Is John Kreese Tory’s Father? Peyton List Weighs In

Why Peyton List Had Doubts About Joining the Cobra Kai Cast


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Peyton List poses at The Paley Center for Media in 2019.

On the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai,” Peyton List plays martial arts student Tory Nichols. After she is expelled for starting a massive fight at West Valley High School, the teenager is put on probation. Instead of enrolling at a different school, Tory focuses on providing for her ailing mother and brother by working two jobs. Ruthless sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) seems to sympathize with her and allows her to practice at the Cobra Kai dojo, free of charge. He also physically threatens her landlord, who had made sexual advances toward her. Due to these moments of kindness, Tory soon begins to view him as a parental figure. While it seems that Kreese is getting closer to Tory to manipulate her into doing his bidding, some fans believe that there is another reason as to why he is continually helping her out. 


Peyton List Addressed the Theory That Tory Is Kreese’s Daughter

Martin KoveMartin Kove

GettyMartin Kove strikes a pose at TCL Chinese Theatre.

During a January interview with Entertainment Weekly, Peyton List became aware of the theory that Kreese is her character’s biological father. She acknowledged that it “would make so much sense as to why he looks out for her the way he does,” but clarified that it is unlikely Tory is his daughter.

“I wish but I really don’t think so,” said the actress.

During the interview, List revealed she is concerned that Kreese is a negative influence.

“I am worried about her emotionally because if Kreese doesn’t care about her and it’s just for his agenda and he’s taking her in and it’s all selfish then I do get worried about her,” explained the former Disney Channel star. “And I get worried about her being led so astray and becoming this person who, I don’t know, I feel like she’s really easy to manipulate at this point in her life. Especially like I know at this age in high school you are so confused about who you are and what’s going on and if you have the wrong person guiding you — I mean I do get worried.”


List Discussed Embarrassing Herself in Front of Kove on Set

Peyton List BlondPeyton List Blond

Getty Peyton List looks over her shoulder at Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards.

While List does not seem to be a fan of Kreese, she has high regard for the actor who portrays him. 

During a September Instagram Live video with Mary Mouser, who plays Tory’s rival Samantha LaRusso, the actress revealed she had embarrassed herself in front of Kove while on set. She noted that she headed over to the men’s restroom, as the women’s was unavailable. While she was in the stall, she realized she was not alone. She called out to make sure the other person was aware she was also using the facility, but they did not acknowledge her. 

When she opened the stall door, she noticed that Kove “was just like fixing his hair in the mirror.” According to List, he did not seem to be phased that she was using the men’s bathroom and asked her about his hair because he was unhappy with it. She addressed his concern by complimenting him and proceeded to question why he had not responded to her. The 75-year-old revealed that he was unaware she was speaking to him. 

After finishing the story, the 23-year-old quickly asserted that she “just love[s] Marty” and “idolize[s] him.”

To see List and Kove play sensei and student, check out “Cobra Kai,” available to stream on Netflix. 

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