After starring in “The Karate Kid III” more than 30 years ago, Sean Kanan has returned to his roots. The soap actor has reprised his role as villain Mike Barnes in Netflix’s “Cobra Kai.”
“They still call me ‘the bad boy of karate,’ which I imagine when I’m 85 years old and have a walker with tennis balls on it, they’re going to say ‘ look there goes the bad boy of karate,'” he laughed to KTLA 5’s Sam Rubin.
Barnes is overjoyed that the character he played when he was just 22 is still relevant in the year 2022.
“To have the opportunity to go back and play the character again and bring some different dimensions, some different colors to it, and to just be a part of a show that’s become an international phenomenon has been fantastic,” he explained.
He revealed that he was able to bring a “redemptive quality” to the Mike Barnes character, but when push comes to shove- the bad boy still lives within him.
That fighting spirit rang true when Kanan originally filmed the third installment of the franchise. During the film’s holiday break, he suffered from a near-fatal incident.
He passed out and was rushed to the hospital. It turned out, the copious amounts of aspirin he was taking to cope with the pain he was experiencing from all the film’s martial arts, caused him to bleed internally.
“It was Christmas Day 1988 and they told me they didn’t know if they could save my life,” he somberly revealed. “I not only had to fight my way back into the world but fight my way back into finishing the film. Ultimately, I ended up performing all my own martial arts stunts.”
All five seasons of “Cobra Kai” are currently only on Netflix.