Welcome to Just curious media. This is let's talk Cobra Kai. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
Sal, we are back with a another interview episode. And I'm super excited.
Yeah, very excited to have these guests on and, and there's more to come. So that's the fun part is that we've done interviews, and there's more to come and but this one's very cool because our first female, I am very excited when I am around the first females doing something because it's cutting edge. And it is historic.
Absolutely. And it's the first time it's not a cast member, which we love getting and talking to absolutely, but it's someone from behind the camera. Yes. And it is one Janelle Curfman, who is a stunt coordinator on Cobra Kai. And she's also a stunt performer, but credited a stunt coordinator. And it was lovely to talk with you now. I know that you couldn't join me coordinated these things can be tricky. But Janelle And I had a great conversation just a couple of weeks ago, and I am super excited to unveil some secret stuff. We got some things that'll hold the audience till the end, I think and including yourself.
Well, Jason, I don't know if this is a spoiler or not. But can we say who Janelle is husband is as well. Absolutely. Go ahead. Her husband is hito. Kodak.
Yes. And you may recognize that name because he's like the main coordinator stunt coordinator for Cobra Kai and his credits are long and wide. He's worked on so many other shows Stranger Things comes to mind Ozark many others but He's even been in scenes Sal on Cobra Kai as a referee from all Valley.
Yeah, he played the Pat e Johnson role stepped in for that. And those are big shoes to fill. Yes. And he fills them. I'm very excited about that.
Absolutely. Instead of the red shirt that says referee from the Karate Kid. He had the blue shirt with the gold letters, I believe.
See, I love that you remember stuff like that? One of the things that really excites me also is that Janelle is part of this team this. I would call them a power couple. I love these power colleagues. You know, Jay Z Beyonce JLo Ben Affleck, whoever there are these power couples and I absolutely will place Hiro and Janelle right up there with him.
Absolutely. And the other big news which again, I will not give away the results until the end of this episode because Janelle And I spoke of course before this happened, but she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding stunt performance of Cobra Kai. Now she had been nominated sound 2019 For outstanding stunt coordinator for a comedy series, a variety program because they used to label it differently. It didn't win. But she was nominated with hidoe. Well, this time she's nominated again with three other people hit was not one of them. But it was for the episode December 19, which was the home invasion episode with that incredible fight sequence that you have to watch more than five times. It's just too much to digest.
Yeah, it was. It was a spectacle, because you know that everybody had to be on their game. Everybody in front of the camera. Everybody behind the camera. All had to have their A game because they had a lot of one of those single shots. Were they the one or HUD? Yeah, that scene? Yeah, definitely one of those scenes you watch over and over.
As I mentioned, she's a stunt coordinator. But in this particular episode, she was also a stunt performer and then nominated for the semi because yes, that is an incredible sequence and the Emmy Sal were this past weekend, so you can already go and look at the results. But we will tell you what happened at the end of this episode.
So stay tuned. Spoiler alert.
So sit back, relax and enjoy.
Janelle, it's a pleasure to have you on the show today with us on Let's Talk Cobra Kai, thanks for being here.
Thank you for having me. It's always a pleasure to talk about Cobra Kai.
I bet so I'd love to jump in and then we'll do some background on you. But how long and how did you get involved with Cobra Kai?
Kota. My husband was coordinating the first season of Cobra Kai. And we were both in Atlanta, Georgia. He was working on that. And I was working on some other projects. And towards the end of season one with the big tournament sequence. He asked me to come on board and just help with some of the choreography and we it was a big sequence ticking on that final tournament sequence. Oh yeah, the all Valley and the end of season one. And it was I think that episode had most action of it. Any episode that whole season, of course, that changed going into Season Two. Oh,
yeah. Also, he
was playing a referee. So he was going to be in front of the camera quite a bit and needed someone behind camera just to watch and make sure everything looked great to the performances were dynamic and that the hits were hits. And nobody was stalking each other on camera, all of that kind of stuff. So I made myself available and came on board the last few weeks. And that was my first involvement in Cobra Kai.
Wow, that's incredible. So I know you said Cody, your husband, so hero Kota. So now how did he get involved? Because he was there from the beginning. It sounds like
he was Yeah, he got the call in 2017. And it was a producer that he had worked with years before on birds of prey. Oh, yeah. So it was one of his producers that he had a relationship with from that. And he got the call. And I mean, as soon as it came across this producers desk, he was like, I know the guy for this, like, there's only one person who can do this show. And he called him up. And he just happened to be available at the end of that year. And he took it on. And it was, it was really cool for him. Because, you know, growing up in the martial arts community and in competitions and doing the martial arts circuit, it really was for him coming full circle with his career.
