“Cobra Kai” tough actor Martin Cove is romantic in Tampa Bay film

ST. PETERSBURG — People just love to yell at Martin Cove, the actor best known for playing John Kreis in the Karate Kid movies and the Cobra Kai TV series.

They don’t scream out of anger, but rather fandom, reciting some of his character’s famous and vile lines.

“I got ‘Mercy is for the weak’ everywhere I went forever,” Cove said. This line is from the first “Karate Kid”. “And now they like the line I used when I got arrested in the fifth season of the show – ‘I in the morning Cobra Kai.

He’s good at yelling. Ultimately, the bad guy character provided Cove with four decades of fame.

“I’m a big romantic,” he said. “I can also make non-sharp characters.”

He plays this type of character in ‘A Taste of Love’.

Filmed mainly in Dunedin, it premieres on Sunscreen at 7.30pm on April 27 at Sundial AMC 12. Cove will be attending the screening.

Funded in part with $500,000 in money from Pinellas County and made to double as a tourism video for the area, it is still seeking distribution. The film follows a struggling culinary TV star who must choose between saving her family restaurant and her dream career as a celebrity chef.

Cove plays the chef’s father.

“No fights, no advantage,” he said. “It’s just a sweet romantic story.”

Cove isn’t the only Cobra Kai actor starring in Taste of Love.

Susan Gallagher, Martin Cove and Erin Cahill star in A Taste of Love, filmed in Dunedin.

[ Courtesy of Rod Millington ]

His son, Jesse Cove, played John Crease’s teenage bully in flashback scenes of Cobra Kai. In The Taste of Love, he is the chef’s love interest.

And Susan Gallagher plays Cove’s on-screen wife from “A Taste of Love,” though “Cobra Kai” fans might not recognize her.

“They’re used to seeing me dirty from head to toe and with rotten teeth,” Gallagher laughed.

In Cobra Kai, she plays the homeless Lynn, the street lady who often appears to oppose the misunderstood Johnny Lawrence.

“I think the fans will get a kick out of ‘Taste of Love,'” Gallagher said. “It’s a chance to see three Cobra Kai actors playing completely different roles than they’re used to. I love Stray Lynn because she is so sassy. But it was fun to play a good guy as well.”

Cove, whose nearly 300 film and television titles feature mostly tough-guy characters, echoed that sentiment.

“It’s easy to get scammed in Hollywood,” he said.

Besides Jon Kreis, Cove said, most people recognize him as the antagonist from Rambo: First Blood Part II and Wyatt Earp.

Police detective Victor Isbecki in the 1980 TV crime drama Cagney & Lacey is among his favorite characters. This is because the detective is tough, but also kind and honest, which he believes is closer to the real him.

He said he is the type of person who cries at movies and emotional experiences. “I think I cry at the opening of supermarkets,” he said.

He made people cry on set during the filming of Taste of Love.

“There’s a scene where I talk about my mom leaving me at the restaurant,” Cove said. “It was a very emotional scene and the team was crying. I did this film because I liked the script and because I really like playing softer roles.”

There was another reason. His girlfriend, Mary Scavo Squire, has a home in Tampa Bay, which means more time with her.

“I’m a romantic,” he said. “It’s nice to show that in a movie.”

A Taste of Love premieres at 7:30pm on April 27 at AMC Sundial 12 Theater No. 1. Stars Martin Cove, Jesse Cove, Susan Gallagher, Erin Cahill and Ashley Dulaney will be in attendance.

For tickets and the full lineup of Sunscreen Film Festival films and events, visit sunscreenfilmfestival.com.

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