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Cobra Kai has a done a great job introducing new characters into the Karate Kid universe. Fans care as much about Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) and Samantha (Mary Mouser) as they do about Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka). Vanessa Rubio is one of those new characters as Miguel’s mother, Carmen, and a potential love interest for Johnny. 

Vanessa Rubio and Ralph Macchio
Ralph Macchio and Vanessa Rubio | Guy D’Alema/Netflix

Rubio spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about her role on Cobra Kai and we’ll have more with her when Season 3 premieres in January. First, we spoke about some season 2 highlights including one she did not believe they were really going to shoot until they did. 

The ‘Cobra Kai’ scene Vanessa Rubio thought was just a joke 

Near the end of season 2, Johnny has been reluctant to make a move on Carmen because her son is his student. He has an ’80s style dream sequence in which he makes his move and Carmen seduces him.

“When they first told me about it I thought they were kidding because they didn’t bring me a script,” Rubio said. “They were just like oh, this is going to happen. And I was like waiting for them to be like ‘We’re just kidding’ but they weren’t. It was just one of those scenes where you’re just laughing already just reading it on the page. It was very quick. We had to do it pretty quickly but we had a lot of fun with it. We were just like this is a fantasy where we could just have total fun with it so we did.”

Yes, Vanessa Rubio poured real beer on herself 

Part of Johnny’s dream is a sort of private wet T-shirt contest just for him. Rubio said she did actually pour beer on herself while filming.

“I did, it’s true,” she confirmed.

Coors Banquet has been Johnny’s brand for both seasons of Cobra Kai, so there was only one kind of beer in which Rubio could douse herself.

“They’re pretty strict about that,” Rubio said.

All the ’80s references in that ‘Cobra Kai’ montage

Rubio recreates many babes of the ’80s in the fantasy scene. She wears the cutoff shirt like Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science and the whole thing is set to Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again,” of the famous Tawny Kitaen video.

Cobra Kai: Vanessa Rubio
Vanessa Rubio | Bob Mahoney/Netflix

“I think there’s some Weird Science in there, some Flashdance,” Rubio said. “There was definitely the Whitesnake video that we recreated. I don’t know what was being recreated with the dojo scene though so I don’t know.”

This other Carmen and Johnny scene was no joke 

Season 2 also features Johnny and Carmen on a date. They end up running into Daniel and Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) at the same restaurant, where Carmen teaches Johnny to salsa dance.

“Oh, that was so much fun, so much fun to film and just so written well,” Rubio said. “It was a lot of fun. I did actually have to teach Billy a little bit some salsa moves for real, and of course Ralph. He was on Dancing with the Stars and he was just so suave and so great. So it was a lot of fun.”

Cobra Kai double date
L-R: William Zabka and Ralph Macchio | Guy D’Alema/Netflix

They didn’t have a lot of time to film the dance, so Rubio choreographed what she could.

“We did a little light choreography but for the most part, they kind of just let us do our thing,” Rubio said. “I know I was wearing uncomfortable shoes so we couldn’t really take on all the moves but I’m really hoping that they get another chance on the dance floor to make a second comeback.”