“I’m super proud of my team and the cast. We don’t have special effects, we don’t have CGI,” stunt coordinator reveals Ken Barefield on innovative stunt work on the Netflix blockbuster “Cobra Kai.” For our recent online chat, he adds, “We don’t clean any of our fights with any CGI; what you see is what you see,” he said, noting that “it’s a proud moment for us to be able to get down to business.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Netflix blockbuster “Cobra Kai” revisits old rivals Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Laurent (Guillaume Zabka) 30 years after the original 1984 Oscar-nominated classic “The Karate Kid.” As the show’s first two seasons flew under the radar of YouTube’s premium service, it developed a loyal fan base who relished reliving the decades-long feud between Johnny and Daniel as they encouraged a new generation to compete for the supremacy of All Valley Karate. The series was catapulted into a true pop culture phenomenon when Netflix picked up the series in 2020, becoming the most-watched series on the platform. “Cobra Kai” has also become a critical darling, with its third season scoring four Emmy nominations last year (including for Outstanding Comedy Series).
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Season 4 picked up where the third season left off, as Johnny and Daniel finally come together to defeat the infamous Kreese (Martin Kove, also reprising his role from the original film), Lawrence’s old sensei, who took over Johnny’s Cobra Kai dojo. Johnny’s former karate prodigy, Miguel (Xolo Mariduena) recovered from his Season 3 back injury, while Robby (Tanner Buchanan), Johnny’s estranged son, turned his back on Daniel, associating with the Kreese. The plot thickens as the regular cast grows, with new kid Kenny (Dallas Dupree Young), fan-favorite duo Hawk (Jacques-Bertrand) and Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo), LaRusso’s teens Samantha (Mary Mouser) and Anthony (Santopietro Griffon) and Sam’s great rival, Tory (Peyton list) joining the fray as series regulars. Old grudges, blood, sweat, tears and a thrilling All-Valley Karate Tournament that dominates the season’s final two episodes set for a thrilling conclusion as Kreese is shockingly usurped by an even greater threat. tall, Kreese’s former right-hand man, the evil Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffithalso a new series regular this season, reprising his role from 1989’s second sequel “The Karate Kid, Part III”).
Barefield took over as stunt coordinator from the start of season 4, taking the reins of the Emmy-nominated husband and wife team of Hiro Koda and Janel Kurfman. Barefield, who has worked as a stuntman since the show’s first season, was thrilled with his promotion as the show’s senior stunt supervisor. “It’s a big shoe to step into, but I was blessed and blessed to be there from day one and know how everything was shot, from season one through three,” he admits. “I knew the algorithm if you will, but what I wanted to do in seasons four and five, and then eventually six, was I wanted to make sure I brought in fresh blood and changed it,” says- he. “It was about bringing in some fresh blood, but also making sure I picked up where we left off in Season 3 and making sure the bar was raised for Season 4 and then the bar was rising again for Season 5.”
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