‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4: Gianni DeCenzo Did This Eagle Fang Training Scene for Real
Cobra Kai Season 4 brings back some of the classic Karate Kid training methods. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) teaches his students to wax on and wax off. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) on the other hand makes up his own crazy training, like forcing his students to jump between rooftops. Gianni DeCenzo, who plays Demetri, didn’t jump but he did do another Eagle Fang scene for real.
Eagle Fang makes Demetri a punching bag in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4
Demetri got himself into trouble when he hit Johnny during training. To teach him a lesson, Johnny duct taped pillows to Demetri and let the others practice on him. There was no faking that, DeCenzo said.
“That was an uncomfortable setup to say the least because I’m actually tied down and I have stuff over my mouth,” DeCenzo said. “I have to have the prop department, they need to undo my stuff if I want to get out. To set up, it didn’t take too long. Really they just took a thing of duct tape and wrapped it around me a bunch of times. It was really weird though.”
The ‘Cobra Kai’ cast didn’t hold back on Gianni DeCenzo
In the scene, Chris (Khalil Everage) lands his blows on Demetri. DeCenzo said he had some additional padding under the pillows, but his Cobra Kai cast mates did not hold back.
I also had, when Chris kicks me, I had this harness or strap inside my pants to keep him from actually grazing me. So I really had to trust that that thing would not fail because Khalil, who plays Chris, he wasn’t holding back. He was going all out for that. In fact, I think he admitted that he was trying to break it. So thank God it didn’t break because that would be a bad day. That almost became a real scene but yeah, that was definitely an interesting scene to film. I remember reading it in the script. It was like, ‘He’s doing what now? Johnny’s doing huh? Johnny’s flipped me in the past but this is kind of crazy.’Gianni DeCenzo, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 12/20/21
Gianni DeCenzo couldn’t signal the crew
Johnny also gagged Demetri’s mouth, so DeCenzo didn’t have any safe words he could say to the Cobra Kai crew. He just had to hope they would notice if he was genuinely in pain. Fortunately, he didn’t break anything like Mary Mouser did later in the season.
“I think it was just mostly like, ‘Um?’” DeCenzo said. “I have no words that I can say. If I’m actually in agonizing pain after they yell cut, that might be a good sign that it didn’t work out the way they wanted it to.”
They did let DeCenzo down between takes.
“Each take didn’t take very long,” he said. “We have multiple angles we always film with. I think I was there, shoot, I guess maybe the whole time was maybe like a few hours. It takes a few hours to film the scene but actually being strapped up to it, it wasn’t that long. There were threats of leaving me there ‘til after lunch but I pleaded.”