‘Cobra Kai’ Star On Kim Da-Eun Vs. Tory, Season 6 Hopes: Unique – Hollywood Life



Kim Da-Eun is a drive to be reckoned with on Cobra Kai, and her story is simply starting. In season 5, she was enlisted by Terry Silver to assist prepare Tory, Robby, and others at Cobra Kai. Kim’s presence on the present is a significant milestone: she’s the primary feminine sensei in The Karate Child Universe.

Alicia Hannah-Kim spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about bringing Kim Da-Eun to life and the way “significant” this character is to so many. Alicia revealed she desires to see a Kim vs. Johnny combat and hopes to dig into Kim’s historical past in a possible season 6. She additionally mentioned the “extremely advanced” relationship between Kim and Tory, two girls making an attempt to chart their very own paths within the karate world.

Alicia Hannah-Kim stars as Kim in ‘Cobra Kai’ season 5. (Photographer: Timothy Fernandez)

What first intrigued you in regards to the position of Kim?
Alicia Hannah-Kim: From the second I learn my audition scenes, I used to be hooked. She was so instantly invincible off the web page, and it grabbed me from the primary line the place she steps off a non-public jet, and he or she’s already form of disdainful of her environment. That’s actually, actually enjoyable to play as an actor.

Kim is the primary feminine sensei in The Karate Child universe, which could be very thrilling. That’s loads to tackle. How did you’re feeling about that?
Alicia Hannah-Kim: It’s humorous, whereas I used to be capturing, it simply by no means occurred to me. I used to be so absorbed within the day-to-day lifetime of filming that I by no means stopped to ponder it till I had wrapped and somebody stated it to me, and it hit me within the face. I used to be so overcome with emotion and simply reflecting on how fortunate I’m to be in that place. And in addition, hopefully, how significant it will likely be for different girls, Asian girls, younger ladies, younger Asian ladies… I hope that they’ll see themselves in me.

Have been you actually acquainted with karate earlier than? Did you do any coaching for this position?
Alicia Hannah-Kim: I wasn’t skilled in karate, however I had skilled in Muay Thai, which is Thai kickboxing. That’s very intense. I used to be positively form of mildly assured going into the coaching. I’ve a little bit of a background in dance. I do loads of yoga. I’m fairly athletic. So I assumed that I’d be capable to deal with myself, however the coaching was full on. The stunt workforce is not any joke. An hour off the aircraft into Atlanta, I used to be straight pushed straight to the stunt health club with my baggage. I imply, I arrived with all of my carry-on. I used to be like, ‘Whats up there!’ I used to be instantly thrown right into a combat choreography with Peyton [List] and Oona [O’Brien]. So it was a trial by fireplace.

Relating to Kim and Silver, we see on the very finish of the season Silver is taken down. He’s arrested and uncovered. What do you suppose goes by way of Kim’s head at that second?
Alicia Hannah-Kim: I believe all by way of the season, she’s continually strategizing her place, which is her overarching aim aligns with Terry’s generally. On the identical time, she’s not as embedded in that decades-long feud with Johnny and Daniel. Kim’s targets are way more world and form of private and near residence together with her household, this domination of her household’s martial artwork Tang Soo Do, which is the origin of Cobra Kai. This concept of her aligning with Silver feels short-term and strategic. So when Silver is taken down, I believe for her, she instantly cuts unfastened and strikes on.

There’s a gap for somebody to take over because the chief of Cobra Kai. Do you suppose she would thrive in that place? 
Alicia Hannah-Kim: I believe it might match like a glove. She was born for it.

How do you suppose Kim feels about Tory? I do know that she thinks, particularly in direction of the top, that Tory’s slightly bit weak, however perhaps it’s simply Kim pushing Tory.
Alicia Hannah-Kim: I believe Kim’s relationship with Tory is extremely advanced. I believe it hits on all of these instinctual nuances between girls and ladies, between academics and college students, and that dynamic of bullying, of mentorship, of pushing somebody past their limits and perhaps discovering some hidden potential. For me, personally, I used to be so apologetic to Peyton throughout takes as a result of I felt horrible placing her by way of a lot and torturing her by way of the season. They have been actually onerous to movie, and I believe one of many nice issues about Cobra Kai is how we unravel the consequences of bullying, how we unravel the detrimental results of escalation and fights. With Tory and Kim, we actually see a relationship pushed to the brink.

Alicia Hannah-Kim
Alicia Hannah-Kim and Peyton Checklist as Kim and Tory. (Netflix)

Within the penultimate episode when Tory is punching the cement block, Kim doesn’t surrender. Kim is nicely conscious of precisely the buttons she’s pushing, and he or she goes there. 
Alicia Hannah-Kim: She goes there. She’s not afraid to go there, and I believe it’s as a result of she’s been put by way of the identical coaching and has skilled all of that ache and doubt and worry. It stroke a chord in my memory of actually iconic relationships the place there’s an amazing iconic mild and darkish, good and evil aspect to it once you watch your hero flip to the darkish aspect. I believe what’s fascinating about Kim Da-Eun is what occurred to her in her coaching, in her childhood, that twisted her into this model of herself. It felt actually like a ceremony of passage that she was passing all the way down to Tory to see whether or not she might cross the take a look at.

I do know that the writers are very cryptic about what they reveal. Have they spoken to you about Kim’s backstory? As a result of I really feel like there’s a wealth of fabric there.
Alicia Hannah-Kim: Sure, they have been very forthcoming with me all through the season, which I used to be very grateful for. Clearly, once you present up on a longtime present and also you’re this new character within the universe, you’re form of caught between how a lot am I creating for myself and the way a lot info can I be given. However Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg sought me out on set on a regular basis to present me these little tidbits, to present me a backstory, to present me that historical past. It’s tremendous significant. It’s the primary time I’ve performed a Korean character in my profession, so it was extremely particular for me as nicely to consider my father or my grandfather or our household’s historical past by way of the Korean Warfare and the Vietnam Warfare. These issues are simply extremely deep for us.

There might be some crossover there, particularly with Kreese having served. So principally, what you’re saying is that if there’s a season 6, we will perhaps contact on a few of that historical past? 
Alicia Hannah-Kim: I believe that might be smart. There’s loads to mine there. That chain of information from my grandfather Kim Solar-Yung to Captain Turner throughout the Korean Warfare, Captain Turner to John Kreese and Terry Silver throughout the Vietnam Warfare. Now we discover ourselves right here in America and all these descendants and college students are disseminating this model of martial artwork. It’s epic.

I really feel like each Kim and Tory are merchandise in response to being introduced up in a really male-dominated world, particularly in karate. It’s a must to be stronger, you need to be smarter, you need to bounce again faster. I simply love that dynamic between the 2 of them as a result of I don’t suppose Kim’s essentially a nasty individual. I simply suppose she’s extremely powerful and has been introduced as much as really feel that there’s no room for flaw or error.
Alicia Hannah-Kim: It’s rooted in so many issues. We clearly already dwell in a patriarchal society. How do girls change themselves and current to the world to slot in and discover energy and mission energy? On the earth of The Karate Child and Cobra Kai, this “no mercy” creed of Cobra Kai is unforgiving in a manner that’s metaphorical for a way girls need to current within the office and in society. With Tory, what’s so transferring to me about Tory is that the karate and the Cobra Kai and her being in that world, it’s nearly her discovering herself, her self-worth, her place. She’s a personality that’s adrift and never as rooted in household relationships like Sam or Robby. It’s actually transferring to me that this younger girl is standing alone, being robust, and looking for her footing. For my character, she is a product of a patriarchal society of familial custom that leaves no room for most likely extra conventional, deeper, female qualities. I’d be very curious to see how we might discover that in a while.

