Ralph Macchio doesn't regret failing to make the most of the fame he gained from starring in The Karate Kid.
Macchio made it big at the age of 22 when he starred as Daniel LaRusso in the hit 1984 martial arts film but limited his roles by staying in Long Island, New York and marrying his childhood sweetheart rather than embracing the perks of movie stardom.
Speaking to The Guardian, Macchio admitted that he could have followed a similar path to fellow '80s heartthrobs Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon and Emilio Estevez, who appeared alongside him in The Outsiders but is happy he stayed at home.
“If I’d been trying to grab that gold ring every chance, maybe I would have had more (jobs), but I couldn’t get to them because I was watching a baseball game back in my home town,” he explained.
“I wasn’t the biggest risk-taker, and I’m sure there were lost opportunities because of that. But also, maybe my caution helped me to stay grounded, so I’m at peace with the choices I made,” he added.
Ralph has now returned to his most famous role in a TV series, Cobra Kai, featuring many of the original cast - but sadly not Pat Morita, who played Daniel's mentor, Mr Miyagi, as he died in 2005.
Daniel takes on a similar mentorship role in the new instalments - and says it was emotional filming scenes without Pat.
“There’s a montage scene in series two in which I’m teaching a younger kid, just as Miyagi taught LaRusso, and that brought a real rush of emotion for me," he confessed: "Every time we shoot I hearken back to those early days of rehearsal with Pat.”
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