Thomas Ian Griffith discusses the Cobra Kai season 5 finale

Terry Silver is terrorizing the valley Cobra Kai season 5

More than 30 years after his acting debut in The Karate Kid Part IIIThomas Ian Griffith reprized his role as Terry Silver in the recently released Cobra Kai Season 5. While speaking to ComingSoon, Griffith opened up about the “incredible journey” that brought him back from Cobra Kai as dojo leader before focusing on the season finale, which the actor dubbed “Shakespearean.”

“In Season 5, following the shocking results of the All Valley Tournament, Terry Silver expands the Cobra-Kai empire and seeks to make his ‘No Mercy’ style of karate the only game in town,” reads the synopsis. “While Kreese is behind bars and Johnny Lawrence puts karate aside to focus on repairing the damage he’s caused, Daniel LaRusso must enlist the help of an old friend.”

Tudor Leonte: You’re reprising the role of Terry Silver after more than 30 years. What does it mean to you to be part of the original trilogy that really started it all?

Thomas Ian Griffith: It was an incredible journey. The Karate Kid Part III was my first movie. John Avildsen took a chance with an unknown New York actor. I thought that would be it. We created this over-the-top archetypal character, and it was kind of funny. It fit the times of those villain movies and never expected to come back and do this 30 years later, not in my wildest dreams. When I first heard about the show I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is going to be a disaster.’ Then I watched the first season and I was absolutely blown away: ‘This is fantastic. Billy is great and Ralph is great. The script is great, it’s nostalgic and funny and irreverent as hell.’ But again, I never thought Terry Silver would fit into that world. I thought it was just about these guys at the OGs. Then around season three, I started hearing rumors and I got calls saying, ‘Hey, can we use a clip of you? The Karate Kid?’ I thought: ‘What?’ You know? And even then, when the guys first called, I was like, ‘Mmm, they want to bring this character back for some apples, an episode or two. It’s like, it’s not my thing.’ But then when they struck this incredible arc that they had with all these dimensions and colors, it was like, ‘Oh wait a second. This is something special. I have to jump on it.’ It’s just unexpected and I’m just so proud to be a part of it.

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Let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment. Why does Daniel seem so obsessed with stopping the Cobra Kai boys and Terry Silver in particular?

Griffith: I think he carries a lot of baggage and I had that influence on him when he was young and I think when you have those experiences it’s hard to let go. He also honors his tradition. It’s a great story because Miyagi-Do and everything means so much to him. On the other side also Cobra Kai [to me], help me get through this awful time, post-Vietnam and all that stuff. So it’s like there are two men who are so passionate about what they do and that’s just an allowable quality. Will they be able to get together? Well, there’s respect there, but still, they, just because the philosophy… it’s too soft to say the soft and the hard, but if we just put it that way, it’s like they can’t coexist. He’s fighting for what he thinks is Terry Silver, which sets the stage for the big showdown that we have at the end. You all saw what happened which I can’t believe. [Laughs] No, obviously it was a great ending. It was an epic Shakespearean ending.

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