Why Elisabeth Shue ‘Felt So Uncomfortable’ During a Karate Kid Scene

Elisabeth Shue

Getty Elisabeth Shue is photographed at the Battle of the Sexes Los Angeles Premiere in 2017.

Fans of the Karate Kid franchise are familiar with the beach scene in the first movie. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) just moved to Reseda, California, and was invited to the beach by his neighbor. While playing soccer, the New Jersey-native notices Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue) sitting with her friends. They make eye contact and share a smile. Later in the evening, Daniel teaches Ali to juggle a soccer ball on her thighs.

Unfortunately for Daniel, Ali’s ex-boyfriend Johnny Lawrence (William “Billy” Zabka) shows up. He confronts Ali about their recent break-up, throws her radio down, and physically assaults Daniel.

Ali berates Johnny for his violent actions and he leaves with his Cobra Kai teammates. The interaction ultimately causes Daniel and Johnny to have a rivalry that lasts over three decades.

Elisabeth Shue Revealed That One Aspect of the Beach Scene Made Her Self-Conscious

Ali Mills sits on the beach in 'The Karate Kid'

YouTubeAli Mills sits on the beach in ‘The Karate Kid.’

While speaking to Sports Illustrated, along with the other Karate Kid cast and crew members, Ralph Macchio revealed that the beach scene was shot first.

“We started shooting on Oct. 31, 1983, at Leo Carrillo beach in Malibu: the scene where the Cobra Kai are coming down on motorcycles. That was a couple days of getting sand in my face and getting my butt kicked,” said the actor.

Elisabeth Shue then revealed that she was self-conscious about one aspect of the scene.

“I remember having to wear a bathing suit for that scene, which was a big deal because I felt so uncomfortable,” said the actress.

She went on to say that she was required to work out in preparation for shooting the beach scene. Shue told the publication:

When we first started filming, I was given a trainer (Jake Steinfeld, of Body by Jake fame) and asked to stay in shape. Once the beach scene was shot, I went back to eating whatever I wanted. Watch, I slowly gain weight throughout the rest of the movie.

Shue Also Had To Hide Her Athleticism During the Scene

Ali and Daniel play with a soccer ball.

YouTube Ali and Daniel play with a soccer ball in “The Karate Kid.”

This is not the first time that Shue has talked about this specific scene from The Karate Kid. While being interviewed on The Rich Eisen Show in 2017, the mother-of-three revealed that she had to downplay her athleticism. She revealed that she excelled at playing soccer “on all boys teams” during her childhood.

“I had to pretend to be bad in The Karate Kid. I had to pretend I didn’t know what I was doing but I was better than Ralph Macchio at soccer and probably at karate too,” asserted the actress.

She went on to say that if she had been able to practice karate during the production of the film, she “could have kicked [Macchio’s] a**.”

Shue recently portrayed Ali again in the third season of Cobra Kai. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, she discussed being on the set of the acclaimed series with her Karate Kid co-stars, Ralph Macchio and William “Billy” Zabka.

“It was so fun to realize that all of our chemistry was exactly the same. My chemistry with Ralph was the same, the same with Billy — it was odd! It was literally like a high school reunion; it felt like no time had passed. Like none at all,” said the 57-year-old.

To see more of Shue, be sure to watch Cobra Kai Season 3, available on Netflix.

READ NEXT: Is Aisha Coming Back to Cobra Kai?


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