JACOB BERTRAND is currently starring as Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz in the highly-anticipated second season of global smash-hit COBRA KAI on YouTube Premium.
Based on THE KARATE KID film series, COBRA KAI takes place thirty-four years after the original film. The new series follows a down-and-out Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, reigniting his rivalry with a now successful Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his now-deceased mentor, Mr. Miyagi.
AC: When were you first introduced to THE KARATE KID?
JACOB BERTRAND: When I was eight years old, I first watched it with my younger brother Blake. We would run around the house wrestling and trying to crane kick each other in the face.
What initially intrigued you about COBRA KAI?
I loved how natural it felt. The story that the writers have put down is amazing. It only enhances THE KARATE KID world and I am so happy to be a part of it.
How much time have you spent doing karate training?
About one-to-two months before the second season we were training in LA with Simon Rhee. That helped so much [laughs]. Once we got into Atlanta where we film, we trained almost everyday for a couple hours a day with our stunt coordinators Hiro and Jahnelle.
Now in its second season, what can fans expect from the new episodes?
More badass fights and a plethera of teen drama.
How can you relate to your character?
Well, I was bullied as a kid, and I think that at one time I did have a fantasy to just become the ultimate badass and have the balls to beat everyone up. In that way, Hawk is acting out every aggression I’ve ever had, and it’s celebrated!
Can you recall any funny moments from on-set filming?
Xolo [Maridueña] accidentally punched me in the face. We weren’t even doing a fight scene either [laughs].
As an actor, what are you still trying to learn?
Well, I love the saying, “you dont know what you dont know.” And I think with acting this is very true. I just want to continue absorbing as much as I can from other actors on set and learning from them. I think learning from others is a huge blessing especially since the cast is saturated with rich talent, such as the Xolo Maridueña.
COBRA KAI Season 2 is now streaming on YouTube
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES