While all of the characters in Netflix’s Cobra Kai are captivating and entertaining, I’ve especially watched the Eli/Hawk arc with piqued interest. Jacob Bertrand has really fleshed out his karate-kicking character in four seasons. From a kid who didn’t know who he was (and had self-esteem issues) to a badass fighting master to a bad guy to now, a good guy. It’s been a wild ride for Beltrand’s character and a well-paced redemption story/coming-of-age tale.
In an interview with THR, Bertrand opened up about what version of his character he enjoyed playing the most:
Eli/Hawk has had a wild character arc ride over the seasons. Which do you prefer playing, evil Hawk or kind Eli?
“Oh, are you kidding me? The villain is way more fun. Playing evil Hawk was the best! I know he was a total dick and a bully to people — but I would break Demetri’s [Gianni DeCenzo’s] arm 10 times over. (Laughs.) But seriously, playing the villain is more fun because it is more out there. When I auditioned for the series, there was no Hawk. There was only Eli when I read the script. It was a challenge for me to wrap my head around doing two completely different characters — but it is the same person who has a little of both inside them.”
How long is the hair and makeup process with your Mohawk, tattoos, and lip?
“When I had the Mohawk, I think mine was the longest at just over two hours for the hair, the tattoos and the lip. Now that I have a buzz cut, I am back to 20 minutes, unless my shirt is off. When I first got the role I was like “Oh, man. I have to have a Mohawk? I don’t want to cut my hair, I love my hair.” And then my dad was like, “Dude, I cannot have a Mohawk at my job, and I would love to have a Mohawk at my job.” So I realized how cool it was — and then I grew to love it. When the creators came to me and said they were going to buzz my head, I was like, “Whoa. Hang on there, guys!” But it was the arch for the season, and I am glad they did it.”
Talk to me about your experience with the fans. They are hardcore and greatly devoted to the show, as you know.
“They are so excited and super energetic! I will say that when season three came out, a lot of people came up to me, with a smile, and said, “You suck. I hate you. You are so evil.” And I would be like, “I know it is rough right now, but I swear I get better!” When I heard I was going over to the good side, I was like, “What? No. I want to be a villain. I want to double down and murder somebody.” (Laughs.) And they were like, “No, no, no. This is going to turn out really good.” And then Hawk went to the good side and everyone was like, “Yay! This is the best thing since sliced bread!”
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A girl with too many fandoms to count.