In the 1984 martial arts film “The Karate Kid,” Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue) pursues Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who is a new student at West Valley High School. Unfortunately for Daniel, Ali’s ex-boyfriend martial artist Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) catches wind of their budding relationship and proceeds to violently bully the New Jersey native. This ultimately causes the two karate students to have a rivalry that lasts three decades.
On the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai,” it is revealed that Johnny has been pining over Ali throughout his adulthood. During the show’s third season, he nearly rekindles his romance with his ex-girlfriend. However, he realizes that he wants to have a committed relationship with Carmen Diaz (Vanessa Rubio).
William Zabka Has Commented On Whether He Had a Crush on Elisabeth Shue
While it may have not worked out for Ali and Johnny, Shue and Zabka had undeniable chemistry during their scenes together on “Cobra Kai.” This may have led some fans to wonder if Zabka ever had a romantic interest in his co-star.
While speaking to Entertainment Tonight during the filming of “Cobra Kai” season 3, Zabka commented on whether he had a crush on Shue when working on “The Karate Kid.” He asserted that he had not, but had high regard for her. He explained that while he “adored” his co-star, he did not spend much time with her during the film’s production. Instead, he mostly hung out with the actors who played Johnny’s Cobra Kai teammates. He then explained that the film’s director John Avildsen discouraged him from having a friendship with Ralph Macchio.
“You know all the guys were hanging out and [Macchio] and I were separated. John Avildsen didn’t want the two of us together so there was definitely no love blossoming there,” quipped the 55-year-old.
Zabka explained that over the years, he has gotten much closer to the cast of “The Karate Kid.” In particular, the actor shares a special bond with Macchio.
William Zabka Has Spoken About His Friendship With Ralph Macchio
During an April 2019 interview on “The Jenny McCarthy Show,” Zabka briefly talked about his friendship with his on-screen rival. He noted that they have a similar background, and both grew up in New York. The actor revealed that he often spends time with Macchio even when they are not filming.
“Our off-camera antics are so fun. I mean we’ll drive home. I mean we have the same complaints. The same thoughts… Same b****ing. You know, we’ll drive, we’ll get lost together, you know, we crank the music together,” said the actor.
During a January interview on “The View,” alongside Macchio, Zabka also revealed that his children, ages 11 and 7, have a close relationship with his co-star. He explained that his son and daughter, whose names have not been released to the public, have not seen the original “Karate Kid” but have visited the “Cobra Kai” set. Zabka stated that while they might not be familiar with his character, Daniel, “they love Ralph.” He also disclosed that they are close to Martin Kove, who plays ruthless sensei John Kreese in the “Karate Kid” films and “Cobra Kai.”
To see more of Macchio and Zabka, check out “Cobra Kai,” available to stream on Netflix.
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