Wow, did he or you both have a strong affection to the Karate Kid? Oh, yes.
But him more so probably than I did, because he grew up doing martial arts. But I was an athlete. When I was younger, I was a gymnast, and then a basketball player. And I think that any of these stories where someone's overcoming something and working towards something like we can really connect with that. And it really resonated with me as a young athlete of putting in those hours and putting in that work. And then the success and the victory and the glory that comes with winning that and
yeah, well, that movie never gets old. I always had an affection for it having a martial arts background myself. And just growing up that movie, just you didn't even know how special it was when you were young. It just spoke to you. And yeah, I'm really tired. And I would revisit it, you know, years and years later. And when I moved to Los Angeles, I would say I'm driving by where the you know, Cobra Kai dojo was Ali's house, I'm, I'm that guy. I'm like movie location geek. But I think that's so amazing that you know, he had that background he was in early. And you're right. Not that I know a lot of stunt coordinators in the space. But I can't imagine anyone doing better than your husband. And of course, you because the show has such authenticity to that, you know, you don't look at it and go, Oh, man, these fights. You know, they've raised the bar, they've gone far beyond the movie, by now, of course, because you know, having multiple cameras and so many fight sequences going on. In fact, every season, it seems like the bar just gets raised.
And it really does. Yeah. And don't worry, I'm
not going to ask you about season four. We can just talk about the past. It's completely fine. So I have to ask, though, how did you two meet like on set? This reminds me of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. How did that happen?
So I would it was towards the beginning of my career as a stunt woman. I've been working pretty steadily for a couple of years. I've been training martial arts at the Inosanto Academy. They're in Marina Del Rey. And I got a call from a friend of mine shortly before Thanksgiving, that he Dakota was looking for a replacement on a tech and video game commercial, there was a girl that they had to let go last minute, and they needed someone to come in without any rehearsal and start shooting on Monday learn everything that morning start shooting that day. And so I submitted my stuff and they chose me and I came in and of course I killed it. I picked up all the choreo and knocked it out of the park. And it was my first job actually doing any martial arts. So it was a really monumental transition for me and my stunt career because at that point I had been scared falls and jumping out of moving cars and you know, some pretzels and fight stuff but nothing really like based in martial arts. So it was a big turning point for me being able to do that and meeting hito and he we met on that project and then he brought me in to work on True Blood to double A couple of the actresses there. And just I mean working on set our relationships started to blossom. And I mean, the rest is history.
That's unbelievable. Yeah, I love that I love it meant to me and it's just like you when you started off as a gymnast, and I guess the professional dancer as well. Did you ever see yourself going down this path? Was this ever? Okay, never
I always say it's the job I never knew I always wanted to do. Because I have no idea. I was working as a dancer in Los Angeles. And I got a call from my agent that there was this like top secret project that they were looking for tall athletic women for who couldn't move well. So they wanted dancers, gymnasts, that sort of thing. So I went in, I auditioned, I screen tested. And it ended up being Jim Cameron's first Avatar. So I was part of the motion capture team on that film for three years. Three years
we worked on that was like revolutionary technology. back then.
It really was. And through that film, I worked really close with the stunt team. We did wires, we fell, it was physical, it was a lot of different things. So it was that film. And that project that I saw what the stunt team was doing was like, oh, wait a second. That's what I want to do.
Well, what a lucky break, you're working with James Cameron right out of the chute. That's unbelievable. is pretty incredible. Are you now signed up to be on Avatar, two, three, and however many more he's playing?
No, they're actually shooting those right now. And I've had other projects that I've been on Cobra Kai and the Jumanji movies and those that I just haven't been available for them. And it was a long, it was a long time commitment. It was a commitment of like five years. Yeah,
yeah. Well, I even read that you had stunt doubled for some big names in the industry like Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman. That had to be like, Whoa, hang on a second. You know, here's people, you've probably admired their work. And now your stunt doubling for them, you probably build some sort of a poor, I'm imagining onset. So it's,
oh, yeah, definitely. We work very closely with our actors and actresses. And I've formed wonderful relationships with all of the actresses that I've been lucky enough to work with. And, you know, each one is different. Each one approaches action purchase their characters differently. So I feel like a lot of what we do is learning how to approach their the way that they work in because it's ultimately their role, like this character is theirs. I'm just there to supplement. However I can. I don't know. That's one of the things that I never really felt held me back. Like, I've never really had those starstruck moments where I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I'm working with Sandy Bullock or Oh, it's, I just I don't know, that's never really been part of it. For me. I just like, we're all there to do a job. And, yeah, I don't feel like that's something that ever I've ever really stepped back and thought, oh, my gosh, this person is intimidating because of who they are.