You might inform the look on Kim’s face when Tory didn’t present up for the combat. It was pure shock. It takes an quantity of energy to not present up there, to defy management in a way, and take a stand. I believe perhaps she was low-key impressed? 
Alicia Hannah-Kim: I believe so. I believe maybe Kim Da-Eun by no means had that selection as a result of she’s so deeply rooted. I don’t suppose she’s ever questioned her life and life goal as a result of it’s so embedded in her character. Tory perhaps as a result of she’s not burdened with this household historical past like Kim has that energy and that individualistic sense to say, “Okay, perhaps this doesn’t work for me. I’m not going to indicate up.” It’s stunning for Kim Da-Eun. It’s infuriating. She doesn’t have time for this. She doesn’t have time for insubordination.

Alicia Hannah-Kim
Alicia Hannah-Kim as Kim Da-Eun. (Netflix)

Silver goes to jail for what looks as if a very long time. After we speak about “no mercy,” you possibly can’t not speak about Kreese, who has found his way out of prison on the finish of the season. How do you suppose Kim would work with Kreese if that occurred? Do you suppose they’d work higher collectively? Or would they butt heads greater than Kim and Silver?
Alicia Hannah-Kim: I believe they might discover widespread floor as a result of I believe that Terry Silver’s ambitions have been a basis. It was maybe form of extra capitalistic by way of opening the dojo, however I believe John Kreese is actually related to the supply. I believe Kim Da-Eun is related to that, too. I believe a possible alliance between them can be absolute mayhem and terrifying. I’d be intrigued. I believe there’s loads of backstory there. I’m probably not certain how a lot I might say about that.

He’s going to have his eye on Cobra Kai. The season left issues large open for season 6. With the Sekai Takai developing, I’m assuming Kim would wish to have a heavy hand in that. It’s one factor to have the All Valley. That is subsequent stage. We’re actually going world right here.
Alicia Hannah-Kim: That is positively subsequent stage. I believe my character brings a very worldwide aspect to the present. I’ve this form of hybrid British-Korean accent. My dojang again house is I’m certain way more terrifying than something within the valley. I believe the Sekai Takai actually units up for a showdown that might be wild.

Is there one character you wish to see Kim actually face off with should you had the prospect?
Alicia Hannah-Kim: I’d actually like to combat Johnny.

I additionally thought, particularly after watching the Chozen versus Silver scene {that a} Chozen vs. Kim combat can be so good. 
Alicia Hannah-Kim: It will be actually epic. There’s a lot historical past there. Clearly, with a Japanese character and a Korean character. The Japanese story is related to Miyagi and Miyagi-do, after which we now have Kim Da-Eun related to the Tang Soo Do and the origin of Cobra Kai. It truly is the sunshine and the darkish. Japan and Korea have an extended historical past. What shocks me about our universe is how limitless it’s. It stretches many years, of geopolitical historical past, and worldwide politics. It’s very nicely represented, so I’ve little question that the massive three — John, Hayden, and Josh — might provide you with one thing fabulous for future tales.

When Kenny takes off the jersey and throws it at Silver that was monumental by way of that betrayal. Kenny’s somebody who checked out Silver as a mentor. I assumed it was actually heartbreaking in a option to see that. I’m curious, what’s going by way of Kim’s head? 
Alicia Hannah-Kim: It’s the way in which that they arrange the characters. Every character is actually handled with a lot care by the writers that you’re invested in. As an example, Kenny arrived final season, and he was simply being bullied and having an terrible time. After which we see him undergo this journey of discovering energy, however then there’s energy being the very bullying drive that he was making an attempt to keep away from. [There’s] that terrible cycle, after which him coming again down from it. As a viewer, as somebody that’s adopted his journey, you root for him, and also you need him to search out energy, however you additionally need him to not flip to the darkish aspect. For him to take off that jersey after actually hitting some actually excessive emotional notes this season, you’re so relieved since you love Kenny. You’ve seen him from when he was simply that little child together with his earphones and really harmless. It’s actually transferring and touching. I believe Kim when she sees that’s like, “Okay, nicely, this little alliance is over. What do I must do to advance my aim now?” As a result of for her, the concept that her household, her household’s honor, has been tarnished in any manner is unacceptable to her. That’s her life’s goal.

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