Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso began a rivalry more than 35 years ago, when Daniel moved to the Valley and began dating Johnny's girlfriend, Ali Mills. That rivalry moved from The Karate Kid to Cobra Kai when the series debuted a couple of years ago, and the two characters still have a hard time seeing eye-to-eye. However, the actors playing Johnny and Daniel have a much different relationship, having become close friends over the last three decades of working together. Ahead of Cobra Kai's Season 3 debut, ComicBook.com spoke with William Zabka and Ralph Macchio about how their relationship has evolved over the years.
"Yeah, I mean, we've been friends for years and over the last decade or so, getting closer from doing Comic Cons and all that, then How I Met Your Mother and we started to come together," Zabka explained. "I did a music video, 'Sweep The Leg' and we've just been slowly reconnecting and re-bonding over all this time and then right before this was pitched to us we started thinking, maybe there's something out there we should do together. We were actually coming up with some ideas and there was something kind of in the air and our relationship was just getting closer and then when we had this show pitched to us, it was like this shared experience coming back into today and we became instantly grafted in the show and that's opened up to be working at this level with something that we both cherish and it's such a big part of both of our lives, we have so many things that we found out that we have in common, we're different but same and we've become quite good friends off camera. I think maybe the way people wish Johnny and Daniel would end up, maybe, in real life."
"Maybe we're foreshadowing where they may land," Macchio added. "But it's much more fun to watch them almost get together and then get in their own way."
Macchio went on to say that one of the main inspirations for Johnny and Daniel's chemistry is the will-they-won't-they relationship of Ross and Rachel from Friends.
You can watch the full interview with Macchio and Zabka in the video at the top of the page.
All three seasons of Cobra Kai are now streaming on Netflix.