Kyler has a simple reason why he bullies, says Joe Seo
Cobra Kai introduces a whole new generation of bullies. In his freshman season, Kyler (Joe Seo) went after Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), which led Miguel to Johnny Lawrence’s (William Zabka) dojo. Kyler returned as a student of Cobra Kai in Season 3. In a recent interview, Seo revealed the backstory of why Kyler bullies people you don’t see onscreen.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Cobra Kai Season 1 – 4.]
Seo was a guest on Cobra Kai podcast star Martin Kove Hitting with the Koves April 27. Getting into his character, Seo revealed the backstory he came up with for Kyler. Kyler and Cobra Kai Season 5 returns September 9 on Netflix.
Joe Seo Created Kyler’s Backstory In ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 1
Cobra Kai gave Karate Kid characters Johnny and Kreese (Kove) much more depth than they had in the movies. They also created a whole new generation of high school karate kids. So it was forgivable that Kyler didn’t have a full story when Seo got the part.
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“Kyler’s character at the beginning, very one-dimensional in a sense that he’s just always pissed off, like always mad,” Seo said on Hitting with the Koves. “For me as an actor, I had to reason with that. There has to be a reason for this angst. There has to be a reason why he’s mad at Miguel. For me, I have to believe the reasons. So when I had this script, for me, he had problems at home, domestic problems and I really had to show that there were reasons for Kyler to behave the way he does and I had to make it up all that.
Joe Seo gave Kyler extra motivation for “Cobra Kai”
Kyler pours Pepto Bismol on Miguel when Miguel rats out his fake ID at a liquor store. The more Kyler appeared in Cobra Kaimore Seo relied on another motivation for his character.
As seasons 3, 4, and beyond progressed, the writers wrote a bit more for my back character. They even gave me a last name. So it just becomes a bit more of a layer for Kyler that I could play with and model with. Yeah, I think that was pretty cool. It just gave me a better idea where this guy is from. It just made me chase that side of Kyler not just as someone who’s always pissed off, but he’s pissed off because he wants to have a good time. But if people don’t allow him to have a good time or if they try to talk him out of going to a party or whatever, then he gets angry. I guess it’s the buttons that make Kyler do what he does. So I used that as a motivator.
Joe Seo, Hitting with the Koves04/27/22
Further development may have to wait until season 6
Seo said Kyler’s party attitude continued throughout Season 4. His request for even more story suggests that it may not have arrived yet. Cobra Kai Season 5.
“Kyler always wants to have a good time,” Seo said. “Whatever the situation, he always looks at how can I start drinking in this situation? Is there a situation where I can make it a party? Even with Tory winning the tournament, I’m like, party at Kyler’s. No matter the situation, it’s always about having a good time. I just hope Kyler can also show that there are also layers of Kyler that show he’s human and there’s really a lot of pain or whatever he’s going through. It would elevate the character even more.
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