Xolo Maridueña: The Latino star of Cobra Kai
Latino actor Xolo Maridueña stars in 'Cobra Kai,' one of the most-viewed series on Netflix.
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Xolo Maridueña is 20 years old and a U.S. born Latino with Ecuadorian roots. In the Netflix production Cobra Kai, Maridueña plays the role of Miguel Díaz, a young Ecuadorian who migrates to the United States with his grandmother and mother. There, the young migrant becomes Johny’s student.
The show is considered a sequel of the Karate Kid movies. It's run for four seasons, and the first was released in 2018. A fifth season, also featuring Maridueña, is expected to be announced.
This is the first time a Latino has starred in the series, which makes Xolo proud and excited.
“Especially when you're writing for those voices and stories targeting Latinos, Asians, the Black community, LGBTQ people. It is important that the people who create those roles not only have a sense of authenticity, but also do so on purpose. I am grateful that our creators have been intentional with their choices when it came to finding this Miguel character,” Maridueña recently told Teen Vogue.
The producers said Maridueña has played a relevant role in the construction of his character in Cobra Kai. They said that his Ecuadorian origins and family have allowed him to perform a character closer to the culture and vocabulary of the country.
Maridueña discussed the need for cultural diversity on the small and big screen to give visibility to Latino and other people of color in film and TV. He also reflected on how Latinos have a place in major productions.
"Latinos have been in movies for quite some time, but they are always gang members, servants, the one who crosses the border, something subconscious happens in your brain when you see yourself. People who look like you, sound like you and come from a similar background are portrayed negatively in everything you see," he said.
The young man has had a breakthrough year in his acting career. He is part of the voice cast of Amazon Prime Video's The Boys and will soon play Jaime Reyes in DC's Blue Beetle.