Thomas Ian Griffith Reveals Why Terry Silver Sports a Ponytail

Thomas Ian Griffith

Getty Thomas Ian Griffith and his wife Mary Page Keller pose together in 2005.

In the 1989 film “The Karate Kid Part III,” Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) constantly manipulates and threatens Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) on behalf of his friend John Kreese (Martin Kove). Throughout the film, he sports a ponytail and often wears a black gi. In the promotional material for “Cobra Kai” season 4, it appears that Silver will continue to rock his hair in the same signature style and wear the same gi.


Thomas Ian Griffith Discussed Terry Silver’s Ponytail During a July Interview

During a July appearance on the “Cobra Kai Kompanion” podcast, Thomas Ian Griffith revealed why his character has a ponytail and a black gi. The actor, who is a skilled martial artist and has practiced Taekwondo since he was young, noted that the film’s director John Avildsen offered him “an official screen test” following his audition. He explained that when he “showed up,” there was a question of what should be done to his shoulder-length hair.

“They were like how do we keep his hair out of his face,” recalled Griffith.

He then revealed that “the hair lady” suggested they “pull it back in a ponytail, so they did that.” Following that decision, he was given his “costume, which was like this brand new white gi and a fake black belt.” The actor disclosed that he “fe[lt] so uncomfortable” wearing the ensemble and asked his wife, actress Mary Page Keller to help remedy the situation.

“I called Mary and we were living in this little house in North Hollywood. I said just bring me my black gi because you know, I was working out and teaching Taekwondo. Just bring me my black gi and my black belt, you know, so she ran it over, so I put it on and I walked on set and in my own gi, my own belt, and I was like okay, let’s bring it on,” said the 59-year-old.


The Co-Creator of ‘Cobra Kai’ Briefly Mentioned Terry Silver’s Wardrobe in Season 4

One of the co-creators of “Cobra Kai,” Jon Hurwitz, briefly mentioned Terry’s costuming in season 4 during a July interview on the “Shea Anything” podcast. The executive producer first discussed working with the stars from the original “Karate Kid” films, like William Zabka, Martin Kove, Ralph Macchio, and Thomas Ian Griffith.

“Whenever you’re on set and you realize that like, you know, you have these, you know, legacy cast members whether it’s Ralph or Billy or Martin Kove or when you bring in a new performer, like you know, season 4 is coming up and we recently revealed that Thomas Ian Griffith returns as Terry Silver, who is from ‘Karate Kid III.’ And you know, it’s like a fantasy camp,” said Hurwitz.

He then noted that during the show’s production he was faced with several issues, such as choosing Terry’s wardrobe.

“It’s hard work and the hours are insane and your frustrations — it’s funny to us when you’re stressed out about, you know, what are we going to have Terry Silver wear? You know, like those kinds of questions are coming to you and it’s like you have to make quick decisions on your feet about things that, like you know, the childhood version of you would never imagined is possible,” explained Hurwitz.

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