Today we’re talking with actor Griffin Santopietro (14). He’s best known for his appearances alongside such on-screen icons as Adam Sandler (“The Week Of”) and Ralph Macchio (“Cobra Kai”). “Cobra Kai,” being such a highly anticipated show (30 years after the original “The Karate Kid”), had big shoes to fill but quickly became a fan favorite. It was lauded as the most in-demand digital original series in the world, with tens of millions of views in a matter of days. Netflix recently acquired “Cobra Kai” from its original home at YouTube Premium; seasons 1 and 2 will be available on Netflix on August 28, 2020 with season 3 to premiere at a later date. Griffin plays Anthony “Antonio” LaRusso, Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) son, on “Cobra Kai.”
One of your first films was “The Week Of” with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. What did you learn from working with those two comedic powerhouses?
Well, they were two of the nicest people in the world. Chris Rock would always crack a joke when the set got quiet to help everyone relax. And Adam showed me that even as a mega-successful movie star, it’s most important to be kind. Without going into specifics, I witnessed Adam doing insanely nice things for the cast, crew, and local community during filming.
You play Anthony “Antonio” LaRusso, Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) son, on “Cobra Kai.” Is it kind of surreal jumping into this iconic saga?
It’s a pretty wild experience to play the Karate Kid’s son. I think the most iconic moment for me was when I got to be in the scene in season 1 where I watch Daniel and Johnny face off in the backyard. It’s also so cool to hear Ralph’s stories about the making of the films and really is a surreal experience.
Had you seen “The Karate Kid” original movie before you auditioned for the “Cobra Kai” role?
Of course, I remember always watching “old” movies with my grandpa when I was a kid, and “The Karate Kid” was the most memorable. You can talk about “The Karate Kid” to literally people of every age — my grandparents, my parents, and even my little brother. It’s crazy to be connected to a movie like that.
Did you take karate class growing up?
Yes, but honestly not for very long. And similar to Anthony, had other interests. I remember always wanting to put on a show and make people laugh.
What’s your favorite show on TV (besides “Cobra Kai,” of course)?
I just recently fell in love with “Sherlock” and “Community” on Netflix.
What’s your dream project?
This may be a basic answer, but to play any sort of superhero would be insane and definitely a dream come true.
I hear you’re a big fan of music. Who are some of your favorite bands?
The Black Keys, Talking Heads, and Elton John.
Are you a musician as well as an actor?
No. I do come from a very musical family, but for the time being I’m the only one who can’t play an instrument.
Do you play video games? What’s your favorite?
I’ve never been a super big gamer, but I am a big “Star Wars” fan, so I’ll play any “Star Wars” game out there.
For more information on Griffin, please visit: griffinsantopietro.com.