Who Is Gianni DeCenzo? Everything to Know About the ‘Cobra Kai’ Actor
Gianni DeCenzo has been around in Hollywood forever. But, it was only his work as Demetri Alexopoulos in the hit Netflix show Cobra Kai that got him the recognition he deserves after over a decade of hard work.
The actor is now a hot name in the industry, and queries about him are growing in numbers on the internet.
Here are a few things about the Cobra Kai actor and his life now, including something interesting about his ethnicity and his personal history with The Karate Kid franchise.
Who Is Gianni DeCenzo?
DeCenzo was born on October 27, 2001, in Los Angeles, California, to parents who were both actors in the days of old. His favorite story to tell during interviews is how he was probably always meant to be an actor because his parents were actors.
Before he and his older brother, Anthony DeCenzo, came along, both his mother and his father were acting. They actually met in an acting class, and he even proposed to her there.
"Because of that, it’s always kind of been in my family," he said during an interview with Cryptic Rock in December 2021.
Although DeCenzo has never really discussed his ethnicity, family background, and that sort of stuff, his surname gives us a few hints on where his family could be from.
DiCenzo, a surname similar to his, according to House of Names, originates in Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Gianni DeCenzo Started Acting When He Was Eight
"One day when I was eight years old, I just kind of walked up to my parents and asked when I was going to be on TV," DeCenzo said of how he began acting. That is a part of the bigger version of his favorite story to tell people.
He was putting on puppet shows for his mom since he was five. And as he grew, so did his interest in acting — he started taking part in school plays around that time.
Then came the above-mentioned question he asked his parents. But, even though he might have had some acting talent he got from his parents, he still had to work incredibly hard for about a decade.
It all started soon after that question — his mom took him out to the front yard of his house, took some pictures of him, and sent it out to agents.
He got a few calls, then a few short films happened, commercials, too, and things took off from there. However, his parents initially thought of him acting as only a temporary thing.
They thought he would do acting only as a way to pay for college and nobody in his family thought he would get to the place he is at today.
DeCenzo made his on-screen debut with a short movie, The Lucky One, in 2011. Including that, he now has 19 acting credits, according to IMDb.
Some of his big projects include Liv and Maddie, Coop and Cammi Ask the World, NCIS, and Cobra Kai, in which he appears alongside Jacob Bertrand.
Gianni DeCenzo’s Special Connection with ‘Cobra Kai’ and ‘The Karate Kid’
He never got to experience the hype the movie had back in the day, but his dad, who was still a youngster, experienced it. And he developed a special connection to the movie.
So, when DeCenzo got offered his role on Cobra Kai, it was a special thing for the father-son duo.
Even though they already had topics about acting to discuss, Karate Kid's legend and Cobra Kai provided them with a new thing to connect over.
"I was just excited to be a part of it because it’s something that I got to share with my dad," he told Collider. "It was something from his generation, growing up, and now I get to work on the same thing. It’s cool."
Gianni DeCenzo Has Type 1 Diabetes
DeCenzo suffers from Type 1 diabetes. The actor was diagnosed with the condition when he was 14 or 15.
He has not let the disease take control of his life, though. He confessed during an interview with The Permanent Rain Press in January 2021 that even though living with the disease was not easy, it did not have to affect people.
And that is what he is trying to show with the exposure he has now — the disease does not have to be "a big deal." DeCenzo also appreciates people with similar health conditions reaching out to him.
Gianni DeCenzo Has Had a Girlfriend for over Two Years
DeCenzo has been in a relationship with his girlfriend, Melissa Rivera, since 2019. However, there is a bit of confusion about when they actually became a couple.
Gianni DeCenzo with his girlfriend, Melissa Rivera. (Photo: Melissa Rivera/Instagram)
Their small family of two grew to become a bigger family of four in June 2021, as they adopted two cats.
DeCenzo and Rivera, who turned 20 on April 7, 2022, appear often on each other's Instagram, and they also seem to do a fair bit of traveling together.