Well, you don't have time to I mean, I know growing up as an athlete myself, it takes a lot of dedication and focus, and you're putting your life on the line in some stunts. So I'm sure the life of a stunt person is practice, you're probably studying tape, you're probably going over things with Coda constantly. I mean, it's probably an amazing, exhilarating, but grueling process.
It is absolutely. And we put our bodies through a lot physically. But then also, at the end of the day, you know, I'll be getting into the shower and be like, Oh, I didn't know I had that giant bruise on my head, or, Oh, look at that, that probably could have used some stitches. But in part of being a stunt person is just as being tough, right? It's like any other industry or career path that requires a another level of resilience and toughness, I mean, people who are in the military, that's a whole other level of working through things. And I feel like there are a lot of different areas that people work where it just requires a different level of physical and mental toughness.
And I can't imagine the career length of a stunt person actually doing the stunts is incredibly long. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe their specialty guys or girls, and then they do it for a long time. Or do they segue into coordinating and teaching others because it's just too physically demanding?
Yeah, I think generally, I would say I would say most people keep performing like well into their 40s As long as you take care of yourself. There are other specialties. People who are drivers. Obviously if driving is your specialty, you're going to have a Little bit more longevity than those of us that are hitting the ground and doing fights and falls and that sort of thing. And wires. And honestly, I feel like it just depends on how well you take care of yourself. But it's also being savvy enough to know when because a lot of times it can be one stunt that put somebody out forever. And I think it's being savvy enough and brave enough to speak up and say, Wait a second, that doesn't seem safe to me, I'm, I'm sorry, I don't feel comfortable doing that. And stump people, that's not something that we really are taught to do is just kind of like you keep your head down, you do your job, and that sort of thing. But it is it is very much calculated risk. And that's one of the reasons why working with coordinators that you know, and trust is so important.
Yeah, I can imagine, just knowing someone like your husband, looking out for your best interest to is gonna be like a safe team, you probably love that team. But he's probably not always your coordinator. I'm assuming
he is not always my coordinator. In fact, very rarely Is he right. But I do know most of the coordinators that I work with ahead of time, and those that I don't you know, if I'm going to be on wires, I always ask who's who's rigging who's in charge of the wire sequences. And for the most part, I mean, people have reputations in this business. And if you don't know somebody personally, you know, somebody who knows them or has worked with them. So it's really easy to do your research and, you know, figure out who's safe and who isn't.
We won't mention names here. We're not the boss. But I'm fascinated by this. I don't get to talk to stunt coordinators or, you know, stunt people very often. So it's like, wow, it's just a whole other part of the business. That is so intriguing to me and not to gloss over the beginnings. I like where people come from. I love beginnings. And so just to go back, if we could very quickly, if I'm not mistaken. You were born and raised or at least born in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Do I have that?
Right? Yeah. Born and raised? Yes. graduated high school there.
So what was it that led you to the movie industry, specifically by moving to Los Angeles at some point in time, I gather? Yeah.
Well, I moved to Orange County when I was 18, to go to college on a basketball scholarship. So that's what got me out to so I played basketball in college, and I had danced some in high school and something about I just started really miss dancing. So I changed my major to dance in college, and pursued a dance degree at Cal State Fullerton. And that led me into the professional dance industry. I got an agent and worked just around LA and traveled quite a bit doing different shows working for different artists and commercials and music videos. And then in 2006, I was a Laker girl, so I was dancing for the Lakers for a season. And then shortly after that Avatar came about, and that's when it all sort of changed for me
shifted again. But back to the Laker girl thing. I mean, that's high praise, right. That's Paula Abdul. I remember those girls are all right now. Um, so yeah, for sure. That's great. Wow. And then I guess that's the life of a professional dancer. You don't even think about that. Yeah, you're probably in music videos, concerts. There's always some sort of dance number going on. So yeah, you are getting a lot of exposure probably met a ton of artist. And probably saw that as your future right pre avatar, like, this is what I'm going to be doing or
Yeah, you know, it's interesting, because when the opportunity for Avatar came along, I was definitely I was definitely ready to transition to something I just didn't know what. And having been an athlete my whole life. It really didn't make sense for me to try and find a desk job or I wasn't really interested in teaching or doing choreography. I wasn't really sure which direction I was gonna go with dance. So when Avatar came along, and the opportunity presented itself, it was I mean, it was divine timing because I was ready for something. And that
filled the hole. Yeah. Wow. I think it was the right thing for you. Like you said, you met your husband, your careers thriving and bringing it back to Cobra calm. And you have now been involved, I guess every season because you came in at the tail end of season one. Right? You were in season three, and I'm assuming you're involved moving forward. But if I'm not mistaken, you were nominated for something,
you know, and I were nominated for an Emmy for Best stunt coordination for Cobra Kai in 2018. And that was it was so It was such an amazing, it was an honor to be nominated.
