As fans of Cobra Kai are aware, Elisabeth Shue reprised the role of Ali Mills during the show’s third season. While the actress clearly had chemistry with Ralph Macchio, who plays Ali’s ex-boyfriend Daniel LaRusso, the co-stars did not have a particularly close relationship after filming the 1984 movie The Karate Kid.
Macchio Revealed Shue Confronted Him During the 1986 World Series
During a 2019 interview on the Collider Podcast, Macchio revealed that he did not stay in contact with Shue. He clarified that they simply fell out of touch.
“You know lives go different ways there’s no reason not to connect. I could say that about you know five different actors I worked with in 1983 that haven’t spoken to since,” explained the actor.
Macchio, however, briefly interacted with Shue while they both were in attendance of the 1986 World Series. He revealed that she confronted him about her character’s departure from the Karate Kid franchise. In the second film, Daniel and Ali suddenly break up. Daniel claims that the relationship ended because she was seeing a football player who went to UCLA. The karate student quickly moves on from the relationship and begins dating Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) when he visits Okinawa, Japan. Ali is not mentioned again until the first season of Cobra Kai.
“I saw her and I walked up and she was questioning not directly to me but she asked me why they did that to her character, why did they — I mean we said hello and hugged but she said why would they ever just write her off in that way,” said the actor.
During the interview, Macchio noted that the character Ali was given similar treatment as Daniel’s mother, Lucille, played by Randee Heller. However, Lucille did briefly appear in The Karate Kid Part III. He explained that the film’s producers, including Jerry Weintraub, prioritized having the film sequels to be focused on Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) and Daniel.
“I think at the end of the day, you know, there wasn’t a lot of real-estate [for other characters] to go to Okinawa right,” said Macchio.
He went on to say that he did not recall how he responded to Shue, as he was not responsible for the decision to write her out of the franchise.
“I wasn’t a producer on The Karate Kid. I was a gun for hire,” said the actor.
The Creators of ‘Cobra Kai’ Also Did Not Like How Ali Was Removed From the Franchise
The creators of Cobra Kai, Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald, and Jon Hurwitz also had an issue with how Shue’s character was handled in the film franchise. While speaking to Insider in January, the writers revealed that they decided to create a storyline in the show’s third season to remedy the situation. Schlossberg also noted that they were aware that Shue “didn’t like [the] reason” for the characters breaking up.
“So we tried to think of a way to make a way that didn’t make Daniel out to be a liar but also gave Ali her own side of the story,” said the writer.
During Season 3, Episode 10, Ali explains that she had a platonic relationship with the college student, which Daniel perceived as romantic. In this moment, it is revealed that Ali was faithful in their relationship and Daniel was at fault for their breakup.