In 1984, Ralph Macchio starred as Daniel LaRusso in the martial arts film “The Karate Kid.” Nearly 35 years later, the actor returned to play Daniel in the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai.” According to Variety, the show was originally released on YouTube Red but eventually “moved to Netflix” in August 2020. Once “Cobra Kai” was available on the popular streaming platform, the show became even more successful.
Ralph Macchio Discussed How His Life Has Changed Since “Cobra Kai” Became More Popular
While speaking to Variety, Macchio discussed how his daily life has been affected by the show’s increased popularity. He revealed that he is now often recognized when he leaves his house.
“Outside of having a mask on, it’s tougher to get out to the grocery store. I had a couple years where I could go in and out. Now it’s a little bit limited,” explained the actor.
However, he noted that he does not mind having a massive fanbase and asserted that he is “as privileged and lucky as you can get.” Later in the interview, he stated that he has been “really enjoying the opportunity to continue to tell the stories” of the “Karate Kid” characters.
Macchio Has Previously Discussed Interacting With “Karate Kid” Fans
Macchio previously spoke about interacting with members of the “Cobra Kai” fandom during a January interview on Justin Long’s “Life is Short” podcast. He revealed that he is used to fans reciting “Karate Kid” lines, like “sweep the leg” to him. The 59-year-old acknowledged that he found that behavior somewhat “of an eye roll” in the 1990s when his acting career had taken a standstill. He stated that he now has an appreciation for being approached in public, especially by members of the younger generation.
“I get the 8 year old kid who wants to show me his crane kick on a given Tuesday. And that makes it all — then it’s like bigger than anything. And it’s sort of — that’s where I went from being like enough already to — and I was never negative about it — but it went from like okay this is tiring to wow what a privilege,” explained the actor.
Macchio went on to say that he feels grateful to be able to “put a smile on people’s faces and make them feel like a kid again.”
“It’s a very satisfying feeling in our current world to sort of be a ray of light. And [William Zabka who plays Johnny Lawrence] and I talk about it. It’s just pretty wonderful to have that and to be spreading that kind of joy based on the revisiting of these characters,” said the actor.
Macchio also commented on the show’s popularity in a January interview on the “Sway” podcast. He explained that he believes people appreciate the series because it gives them a sense of comfort during difficult times like the pandemic.
“I think maybe in this time in the world a big, fat nostalgic embrace is kind of a comfort food, like the best cheeseburger you had at twelve years old that they no longer make but somehow you get to taste it again. People are looking for that — that warm and fuzzy when we are not dealing with warm and fuzzy when we step out of the house,” explained the actor.
To see more of Macchio, check out the first three seasons of “Cobra Kai,” available on Netflix.