Sean Kanan has finally made it back to the Valley. The actor, known for playing the villainous Mike Barnes in The Karate Kid III, reprised the role in season 5 of Netflix’s hit series Cobra Kai. He told ABC Audio that when he got the call to return, he wasn’t surprised at all.
“I was relieved,” Kanan said. “I was thinking to myself, ‘Alright, this is season 5 here, it’s getting a little late in the game. Come on, guys, we’re in the fourth quarter here, how about putting me in!’”
While he was eager to play the character again, Kanan said he made sure he wasn’t giving a repeat performance.
“I just wanted to be sure that we brought some different colors and some different dimensions to the character, because Mike Barnes was very much a one-dimensional bad guy in the film,” Kanan said. “I wanted to make sure that I was going to come up with something that was going to be interesting on different levels.”
This thought process aligns closely with Kanan’s view of the show as a whole. He says that the Cobra Kai cast and crew “have done their level-best to make sure that what they’re doing is in no way derivative or redundant of the original films.”
All that being said, Kanan acknowledges the role nostalgia has played in the show’s success.
“You’ve got the guys my age who like it for the nostalgic factor, and then you’ve got the younger kids who like it for what’s going on with the younger kids, and, effectively, the show has become a magnet,” Kanan said. “It attracts both generations and it’s something that they can do together.”