Xolo Maridueña and Vanessa Rubio Talk Netflix’s ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4

Lead Photo: Cobra Kai. (L to R) Rose Bianco as Rosa, Vanessa Rubio as Carmen, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2021
Cobra Kai. (L to R) Rose Bianco as Rosa, Vanessa Rubio as Carmen, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2021
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Cobra Kai is the kind of show you cannot stop watching. Yes, it’s cheesy and half of its initial appeal is the nostalgia, but a combination of engaging characters and interesting family dynamics make it the perfect binge, whether you’re familiar with the original or not.

Remezcla had a chance to talk to series stars Xolo Maridueña and Vanessa Rubio about season 4 of the show – which has already been renewed for a season 5 – and what it means to bring a Latine family to a show that’s, presumably, all about the fights. And Maridueña was quick to give credit to the creators, sharing that they “have always been so respectful in making the familial aspect of the Diaz household feel realistic,” and that includes the dialect and the slang that gets used. 

There are a lot of great family moments in season 4, and Maridueña promised there’s many more to come in season 5, while also reflecting on what it means to “film with other Latinos and not have it be like super highbrow, like wink, wink, look at us, we’re meeting the quota.”

It should be the norm, and it rarely ever is, but shows like Cobra Kai are helping make the representation of Latine families much more common, and more importantly, presenting them not just in the midst of tragedy, but in their good moments too.

“Yeah, they go through some hard times, they’re struggling through some stuff, but it’s not their main characteristic.” Maridueña added, pointing out how refreshing it was to be part of a show that allowed Latines to just be. 

Rubio agreed, and went a step further by discussing how her character, Carmen, who started as just Miguel’s mom, has been allowed to become more as the show has progressed. “Carmen is coming into her own,” she told us. “She had to step out of that role of just being a mother herself. Now she’s a girlfriend.”

And, if the show ever allowed her and Amanda to have a long conversation, perhaps she, alongside Daniel’s wife and Sam’s mother, could probably fix everything that’s wrong in this show.

“Carmen and Amanda should take over,” she agreed with us. “Except then all the problems would be solved. Where would we go from there?”

Honestly, as fair an assessment as this is, we would still like to see it.

Just as we want more of the kind of emotional scenes between Miguel and Johnny that Maridueña shared were like “a fever dream” to film. “I almost blackout, honestly, getting to film those scenes,” he added. But “Billy makes it easier,” he shared, speaking about William Zabka, who plays Carmen’s boyfriend and Miguel’s father figure, Johnny Lawrence. “Getting to act alongside him is a privilege.”

And as fans, getting to see the finished result, feels like a privilege as well. Nostalgia can only take you so far, and Cobra Kai has grown to be much more than that. Xolo Maridueña and Vanessa Rubio are a big part of the reason why.

Cobra Kai seasons 1-4 are available now on Netflix