he is also grateful for the Ecuadorian representation on television. “In many cases, writers and creators will say, ‘Oh, you know, the most important brown kid is Mexican because it’s easy,'” he says.

Xolo Maridueña Tanner Buchanan fight scene as Miguel and Robby in season 2 of Netflix 'Cobra Kai

Maridueña, right, fights with Tanner Buchanan in season 2 of Cobra Kai.


COBRA KAI was already a huge hit on YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red), but its biggest year to date has been a year that hasn’t even released a new season. The critically acclaimed The show was successful in its first home, but the acquisition of Netflix (after YouTube deviated from original scripted content) brought it to new heights. The show topped the streaming giant’s charts for weeks and Maridueña became one of the most talked about actors of the year.

In particular, he was delighted with how expansive the show’s newly discovered fandom was.

“The majority of our fans were fans of the original Karate kidbut I feel like now, it seems like you don’t even have to be a fan to know about this Cobra Kai, ” he says. “Everyone’s talking about it.”

He’s right – the show was inevitable and dominated conversation on social media after it hit Netflix in August. The fans longed for more. Even if you haven’t seen The karate kid, or maybe just forgot important points of the plot, Cobra Kai Includes flashbacks that explain what’s going on and make it easy for anyone to look around. And while the show’s plot revolves around original stars Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who are still Nemes three decades later, the emotional center of the show is Maridueña’s character Miguel, who becomes Johnny’s protégé.

“The majority of our fans were fans of the original Karate kidbut I feel like now, it seems like you don’t even have to be a fan to know about this Cobra Kai. “

STARRING IN A successful TV show offers a huge platform, and Maridueña has focused on using it forever. Back in August he tweeted of his disappointment that only one Latinx person was nominated for the Emmys this year. (The candidate in question is Alexis Bledel, who is half Argentine and plays a non-Latin character The story of the maid).

“The statistics are out there, and I think it’s even more important that we grab the bull by the horns and start writing our own stories,” he says. “The fact is, if Latinos and people with color don’t write authentic stories, no one will write them. It will always be the old whites who write the stories for us. [The story] will never have this authenticity if it does not come out of the horse’s mouth. ”

With so many new fans, Maridueña now has an important role to play in helping other Latinx kids feel represented on screen. It is a position that he does not take lightly. “I grew up with maybe a sample or two of people who looked like me on screen, and none of them were my age,” he says. “Hopefully this opportunity – watch TV with her parents and say “Oh my god, this guy looks like me and he’s one of the main characters on this show.”will make them feel like i had growing up. ”

Xolo Twin Peaks boy

Maridueña, left, with David Lynch Twin Peaks: The Return.

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Maridueña has tried an off-screen talent with two major projects: music. Recently he was taken to Instagram and half-jokingly said he was “Tryna Drop Some Bars”. But rap is actually a huge part of his life so obviously he wants to explore this realm.

“Hip-hop and rap in general have had a huge impact on my life, from my fashion sense to the music I listen to to the way I wear myself. A lot of that is influenced by hip-hop,” says he. “I love rapping … I kind of posted it as a joke. But also when someone gave me the shot, me total would be downstairs to put down a couple of bars. ”

Right now he’s just thrilled to be part of such a meaningful project. How Cobra Kai gets the attention it deserves – and it’s already been renewed for a fourth season – Maridueña eagerly stepping into the limelight, facilitating important conversations about representation in the industry and giving young Latinx fans a complex character to identify with .

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