Yeah, I mean it, who cares, but did you win?
We did not we lost to glow. And Shawna Duggins, who coordinates glow is an absolutely lovely human being. So I was I was not sad to lose to someone like,
Well, it's funny you say that because that's the show that I wanted to talk to you about because one of my documentaries was actually called glow, the story of the gorgeous ladies of wrestling, which then became the TV show. And when I started reading your credentials, I thought man, she had to know someone who worked on glow, she could have easily worked on glow. And it's funny to see that you were up against glove because I thought that was a fantastic show. Season One really followed the beats of the doc and then from that point in time, it kind of became something else. Yeah, I was so into it. And I was sad to see that the pandemic kind of ended or halted it, which is just really sad. But yeah, of course, you know them the stunts on that show. I thought were fantastic for what they were achieving. So
Oh, absolutely. They were incredible.
I'm sorry, you lost to them, though. You guys both should have won co winners in my book. Oh, winners. Yes. There you go. And then so if I'm not mistaken, most recently, didn't you get some other good news?
Oh, yes, I did. Yes, we're talking about Emmys. I did get some good news. So the Emmys added they took away the comedy category for stunt coordination, which is what we had been nominated in before for coordination. So they took that category away. And they added a category for outstanding stunt performance for the first time. And I along with three other stunt performers from Cobra Kai were nominated for Outstanding outstanding stunt performance.
Wow. Does that to a particular scene? Is that what that is? Yeah, it was for a home invasion.
You want? Yes. The home invasion? Yeah.
I know that. That was an incredible sequence of what you have to watch multiple times as a viewer. Yes,
definitely. No, yeah, we were nominated for that sequence in Episode 10. And it was really an honor because it was so much work that was put into that and it opens up with the big winner in the LORUSSO house and then and with Tory and cm going at each other with noon checks and a boast off so there was a lot that went into that sequence, a lot of intricacies to work through. So it's very much an honor to be nominated for all of our hard work.
Well congratulations to you and everybody. Yeah, that was that was amazing. Yeah, we were watching that sound eyes we covered that episode. And it's like, we just spent forever just on that fight sequence. Like I've never seen anything. So just I don't even know how to describe it just so elaborate. And you know, it was so much adrenaline and people would it was almost like a video game like you get knocked down but then you come right back and my only thing was like, you know, being in martial arts just, you know, knock someone out. But it was so great. The camera was just nonstop. Now, in that type of sequence. You're a stunt person as well. Right as well as coordinating where you Tory's stunt double or what are you in that incredible sequence? What was your role? Yeah,
so I double Peyton lis. And for the way we do it with the winners is there's a lot of what we call Texas, which is where if you can't see the face of the accurate it's probably the stunt double. But then as the camera pans somewhere else, the actor can switch out with the stunt double. And as we come back to them for their action, it's now the actor instead of the stunt double.
So what do you call that Texas switch?
It's called a Texas switch. And we actually did quite a few of them in the season two high school fight, where you're, you're sort of hiding Off, off screen out of camera, and then right at the right time, as soon as you know that you're not on camera anymore, you switch out and it picks up where it left off. So that's also really tricky.
