Cobra Kai is a sequel to The Karate Kid trilogy from the 1980s, 17 years before you were born for the first film. Did you know this saga before going to the casting?
Was it 17-years before I was born?! I haven’t done the math on that yet, wow! I did know of the original Karate Kid, we watched movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day off (that’s my favorite), Ghostbuster's and Back to the Future when I was a kid, so I didn’t know about this movie. My favorite version was actually the Jaden Smith one because that obviously came out when I would have associated with the age and general feel of that character.
What can you tell us about Miguel Diaz, your character?
Miguel comes from a close family, he has a hard-working mom and abuela at home that cooks bomb food. He’s coming into a new school and that’s super hard most of the time. He’s is trying to fit in. This is his journey as much as its Johnny and Daniel’s. I like that you get to know different sides of Miguel. Just like most of us, he isn’t a one-dimensional person.
Cobrai Kai is a series mixing comedy and action with a great place for karate. Did you take a special training for the filming?
I did an immense amount of training with my coach Hiro Koda. He was an original Power Ranger, so he’s been putting in work for some time. He has me training on set 2-3 hours per day and on days we didn’t film, 4-6 hours. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not just physically but getting up early and eating the right things, my love for in-n-out had to be put on the side.
You started your acting career in 2012 with the role of Victor Graham in Parenthood. How did you want to become an actor?
The idea of being able to be a different person and switch roles was super interesting to me, or as interesting as it can be to a 9-year-old. My family is super supportive and let me try it. From the first audition, I was working, so it was something that I was able to fold it into my regular life. Looking back of course I realize that I was very fortunate to have my first TV role as that of Victor, surrounded by the best team ever.
Actor’s job is very time-consuming, but in addition of that, you have to go to school. How do you manage the everyday life?
Ahhhh, that part is kicking my butt right now. I go to a rigorous all-boys school, and take five AP classes, plus studying for the SATs and ACTs means I have to keep a really tight schedule. I just got my driver’s license and that has made life much easier! I can get myself to auditions, work, tennis practice and other errands.
Do you watch series and what are your favorites?
Right now, I haven’t had a chance to catch up on too much stuff, in my watch list is Shameless, Grown-ish, The Punisher, and I’m eating to start Black Lighting and of course, Cobra Kai!
Do you have any other projects underway for the coming months?
I am really proud to have done the table read for the screen version of Aristotle and Dante. Benjamin Sáenz’ book is something that is close to so many young people and the character of Aristotle means a lot to readers of the book. I wanted to honor that responsibility and give Aristotle the right voice and feel. I also have a great recurring role in a very popular graphic novel, I just can’t say what it is yet, but it’s fun. Voiceover’s in general are so much fun, you can go to work in pajamas!
Thank you for answering our questions and what do you want to say to your fans?
I appreciate the time! Thank you for all the love and let’s keep in touch on twitter and Instagram @Xolo_Mariduena