Grand Rapids, Michigan (Wood) – West Michigan-born actress Suzan Salhani recently made her mark on the hit Netflix series “Cobra Kay”.
Salhani has lived in Atlanta for more than 30 years, but grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from Ottawa Hills High School. Her most recent claim to fame is in a small segment of “Cobra Kai,” the sequel to the classic 1980’s “The Karate Kid”. Salhaney played Nurse Caroline in Season 3, Episode 1 of the series.
“I was a fan of The Karate Kid that day, in the 1980s.” Salani told News 8 in a video call from her home in Atlanta, of course my kids grew up watching it.
She auditioned for the show in August 2019 while spending time in Grand Rapids to help her ailing mother.
Salhani recalls, “My niece said very kindly, ‘I’m going to go ahead and do it (I’m recording the test) on my iPhone, it’s been done before.'”
She was valid just booked a spot on the Netflix show “Teenage Bounty Hunters” when she heard from her agent again, telling her that she had been chosen for the character in “Cobra Kai”:
“I was in my car and I got a call from my agent and he said,“ Girl, you’re in good shape. “
Salhani said it was surreal and a little scary to be on set. She said she gets chills just thinking about it.
She said, “Every time I talk about it, I don’t know what the specific show is about … I think it was because of a great ’80s show.”
Fans of the show will remember the scene where Johnny (William Zapka) tries to go into hospital intensive care to see Miguel. Salhani plays the nurse who rejects him.
“We were just two pretty much in both scenes,” she recalls. “The third that was cut, was just more facial expressions.”
She said working with Zabka was exciting because he delivered lines that weren’t in the script. The line that ended on the show was Johnny asking Caroline to be a “bad girl”.
“He made me feel that I belong there. It doesn’t matter what role you play, be it big or small, you belong to it. He treated me like a real human being,” said Salhani.
Salhani said she was on standby for an entire day. They started filming her scene in the afternoon and wrapped around 8 pm
Growing up in Grand Rapids, Salhani was a dancer and always loved acting.
“This was something that has been my passion since I was really young. I’ve always been doing plays and all kinds of things and charging a lot of people.”
After raising a family, she decided it was her turn to live her dream. She started researching acting schools and studied with acting coaches in Los Angeles and Atlanta. She was in her forties when she began her acting career.
“You can do this at any age,” she said. “You really can.”
She’s played a medical professional before, but “Cobra Cay” was her first television role other than commercials.
“I hope to keep doing what I’m doing until I can’t walk and talk anymore, honestly,” she said. “I want to do this forever. It’s not a hobby for me.”
Almost all of the Salhani family still live in western Michigan, including their sisters, nieces, and nephews.
“Beautiful. If I could live in Grand Rapids in the summer and live in Atlanta in the winter, I would be in heaven,” she said.
When she does not act, she acts as a real estate broker and Owner of a small brokerage firm.