Why ‘Cobra Kai’ star Martin Kove was reluctant to join the series

 pagesix.com  01/14/2021 19:35:16   Nicki Gostin

Actor Martin Kove wasnt sure he wanted to reprise his Karate Kid role in Netflix’s Cobra Kai.

Admitting he had to be “persuaded” to return by the show’s writers, Kove  who plays villainous karate teacher John Kreese  told Page Six, “I was only interested in doing this role if he was a multifaceted character.”

The most recent season of “Cobra Kai,” which came out on Jan. 1, explores Kove’s character’s backstory, which includes a rough childhood and a harrowing time spent as a soldier in Vietnam.

“I dont look at him as a villain,” Kove, 74, told us. “I look at him as a misunderstood character.”

He continued, “People dont really hate my character, especially now they have a fuller understanding of what made him the way he is.”

Martin Kove, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita in "The Karate Kid"
Martin Kove, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita in “The Karate Kid”
Columbia Pictures

And while fans are now getting a richer history of Kreese, when the original movie was first released, they weren’t as sympathetic. Kove said that he was once punched in the back at a supermarket while shopping in Malibu.

Kove laughed, I turned around and it was a little kid about 7-years-old and he said, You hurt Ralph [Macchio]!”

Meanwhile, Cobra Kai actress Courtney Henggeler admitted to Page Six that she was on the verge of leaving Hollywood when she landed her role in the series.

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