Ralph Macchio Dishes on Being Reunited With Elisabeth Shue

Ralph Macchio Elisabeth Shue

YouTube Elisabeth Shue and Ralph Macchio star in 'The Karate Kid.'

In the 1984 martial arts film “The Karate Kid,” Elisabeth Shue played Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) love interest Ali Mills. While the character had a significant role, she is not featured in any of the sequels. Ali was also noticeably absent in the first two seasons of “Cobra Kai.” However, she did make an appearance during the show’s third season, which premiered in January 2021.


Ralph Macchio Recently Discussed His Reunion With Elisabeth Shue

Elisabeth Shue

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

While speaking at Deadline’s Contenders Television Livestream Event on May 15, Ralph Macchio talked about reuniting with Shue on the set of “Cobra Kai.” He noted that he and his co-star William “Billy” Zabka, who plays Johnny Lawrence, often discuss that “Karate Kid” is a special film. For this reason, actors, like Shue, who returned to the franchise, made an effort with continuing their characters’ storyline.

“[It is] kissed in some way. There’s something — it has this light on it — this franchise that just is the gift that keeps on giving. And it feels like everyone coming back to reprise their role comes in with that level of respect and understanding. There’s this connection, it’s almost unspoken,” said the actor.

Macchio then proceeded to compliment Shue’s portrayal of Ali on “Cobra Kai.”

“Certainly Elisabeth Shue was the big thing at the end of season 3. And she just did such a beautiful job,” said the 59-year-old.

He went on to say that Daniel and Ali’s reunion mirrored his own with Shue.

“We were all sort of reunited, kind of behind-the-scenes and on-camera at the same time. It kind of paralleled the reintroduction of Ralph and Lisa and Billy and Lisa and this trio. And then to morph into our characters, you carry such a responsibility and a pride playing these roles that have become a part of pop culture around the world,” asserted the “My Cousin Vinny” star.


Ralph Macchio Shared Similar Information in a January Interview

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka Posing

GettyRalph Macchio and William Zabka pose together at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.

While speaking to Entertainment Weekly in January, Macchio and Zabka commented on their reunion with Shue. During the interview, Macchio addressed that he and Shue still had strong chemistry, despite not working with each other in over 35 years.

“The chemistry — there’s just something special about all of our original cast from the original films that come back in. You just share this spirit, this chemistry and connection because you walked in these shoes of some piece of work in ‘The Karate Kid’ film and universe that is bigger than all of us so we all recognize being connected to that,” said the actor.

He also noted that “one of [his] favorite moments” between Ali and Daniel “was [their] ‘goodbye’ scene” during the season 3 finale. Macchio explained he appreciated that Shue “look[ed] at [his character] with such sweet nostalgia” as he left the holiday party with his wife Amanda (Courtney Henggeler).

“I think she did a beautiful job in that moment,” said the actor.

During the interview, Zabka also shared kind words about Shue. He noted that he “adore[s] Lisa” and “loved working with her on ‘The Karate Kid.’”

“To have her back on set and to agree to do this and to step into the show and to play Ali again was thrilling itself,” said Zabka.

To see more of Macchio, Zabka, and Shue, watch “Cobra Kai,” available on Netflix.

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