Yeah, there's some times Janelle that I swear if I'm seeing sam I'm like, I don't think that's toward but but of course I was watching it over and over and over again. So it could have been your backside sometimes right or probably was
it probably was generally when we're shooting fights like that. Whenever we're doing the actor's coverage. So say we're doing we're on Mary's face and she's fighting and you would see the back of Tori. Usually it'll be the stunt double just because it gives the other actor a chance to rest it allows the actor to go full force and not have to worry about accidentally hitting another actor. Yeah, yeah. And just to the end Energy is if you've got two actors who are pretty comfortable with their choreo and just doing it with another person. I mean you know you're a martial artist when you're
not to your level but yes, I get it. Yeah. And they trust you and then they can really go for your their coat. So I get to know if it's Payton, Sam or Mary, I should say is pi like, oh, yeah, I gotta be careful not to Yeah, I totally get it and it shows it does show not seeing you shows. I mean, just the energy, that performance
energy. Yes. And that's what is for us one of the most important things because here's the thing if, if Mary say accidentally like hits pavement, it puts Peyton out for the rest of the day, like we're, we're done. We're like we can go home. It's really important to keep the actors safe and also to allow them some time to rest. Right, because honestly, when we're on Tory's back, it's not as important for Payton to have a good performance. Like we want to see her really shine when we see her
there because they're doing some stunts. I mean, these kids, I don't know how many were in martial arts beforehand, but they have definitely promoted them
were more martial artists, they have you and I have trained most of them from the ground up. We don't just stop at martial arts training. We do a little bit of gymnastics we do. We teach them how to do reactions, we teach them how to take falls. And a lot of the stuff you see is them learning how to do it and performing it on camera. It's really satisfying at the end of the season, to see them accomplish so many things and overcome so many fears. Because sometimes we'll show them something and the look on their faces like wait a second, I'll never be able to do that. Because I can't work and break it down. Or in throw some knots down. We're gonna practice it. I promise you. By the time you go to shoot this, you'll have it down. Oh, wow.
Well, I did interview Owen Morgan, who plays Bert and Josiah who plays Kyler. Now they both had a black belt coming in. But they're not the lead characters in the show. Of course.
Yeah, we don't work with them quite as much as we do. The main cast.
Exactly. Kylo had a much bigger role this last season, which is not Yeah, yeah. But ya know, I could see how people come in and think, Oh, this is way over our head. And then you guys break it down and take them through it. And martial arts is very much like once you get your feet wet, it's easy to kind of go all in and I'm assuming a lot of these actors. It's a way of life now. They're trained. Yeah, they're seeing the progressions. I mean, to have this tutelage around them, and career, so it's amazing. But breaking down that scene you guys were nominated for an Emmy for and just the elaborate nature of it all. What is that like? Code is going okay, here's how we're going to do this. And it's probably all hands on deck, because you got the camera. It's a wonder you've got all these moving parts, like how long does that take to even plan, let alone get the actors ready? Like that's just so mind blowing? To me.
It is. So first thing we get is the script. And we get an idea of how John, Josh and Hayden want it all laid out, we get a lot of the story points that are really important because even though we want to see these cool fights, we're also still pushing the narrative forward, right? All of it has to make sense for the story and the characters. So we get the script and this fight actually was originally supposed to take place in the Miyagi dough yard. Oh, it wasn't supposed to happen in the luosto house. But in November in Atlanta, we got hit with some really bad weather, and there was no way for us to shoot it out there safely. So they moved it to the LORUSSO house. So we had to make some adjustments in that sense. But at the same time, we were doing the choreography and starting to work through all this. We also had the big fight in the Cobra Kai Dojo between Robbie, Johnny crease and Daniel, right. So that huge sequence was also we were trying to choreograph and map all of that, as well as the Vietnam flashbacks. Yes, so is these three huge sequences that hit us all at once, and we just piece by piece we got with our core team started to work through beats of choreography got into the space. One of the most important things for you know, when he's doing a webinar is to get into the space. And not only work out the choreography of where the performers are, but also the choreography of the steadicam. Because whoever's holding that camera has a whole other set of choreography. So a couple days before he'll usually get with him and say, Okay, this is the cord your camera choreography in order to film this The way that it needs to be filmed. So he's very involved in that sense as well. You know, we'll usually shoot a prevas with the stunt people, the stunt doubles and the performers. And then once we have that done, we send it off, it gets approval, they say what they liked what they don't like. And then we start to bring in our actors and teach them the choreography. And so once that's done, and ultimately, there's always little changes that have to be made. It's not often that what we have the very beginning is what we end up with. At the end, there's always little tweaks and stuff that happens. So yeah, that's sort of the process of how it all comes to be and then shoot day, we're all there ready to go. We've practiced a bunch of times at that point. And it's interesting, I always feel like a winner is similar to like live performance, where it has to go great from beginning to end, because as soon as you mess up, you have to cut and go back to the beginning.
Well, I have to ask how many takes did that take? How many one was that day?
I think we did around 10? I don't remember exactly. But it could have been more. It could have been less. But I felt like it was somewhere around 10.
Wow. That's pretty good. I would say yeah.
And then we had breakaways and we had and that's the thing too, as soon as someone like throws a punch, and it's a miss, you have to cut. So like, all of the kicks and punches have to land. There was one moment in there as it's coming down the hallway, where there was a piece of furniture that had to be moved. And as Gianni du Chien Joe walks or exit sprain, he has a piece of furniture back because we turn around and we see it. Oh my gosh. Oh, that. And at the end of all this, we're like, we should have had some GoPros up in the corners, filming.
