Season 5 of Cobra Kai is now available on Netflix! Ahead of the premiere, we were thrilled to chat with actors Peyton List (Tori), Mary Mouser (Sam), Gianni DeCenzo (Demitri), Jacob Bertrand (Eli), and Xolo Maridueña (Miguel) about each of their character’s journeys this year.
Warning: the interview below contains Season 5 spoilers.
This season, Tori begins to see through Cobra Kai’s facade, and Sam keeps getting pulled back into Miyagi-Do when she thinks she’s put that world behind her. Peyton and Mary, did you ever imagine that your characters would land on the same page by the end of the season, working together rather than against each other?
Peyton: I was completely shocked by it. I didn’t expect these two to ever be friends or work together after everything that they’ve been through. Tori literally haunts Sam’s nightmares. That just shows how big of a villain we have this season, and nothing brings people together like a common enemy.
Mary: Yeah, that’s very fair. I would say though, from an actor standpoint, I have a lot of fun working with Peyton. I always get stoked when we have scenes together. It’s fun to get to fight with her. I thought it was tough being so friendly off camera and then having to fake being mean to each other. But it was almost more difficult to fight that instinct. Those moments with [Tori] felt like [Sam] was betraying herself. It was a fun new challenge, and I wasn’t expecting it.
Peyton: I almost got emotional when asking for your help in the Cobra Kai Dojo when we’re fighting. Tori could not fight any more and had to ask Sam for help. To do that with my character was pretty cool.
Jacob and Gianni, not only do your characters have to rely on their karate skills this year, but they also get to play around with their tech smarts in the finale. What was it like for both of you to play that tech nerd angle?
Gianni: It was really cool. We finally got to see why they call us the “Binary Bros.” We’ve never seen us code before other than the little green screen video of us [in Season 4], although I don’t think that counts.
Jacob: I was really excited to do a scene like that, a hacking scene. It felt very Mission Impossible, like, “Oh yeah, you guys go fight, we’ll take care of things down here.”
Gianni: And it was so cool how they added all the fight scenes in between.
Miguel goes on a personal journey this season of trying to discover who he is but quickly realizes that everything he needs in his life is at home with his family. Xolo, what can you share about playing that character arc in Season 5?
Xolo: Sometimes you need to make big leaps and bounds to find the answers that seem so close to home. This is just like that. There was this sense of identity that Miguel was missing out on by not knowing his father. Regardless of the outcome, he found his answers, and he’s better off because of it.