‘Karate Kid’ Actor Dishes on Being Zendaya’s Acting Coach

In the 1984 martial arts film “The Karate Kid,” Tony O’Dell appeared as Jimmy, a pupil on the Cobra Kai dojo, owned by ruthless sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove). Two years after “The Karate Kid” premiered, O’Dell starred within the hit sitcom, “Head of the Class,” the place he performed Alan Pinkard, a Ronald Reagan-loving highschool pupil. In a January interview, uploaded on Joe Pavone’s YouTube channel, O’Dell revealed that after the show resulted in 1991, he was not getting as many job provides.

“I believe it got here at a time the place I used to be having a yr the place issues have been a bit slower. But to be sincere with you when you starred in a collection, you are starring in a collection and you make tons and tons of cash something as compared after that’s slower,” defined the 61-year-old.

He said that he was approached by a producer within the mid-Nineteen Nineties to turn into an performing coach for a show. He was initially hesitant to take the chance as a result of it was exterior of his wheelhouse. However, he in the end determined it might be sensible to pivot his profession and has professionally coached actors for the previous 24 years.

O’Dell Worked as Zendaya’s Acting Coach for 10 Years

Over the years, O’Dell has labored on tasks like “The George Lopez Show,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” and “Shake It Up.” While engaged on “Shake It Up,” he was launched to the actress Zendaya, with who he ended up having knowledgeable relationship for a decade. During an April 2021 interview on the “Cobra Kai Kompanion” podcast, the performing coach revealed that he “labored along with her for the display screen take a look at for the ‘Greatest Showman'” and “labored along with her for the display screen take a look at of ‘Dune,'” which is anticipated to be launched later this yr.

O’Dell implied that he’s now not Zendaya’s performing coach however asserted that they’ve remained “actually shut.” He additionally disclosed that watching her win an Emmy in 2020 for enjoying Rue Bennett within the HBO collection “Euphoria” was emotional for him.

“That was undoubtedly a teary second for me. I’m simply so so happy with what she’s performed, how she’s dealt with her profession, how she’s dealt with herself on social media. Everything that everyone sees is actually actually who she is. She is unquestionably — there’s one thing about her that’s so extremely particular and he or she’s only a pressure in her personal means,” defined the performing coach.

He went on to go with his long-time pupil and stated that she is the “whole bundle” by way of seems and expertise.

“It’s actually wonderful to look at her do her factor and simply shine, it is unbelievable,” stated the actor.

O’Dell Shared a Post About Zendaya’s Emmy Win on Social Media

Following Zendaya’s Emmy win, O’Dell took to Instagram to congratulate her. In the caption of the submit, he acknowledged she is a rarity.

“In all of my years I’ve seen only a few make the sort of rise that Zendaya has made to this unbelievable second – profitable the Emmy. I’m extraordinarily glad and so pleased with @zendaya. The girls in her class have been wonderful however this second is hers… youngest Best Leading Actress ever to win an Emmy. Enjoy this second Z, it is properly deserved. Love you,” learn a portion of the caption.


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