Oh, yeah, seeing what was done. Yeah, exactly. Well, that's incredible. And I'm assuming when you work with the actors, I mean, you also know their strengths and weaknesses as well. And you're probably not going to have them do something or try something's just way out of their comfort zone, you might have to adjust it for that. And maybe there's difficulty for something. So you guys are like, okay, let's tweak. Let's make this not a roundhouse, but we'll make it you know, whatever, spinning back heel, or? I don't know. But
yes, I feel like we tend to do that more with the older original cast. Because of some physical limitations or injuries we may be working through or any sort of like overuse uncomfortability. It's like, hey, that just doesn't really feel right or feel good. Can we make it this feels better, we tend to do that a lot with our original cast members.
So what's it like working with the likes of Zabka and Masaccio, and even crease, Martin Cove, of course,
it's a lot of fun working with all three of them. And even last season, when we brought in chosen and it's really the nostalgia of the Karate Kid and getting to work with all of them, is it's like keeping this legacy alive. Like that's what we're entrusted with is keeping this legacy alive of what these guys have created Zabka and macho, specifically. And we really feel the need to stay true to what the Karate Kid is about while still making it new and exciting and fun. Yeah,
well, that show runners and of course, everybody underneath that, which includes you guys in the cast, and everybody grips, any and everybody, but I've always said it's in good hands. This franchise is in good hands because they honor that you can just tell you know it from you know, three seasons already in the can that we can see is they're honoring the legacy of the Karate Kid, but they are they're bringing it into a new audience and people my age who loved the Karate Kid in their early in life, because 1112 seen it and still love it. But you're getting the whole new generation who love the younger characters in the story. But this is like the first time I've ever seen a franchise handled this way. Usually we get in the wrong hands. And yeah, and it would be something else and no, not to throw her under the bus because we talked about this on the show. But it may be more like The Next Karate Kid where it's like, Yeah, we love Miyagi performance. And of course, maybe Julie becomes a part of this Hillary Swank Of course we would love it but you go back and watch that in the midst of the other three and it's like oh, yeah, just fall short. Of course it does. And this could have easily been that like, misguided show, but it's not and you could just tell right to what I recognize right away like, because I was like reluctant Wait, they're doing what did the Karate Kid and they've got macho and Zabka like I was like thinking no way that's disrespectful. And one episode and even like five minutes in you realize oh, no They care they're FANBOYS. And they know how to do it. Assemble the right team, much like having no involved and, and the proofs in the pudding. Now it's a hit on Netflix because the quality is there.
Yes, yes, you're absolutely right. And I don't think it would be as big of a hit if John Josh and Hayden weren't so true to the Karate Kid. Stories like they really, really understand and appreciate the importance of keeping it true to that original story. Yeah,
well, just bringing Chosun back, like How touching was that? Or to Mica? Or even when they brought Elizabeth shoe back and kind of corrected the wrong that had happened in part two of the Karate Kid about her quick dismissal. And it's like revisionist history in a beautiful way, like, oh, my gosh, really amazing hands here. And this has led us to other discussions, like I've been saying this for two seasons now, like, there's going to be spin offs, or at least the opportunity to do spin offs. Because when you have such a hot property, eventually, that happens. And so my big one is something to do with Mr. Miyagi, and the origins of Miyagi, don't karate, which would be its own incredible storyline and that lineage and it really would, do you have any thoughts on some sort of fun spin off? I'm not asking anything, you know, but like in your heart are
telling you, I don't know anything? He doesn't, I've talked about it. And we're like, you know, who would actually make a really good spin off is hawk. Oh, yeah, Jacob Birdman would be, that's a spin off, I would watch.
Yeah, you're right. He is great. He's definitely flipped the script, that would be a good one. And I also think crease can do anything and everything he wants to do. I was saying he could just do another show. That's a parody of John crease. Like, that's a character that's going nowhere he's so good at. That's fun to go down that rabbit hole with you on the show. So when I see the stunts, and I've said this earlier that I feel like every season kind of ups the ante as far as stunts. And I'm assuming that you and hito and the show runners probably feel that too. It's like, Man, this is the first all Valley coming since the first season. And we've only seen I was telling Sal on an episode recently, there's only been three valleys historically, the Karate Kid, Part three, and then season one of Cobra Kai sorry, this has to be the culmination of a lot of work, and we're probably going to see things we've never seen before.
Well, I will tell you, hito and I were removed from the show shortly after season four started. Really? Yes. It was very unexpected.
