Interview with Actor & Cobra Kai Star, Xolo Maridueña

Have you caught up on the YouTube Red series, Cobra Kai, starring Xolo Maridueña yet? If not, get on it!

Glitter recently sat down with Xolo, who you may remember from the NBC hit series, Parenthood, to talk about the new series, Cobra Kai, on YouTube Red, his inspiration, what he had to do to get ready for the show, and what his name means. We also asked him if he was a Dodgers fan, and something his fans might be surprised to find out about him. To read that you’ll need to make sure to download the new issue coming out soon. For a teaser, read on!


GLITTER: What can you tell us about your new YouTube series, Cobra Kai?

XOLO: Hopefully by now your readers will have had a chance to catch at least the 1st 2 episodes of Cobra Kai so they can get a feel of this hybrid dramatic-comedy which continues the story of the original Karate Kid.  It’s a great mix of familiar characters that are weaved together with a whole new crew of Cobra Kai dojo and Miyagi Dojo students.  The tensions and laughs are all there.  It’s a great watch for people who love the classic series and those of us who may not have been around for the first time.


GLITTER: Who do you play?

XOLO: I play Miguel, the reluctant Sensei Johnny’s, first student.  I basically spend the first 2-episodes getting my butt kicked and then you see the transformation that takes place under the Cobra Kai dojo.


GLITTER: Did you need to learn martial arts for the show?

XOLO: Absolutely! It was a daily 2-4 hour regiment of working with professional stunts, martial arts, boxing, strength and yoga instructor teams to get me in amazing shape. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  It wasn’t just about learning martial arts, it was about the entire task of learning martial arts and then using it in a way that can be choreographed and filmed.  Daily testing of what I was learning and then put into motion.  I was incredibly lucky to work with Hiro Koda (Power Rangers, Green Hornet) who is just one of the best and most dedicated instructors in this field.  His whole team whipped my butt on a regular basis.

Photographer: Tim Schaeffer at Cellar Door Studios

Grooming: Joseph Adivari @adivaribeauty


GLITTER: How familiar with the original Karate Kid movies before taking on this new show?

XOLO: Not really all that familiar with it at all except for seeing it as a younger person.  Most of my familiarity came from the Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan Karate Kid, which came out when I was 9, so it was actually a big favorite of mine. I didn’t however have much of an idea what Cobra Kai was until the audition came in and my mom and dad looked over my shoulder at the script and got super geeked out about it.  I guess that was kind of a foreshadowing at how excited some generations may be about Cobra Kai, the series.


GLITTER: Where do you find your inspiration?

XOLO: Oh man, just everywhere.  I am of course inspired by actors I see really being on top of their game, especially those that can have longevity and also are able to move from genre to genre without breaking a sweat.  But really, I am inspired by so many people who are very clear in their path and then put in the hard work to get there.  I am super inspired by the struggle that most people take on and is unnoticed.


GLITTER: What does your name mean? 

XOLO: Xolo is name with Nahuatl origins, it’s an indigenous language, spoken by millions still to this day, mostly by people of Uto-Aztecan origin. The name is a form of the work for Dog Star, or “North Star,” Sirus.  It’s the brightest star in the Orion belt. So, like…no pressure right lol.  As a side note.


To read the FULL interview, make sure to keep an eye out for our next digital issue coming late October/November!