They say what once was old is new again, and that is certainly true with the TV series Cobra Kai. It only took 34 years, but the spinoff to the classic 1984 film The Karate Kid is seriously kicking butt. Not only do viewers get to see child actors from the original film playing themselves as adults — Ralph Macchio stars as Daniel LaRusso and William Zabka stars as Johnny Lawrence (both are also co-executive producers) — but the show features some fresh, young faces, as well. And one in particular might look especially familiar.
Cobra Kai began its run as a YouTube Red original series for two seasons, but was later acquired by Netflix for its third season, Cobra Kai explores the continuing rivalry between Daniel and Johnny from the latter’s point of view. Johnny was previously the antagonist in The Karate Kid. Now, he’s running his own dojo, Cobra Kai, which mentors young talents like Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) and Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand). But that’s not all.
The actress who portrays this female fighter has quite a resume
Since Season 2 of Cobra Kai premiered, a teenage girl, Tory Nichols, has built a reputation as a natural-born fighter within Cobra Kai (via Screen Rant). And, if you recognize the young actress who plays the headstrong character, it’s for a good reason.
Tory is played by Peyton List, a Florida native whose earliest roles included playing a young version of Katherine Heigl in 2008’s 27 Dresses, as well as stints on soaps like All My Children and As the World Turns. She even had turns in Cashmere Mafia, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Gossip Girl before landing recurring roles on TV shows, such as Disney’s Jessie as Emma Ross, CBS’ Happy Together as Sierra, Hulu’s Light as a Feather as Olivia Richmond, and Disney’s Bunk’d as Emma Ross (again).
List also has minor credits for Spider-Man 2, Saturday Night Live, and Remember Me. List is currently filming Shriver, written and directed by Michael Maren and starring Michael Shannon, Kate Hudson, Zach Braff, and Perry Mattfeld. Those are some pretty big names, and it seems the young actress’s star is rising in Hollywood.
Peyton List feels for her character, Tory Nichols, and hopes she finds help
Season 3 of Cobra Kai — and first under the Netflix banner — debuted in early January 2021. It’s here that we learn more about Tory Nichols, a troubled teen who: started a violent brawl with her rival, Samantha LaRusso (Daniel LaRusso’s daughter); was expelled from her high school; and was shipped off to juvenile detention. However, since she’s the sole provider for her ill mother and little brother, she broke out to take care of them, according to Screen Rant.
In an interview with Screen Rant, Peyton List, who plays Tory, talked about how she empathizes with her character, who has so much anger and goes through self-destructive patterns. “I think you see that with a lot of teenagers and especially [ones who’ve] never really been shown any love or, you know, support, and they feel really alone. And I think it’s easy to hate in that situation, and it’s much harder to see the light and to show mercy. … I just hope that [Tory] finds … the right sensei … the right guidance. … I see where she’s coming from, and … I feel for her.
We could not agree more and hope that Tory’s plot line takes a positive spin in the season to come.
Cobra Kai's Peyton List has many passions outside of acting
Although she has been acting since age 4, Peyton List has many passions beyond Hollywood. For the 2020 holiday season, she partnered with The Cameron Boyce Foundation to bolster support for its “Give Me $5” fundraising campaign. “The Cameron Boyce Foundation was started last year in honor of one of my closest friends Cam, when he suddenly lost his life to epilepsy,” List wrote on the campaign site. “I miss him dearly and am honored to help them in their mission to cure epilepsy and end gun violence.”
List, a former child model, is also an aspiring pop singer, having released the songs “Liar Liar,” “Dance Till We Die,” and “Don’t Cry,” according to her PR firm, Slash Agency (via IMDb). She recently dabbled in film production for her latter song’s music video, as well, creating the concept and directing the video itself.
We cannot wait to see what this multi-talented young woman does next!
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