Wow. So you guys, were working on season four, prepping for season four. And then ultimately, you and hidoe. And I'm assuming your whole coordinating your stunt team was dismissed from Season Four before production began?
That's correct. Oh, yes.
Wow. You know, so many people in the business. Do you know who the stunt coordinators are?
Yes, I do. The guy that they hired, was you knows right hand man for the last few years on all of his shows. We were dismissed. And he was in the office the next day making his deal. So
there's the dark side to the industry that we all there it is. Yeah. And this can often happen. This is why I know great shows this can only run so long. That's why I think we've had these discussions of spin off recently. It's like, yeah, how far can this show go before a it gets watered down? Because whatever, even the Karate Kid part three, is a far cry from the credit kept part two, let alone the original. And it's the same team it had Abelson it was written by came in their heart wasn't in it or the story just wasn't there. And it got rushed into production. Well, Cobra Kai is not there yet. But you start to have chinks in the armor when you start to let quality people go for the wrong reasons. So I'm sorry to hear that. I hope the show doesn't suffer because of your guys's non involvement. And I hope that you guys remain fans of the show for what it is, but I can only imagine how painful it is as well. It is
and we are still fans of the show. And I by no means wish any ill will. I hope that it is still fantastic because we have put so much into the franchise and into Cobra Kai. I hope that it maintains that high level of action that that heroes set for it, but it's like you and I said we're talking about at the beginning of our conversation is nobody can do what he can do. Right? And that's just the fact.
That's a shame but you guys raise the bar on all of the stunts which in turn raise the bar on the show. So thank you for your hard work,
And lastly, let me just pivot real well to things. So I'm assuming your relationships with the cast member screw yours and hidoe with all the cast, and I'm assuming that you know, you guys will be friends for life. I'm sure you've Oh, so
definitely, definitely, there's a lot of the cast that we're still very good friends with, and still in contact with.
Great. And lastly, you worked on another show. And I gotta tell you, it's like my favorite drama, because of course, Cobra Kai is in its own category for me, but you worked on Ozark. And I love that show. And I was like, Oh my gosh, he's worked on two episodes of that at least. And maybe just quickly, like, what was that? Like? Do you love the show? Or I don't know if you're a fan of it or not. But
I hate to say this separate. I am not fair enough. I gave it a fair try. I got halfway into season one. And it just really wasn't my thing. It's dark. And I will I won't even say like I like dark drama. My favorite show ever on TV is Breaking Bad still to this day. Absolutely. series ever, ever, you know, was coordinating Ozark and I came in and did some additional stunt coordinating on that. And I you know, I people that I was working with were lovely. The cast was wonderful. The show itself is just not something I've really gotten on board with.
Hey, that's okay. Well, you've done great stunts on it. Yeah, remember those episodes, too, but that's okay. You don't have to love it. I am a big fan. Yeah, Breaking Bad if you've been on Breaking Bad. Now, that's a whole other conversation that we would have had to have for sure. Or Better Call Saul. I don't know if you watch that show or not. But I'm a big fan of the pre Oh, really?
Yeah. No, I've heard great things about it. There's just so much great TV like how do you ever watch all
of it? Yeah, you don't? You don't? So and that's the beauty. Like you can be five years later and say, oh, yeah, I'm finally gonna give this a chance. And that happens, you know? So. Tell me Janelle, because thank you for all the time you've been super generous and everything you've shared. But what are you working on now? Anything you want to leave us with? We can see your work continue
on. I just was on Stranger Things season for Stranger Things with her. You know, we don't give
us the plot for that too. But
all I can say is, the only thing I can say is that I worked on it that fans will not be disappointed with season four. Great. So it's, I'm excited. I'm excited for what's to come so. And right now I'm finally back home in Colorado. I've been gone since last September. So I'm just taking some time off and training my first triathlon, which is really exciting. Something I've always wanted to do, but never had the time. So just taking some time for myself and being home in the mountains. And you know, we'll see what's next. That's
exciting. Well, that sounds lovely. Not just I wasn't sure has hidden worked on all four seasons of Stranger Things. I was interested he has
not he came in on season three. Okay. Okay. Which is crazy. Because if you watch seasons one and two, and then watch three, you can see the action just get amplified. It's like as soon as they realized what they had with hito. They're like, Oh, well, then let's write this.
Yeah, we can take it here. Yeah. Well, you're gonna have to talk hito into being on our podcast at some point in time, because we would love to speak with him. Oh, he
would love to. He loves doing this kind of stuff. Oh, good.
Well, Jenelle I greatly appreciate you taking the time. It was lovely to have you on maybe we'll touch back in later down the road as you're working on a million other things and, and see what's going on.
