SEATTLE — When Evening first met Yuji Okumoto in 2009, the actor greatest recognized for enjoying the bad-guy Chozen in Karate Kid 2 was splitting time between studying script and serving meals at his restaurant Kona Kitchen in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood.
10 years later he obtained a name from his agent asking if he’d prefer to reprise his greatest function.
“He mentioned, the fellows over at Cobra Kai are all in favour of bringing you into the fold and season three. So I used to be extraordinarily excited. You already know, I simply was pondering, why did it take so lengthy,” joked Yuji Okumoto.
Primarily based on the movies from the Karate Child franchise, the Netflix collection Cobra Kai has been a large hit with its where-are-they-now plot strains and relentless motion. However as excited as Yuji was to play the character Chozen as soon as once more, he wished to ensure it was proper.
“I simply wished to ensure he was portrayed in a approach that is not a one dimensional sort of character. I wished him to have some type of journey, some path of redemption.”
As soon as that path was clear Yuji flew from Seattle to Okinawa Japan the place he filmed his scenes for season 3 over the course of 5 days.
“It felt like we’re again on the set of Karate Child II. Working with Ralph particularly, he is simply so skilled. No ego, you conversate and have a great time, and reminisce about a number of these things. And we talked about, you already know, our children, household stuff. And so it was actually a beautiful expertise.”
The one not so great expertise was making ready to do karate strikes with Ralph Macchio for the primary time in 35 years.
“I regarded on the script, and there is 4 vital fights in there. And I had not been actually coaching in martial arts for a short time. So I believed, Oh, my God, that is gonna be, that is gonna be tough.”
Fortunately Uuji limped away with solely a pulled hamstring. However getting the prospect to convey redemption to his most well-known function was nicely price it.
“Once I did Karate Child, two. All I acquired was when folks got here as much as me, they’d say, hey, you are the man from Karate Child two, you are such an ass. I hated you. That is all I acquired. It has been sort of a 180 from the character I performed in Cobra Kai. So it is sort of a pleasant change to not be known as a jerk.”
Season 3 of Cobra Kai is now streaming on Netflix.