Jacob Bertrand Talks Fan Reaction To His Cobra Kai Character's Transformation - Exclusive

As a child actor, Jacob Bertrand began his professional career at an age when most people are still learning to tie their shoes. Since then, the talented young actor has racked up an impressive roster of screen credits over the years, including TV series such as "Homeschooled" and "Parks and Recreation" and movies including "Rise of the Guardians" and "Ready Player One." These days, he's best known for his role in the Netflix hit "Cobra Kai," playing fan-favorite character Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz since the show's debut. The last season, in fact, found Hawk shocking fans when the character made a dramatic about-face, turning his back on the Cobra Kai dojo by stepping away from the dark side and into the light.

With the show's fifth season set to premiere in the fall of 2022, Bertrand has been taking on another role: promoting Champion's new "Cobra Kai" athleticwear collection, featuring an array of clothing including hoodies, sweatpants, sandals, and more. In an exclusive interview with The List, Bertrand not only discussed his new clothing partnership, but he also revealed how fans of "Cobra Kai" have reacted to Hawk's surprising character arc.

Jacob Bertrand has played Hawk as a hero and a villain

Playing Hawk on "Cobra Kai" has been a career high for Jacob Bertrand, particularly now that he's been able to portray the character as both villain and hero. "I love it," he said of Hawk's shocking turn. "The main thing that came from that is I loved playing the villain so much. I was sad to have to ditch the villain cape for the good guy shoes, but it's super fun. The writers are so smart and they see a hundred miles ahead. They totally know what they're doing and I'm super on board with getting to win a tournament. That's super fun."

According to Bertrand, fans have wholeheartedly embraced the new Hawk. "Oh my God. That's like the main thing that people come up to me about," he said. "They're like, 'Oh my gosh. I stood up and I was cheering when you switched sides and shaved Demetri.' That's something that ... you hear about it [from the show's writers], it's like, 'Yeah, you know you're going to break Demetri's arm, you're going to send Brucks to the hospital, and at the great end, you're going to switch sides and save the day.' I was like, 'Oh, really? Aren't they going to hate me?' They're like, 'Yes, but we're going to make it work,' and I was like, 'OK, I guess.' [At the] beginning of season four, they hashed all that stuff out. It was a great little arc for my character. Like I was saying, they see it a hundred miles ahead."

The fifth season of "Cobra Kai" is scheduled to debut in fall 2022; more information about Champion's full collection of custom athleticwear inspired by season four of "Cobra Kai" can be found right here.