I would love that. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed this.
Wow. So that was so much fun chatting with her. I wish you were there. But maybe now you feel more connected. Having heard it. I hope you enjoyed it.
Yeah, that was fantastic. And yes, I am disappointed that wasn't there. But you know, I just want to let our listeners know. Yeah. And when it comes to interviewing people, Jason and I have interviewed people via the web and in person in years past at film festivals. I'm a firm believer that too many cooks spoil the broth. I think that one person can interview one person or one person can interview two people. But I don't think two people should interview one person. My belief so part of it is actually me stepping back and go. You know what, Jason, you can handle this. You go ahead and you did a great job as usual. Well, I
appreciate that, sir. So what did you learn about Janelle? What's your biggest takeaway?
Oh, well, I love hearing the personal stories. I like hearing about how her and hito met and and their inner workings because like I said, I really enjoy seeing couples working together. I think it's really fun and interesting. So I like hearing about their dynamic. And they look great. I'm looking at a picture of them right now on IMDb, they're on the red carpet. He's wearing a tuxedo. They look great. They look like they're a lot of fun. You You know, so I'm very excited to have Janelle And look forward to having hito on the show sometime.
Absolutely. Well, I was joking with her whenever she told me this story how they met it reminded me of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood because Kurt Russell's, a stunt coordinator, and our ex performer, I guess. And then his wife in the movies, Zoey bells, running stunts on scene. And of course, Brad Pitt is a stunt performer and I was like, This is too much talking to Janelle I really learned about stunt performers and how it's one kind of family like a unit. And then they go on to work on something else. And they already know them from their work. And so it's a whole other facet that I'm really intrigued by so really enjoyable. And it did remind me of that, which we got a kick out of, but, you know, coming from her Laker girl background to her dancing and music videos and led her to work on Avatar. And then now she's a stunt performer, coordinator on so many different things. So, yeah, hope to see them continue to blossom in whatever they do. So Sal, did you happen to look up the results of the Emmy or should I share that with you in the audience?
You know, I like a good surprise. So I yeah, I want to hear from you.
So unfortunately, Sal, Janelle And team did not win the Emmy. It went to a team on Mandalorian. The Disney show, yes, yes. But being nominated Sal says it also unfortunately to time nominated, hasn't won yet. And I stress that because I think we're going to see a lot more of Janelle Curfman and hit ACOTA.
Well, one thing I think, is that everybody's going to try to top themselves. If you're a stunt coordinator, you're going to try to top what you did before. Yeah. So I could only imagine that at some point, they're going to try to outdo themselves. So I definitely look forward to seeing a lot more from Janelle And hito.
Absolutely. So talking to Janelle and learning that her and hito are no longer involved with Cobra Kai. It was sad to hear that news. It really was but I loved her attitude and things happen south this is showbusiness. Yeah, it's a business. And they people sometimes part ways and other paths open up. So I don't doubt for a second, they're going to continue to knock it out of the park and do what they do well, and I love the fact that I didn't talk to hito, of course, but Janelle is still a fan of the show. And I'm sure he is as well. And that's wonderful. They have bonds for life. And so I just hope it doesn't hurt the show, because that's such a high level of stunt coordination we've seen. So let's just hope that doesn't happen. I know the creators and showrunners were in good hands. So again, it was great to talk to her. But I was really sad to hear the news, but we move on.
Yeah, and I'm very much a believer in the whole silver lining thing. Yes. You know, you think, Oh, this is not good. But then later on, you realize, hey, it actually had to have happened to possibly allow you for other opportunities to go other places do other things. So sometimes in the end, when you look back and go, Hey, what's that thing that I thought wasn't good actually was good. So there's the silver lining?
Absolutely. So another great episode. Super fun. Looking forward to having more interviews soon ish, and maybe some more filmographies. The recent episode with Robert Mark came in was a blast. And I now we've got some more planned. Oh, yeah.
I enjoyed that very much. I enjoyed this interview very much, Jason, you did a great job. Thank you. And hey, everybody. Thanks for listening.
So thank you so much for listening and please be sure to subscribe to Let's Talk Cobra Kai, wherever you get your podcast. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
And for all your listeners that enjoy sharing your thoughts. You can leave us a review on Apple podcasts, send us a direct message or post a comment on our social media which is at let's talk Cobra Kai, as well as at just curious media.
If you're a dedicated listener of Let's Talk Cobra Kai, consider supporting the show on Patreon. This greatly benefits us on many fronts and offers you access to exclusive content and much more. We also highly recommend checking out our other podcast and visiting just curious media.com