Life is going quite well for Martin Kove these days.
The actor, who originally rose to fame through his portrayal of John Kreese in The Karate Kid, has had no lack of work recently, as his character in the Karate Kid franchise is a now a focal point of the extremely popular Cobra Kai series on YouTube Premium, a show that picks up where The Karate Kid franchise left off.
Cobra Kai, which has claimed extremely high scores on Rotten Tomatoes, has recently been renewed by YouTube for a third season. In addition to this, Kove was cast in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood alongside Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
To top it all off, he plays a part in the much-anticipated movie D-Day alongside his son, Jesse Kove. As we said, life is good for Martin Kove.
We recently had the chance to catch up with Martin Kove and get the inside scoop on Cobra Kai season 3, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and D-Day.
Here’s what he had to say.
Monsters & Critics: Congrats on Cobra Kai getting renewed for season three!
Martin Kove: Thank you!
M&C: Have you heard anything about the direction of season three yet? Or is it all lips sealed right now?
Martin Kove: Well, I met with the writers yesterday. It’s pretty exciting what they have planned. We’re all supposed to be pretty quiet but there’s no shortage of action sequences. And they’re exploring my character.
It’s kinda hard, you know, we’re not supposed to say much. I was trying to give you a couple of words, but the characters are really expanding emotionally. And it’s gonna be a huge surprise — even more than season 2 — what this character is capable of.
And it’s not just conspiratorial or villainy, it’s preservation of one’s lifestyle and making sure that the kids of today truly can be physically comfortable with themselves.
Cobra Kai presents a pathway to inner confidence that way. My teaching of Cobra Kai presents a way for kids or young adults to find that. You know, young kids and adults today have always done foolish things and can be bullied, but Cobra Kai can help so that maybe the victims or targets of bullying get a fighting chance.
M&C: That’s great. Thank you so much. So I heard you have a new action figure coming out — the third one of you as John Kreese. Can you tell me anything about that?
Martin Kove: Yeah, the company coming out with this new doll is Tekka. We’ll go into San Diego Comic-Con soon and sign a few; we’re basically going to do some press, lots of press, at San Diego Comic-Con next week for Cobra Kai — Ralph, Billy, and myself.
We’ll be there for like two days doing press. We have a panel that we’re doing. And then on Monday is the premiere of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which I really look forward to. Working with Quentin was heaven, just heaven.
M&C: Yeah, let’s get into that a little bit. What was your experience like working with him?
Martin Kove: You know, he’s very familiar with everybody’s work. He’s like a human encyclopedia of film. I mean, he worked in a video store early on, and he just knows everybody’s work. And he always liked my work, particularly a movie I did called Firehawk, back from Manila. He loved it.
So he just knows everything about everyone’s career. So I got a call last summer to come and play with him in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. My stuff in the movie is with Leonardo DiCaprio for a western sequence.
And ultimately, he finishes shooting and he says, “I think I’ve got it,” referring to a take. “I think I got it, but I want one more — I’ll have one more.” And he turns around to the crew — about one hundred people — and he says, “And why?”
And the entire crew says in unison, “Because we love to make movies!”
M&C: That’s awesome.
Martin Kove: So the crew loved him. I had a ball. I’d love to work with him again — because he loves to make movies! He’s like the big kid who’s a very knowledgeable, capable director who just goes out there and does what he likes to do. And he’s also such a good writer. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder than I did at the screening at the theater for Pulp Fiction.
M&C: It sounds like it was just a really great experience on set — a lot of positive energy.
Martin Kove: Absolutely.
M&C: I know that Brad Pitt refers to this movie as a “love letter” to the film industry. I’m really excited to see it.
Martin Kove: You know, Quentin really makes movies so well, and the premise of this is basically 1969 Hollywood and all the things that went on.
M&C: Your son (Jesse Kove) is also taking off in the industry right now. I know he stars in the upcoming movie D-Day, which you have a part in as well. What was that experience like working with your son? That’s a big project.
Martin Kove: Let me tell you, I went to the set just to watch Jesse do a World War II movie. And he had a part with his best friend, Weston Cage — Nick’s son (Nicholas Cage). We’re all friends. Jesse went to Beverly Hills High School with Weston. They’re best of friends. And, coincidentally, they didn’t know they were up for the same movie.
Anyway, I go down there, down to Malibu, and I watch the scenes that are happening — doubling, obviously, for the beaches in Normandy. And it was done really well. This director, Nick, was terrific. So I watched and watched and watched, and then Jesse goes over to the writer and he says, “You know, wouldn’t it be great if my father was in this movie?” And they were all big Karate Kid fans, Cobra Kai fans, and so the writers said, “Yeah! we’d love to do that.” I say, “Well, write me a scene where I’m a Polish freedom fighter. Because in the story the movie portrays, there was a real Polish freedom fighter. And we did it. Everything worked out. It was amazing. It turned out well.
M&C: That’s so cool. The trailer looked awesome. Was your son in that scene with you?
Martin Kove: Yeah. The scene fit really well.
M&C: You and your son are really growing in popularity these days as actors. How has that experience been, going through that together?
Martin Kove: I have more fun with my son and daughter than I do my friends. My son and my daughter, Rachel, are my best friends; they are just very creative. My daughter has a rehab business, and she’s a singer and an actress as well.
And the bottom line is that Jesse and I have such a good time, you know, playing with my social media, playing improv scenes — it just makes me happy to be with them. I have a ball! I just really enjoy my family. Every Friday night we get together here at the house.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood comes out on July 26, 2019. D-Day is set for release on September 13, 2019. Cobra Kai season 3 release date to be announced soon. In addition, Kove stars alongside Avatar star Stephen Lang in V.F.W. Release date to be announced soon.
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