What Ralph Macchio Wanted To Change About The Karate Kid

Ralph Macchio Gray Blazer

Getty Ralph Macchio is photographed at 'The IMDb Show' in 2019.

Since The Karate Kid premiered in 1984, Ralph Macchio has been associated with the iconic martial arts franchise. Not only did he star in its two subsequent sequels, but he also has reprised the role of Daniel LaRusso in the acclaimed series Cobra Kai, which is available to stream on Netflix.

While Macchio has been attached to the franchise for over three decades, he is open about the fact he had one issue with the original film.


Macchio Did Not Like the Film’s Title

Ralph Macchio

GettyRalph Macchio is photographed at ‘The IMDb Show’ in 2019.

In a 2018 Sports Illustrated interview alongside the cast and crew of the Karate Kid, the actor revealed he was not a fan of the movie’s title.

“I fought tooth and nail to change this goofy title, only because I knew there was a chance I had to carry it for the rest of my life,” explained Macchio.

During the interview, Martin Kove, who portrays ruthless sensei John Kreese in both the Karate Kid films and Cobra Kai, shared similar sentiments.

“All of us used to complain about the title,” said the actor.

In an August 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Macchio stated that he had a low opinion of the title even before the film’s production. He recalled that while he was waiting to audition for the film’s director John Avildsen, he overheard “a whole bunch of teenagers” who were also trying out for the movie comment on its title.

“[They] all [were] talking about ‘can you believe this show is called The Karate Kid. What a stupid title.’ And I agreed wholeheartedly, little did I know that I would be carrying it on my shoulder for the rest of my life,” said Macchio.


Macchio Discussed the Title During a January Interview on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’

Ralph Macchio

GettyRalph Macchio talks during San Diego Comic-Con 2019: Day Two.

The actor addressed the fact that he was unhappy with the title during a January interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

“I thought — and I wasn’t the only one — I thought it was kind of a hokey, kind of a cheesy title for a movie being directed by the guy who made Rocky and all this stuff. But maybe it was foreshadowing. I maybe thought if I ever got the part I’d have to carry the d*** thing for the rest of my life,” said Macchio.

He acknowledged, however, he did not have a better suggestion for the film’s title. The actor did note that Avildsen was considering calling the movie something else.

“I think John Avildsen, our director said ‘maybe it’s East Meets West in West? I was like… what does that mean?” revealed the 59-year-old.

He also stated that he believed the film was “called The Moment of Truth in many countries when karate had a negative connotation in certain territories.”

In the same interview, Macchio discussed the casting process for the movie. He noted that he was “cast very early” to play Daniel. He stated, however, that Charlie Sheen was actually still in the running for the part.

“It was one those test deals where you’re not in yet and I remember walking by and seeing Charlie Sheen hanging outside [the film’s producer] Jerry Weintraub’s bungalow,” recalled the actor.

READ NEXT: WATCH: Cobra Kai Season 3 Ending Scene

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