‘Karate Kid’ Star Ralph Macchio Reveals Role He Beat Will Smith For | Heat Vision


– Hello friends, this week
on Heat Vision Breakdown we are joined by very
special guest Ralph Macchio, who is the star of Cobra Kai, season two available right now on YouTube. We’re also celebrating the 35th anniversary of The Karate Kid. Thanks so much for being here. – Thanks, thanks for having me man. – Absolutely. (bright rock music) – Let’s start off a little
bit with Cobra Kai season two. This season, you take on more of a Miyagi-esque nature to your character. You’re a mentor now. – That’s right, he’s trying
to carry on the legacy and focused on showing the
San Fernando Valley students the better way, and it’s
pretty big stakes for LaRusso ’cause he has to live up to that legacy and carry on the teachings of his mentor without the ability to have
his mentor to tap into. – Right. – And some of the hurdles that
happen, I always describe as, just because you have
knowledge of a subject doesn’t necessarily mean
you know how to teach it, and that every student is different. And Miyagi had one kid. LaRusso’s trying to
recruit a ton of students and when doing backyard chores
is the base of the theory, it’s kinda tough to get
the kids to come on over. – But it works, you won he championship. – Yes, it does for sure. Listen, there’s not a car
that hasn’t been waxed that it hasn’t paid off for this guy. – Speaking of Karate Kid, this is the 35th anniversary of the film. – It’s insane. – [Patrick] Crazy. – It’s insane. – What scene from that
film do you think really kinda captures the essence of that story? What’s the scene that you kinda
look back on with fondness? – Well, there are more than a few. I guess one of the scenes
that touches me the most is the drunk scene. – [Patrick] Mhm. – Where you learn of Miyagi’s backstory, and you watch this kid
view his mentor from a different perspective and
then take that knowledge that he’s learned and carry it on himself and into that transition of the montage. Also, the scene where we all learn what all these chores
were and that they pay off to be martial arts defensive moves. There’s a lot of magic in that movie. I know people who would like for me to say getting my ass kicked by the Cobra Kai is my most fond memory,
but great as they were, there’s a lot of them. – One of the scenes that I personally love is obviously the wax on, wax off scene. That car, the 1948 Ford Super
Deluxe Club Convertible, I have heard that you still
own that car, is that true? – It’s partly true. I definitely own the car. It was a ’47 Ford. – Oh my god. – That’s not you, it’s somewhere out there in the ether that it’s a ’48. I think they made replicas
that they’ve sold, like little toys, and
it says ’48 Super Deluxe but it’s a 1947 Ford, it is featured in the Cobra Kai series in
season two and going forward as we are now prepping
up to shoot season three. Yeah, it’s just fantastic
to have the actual car in the show now. It’s a character, it’s the one girl that stuck by LaRusso all these years. – I’ve also heard that Chuck
Norris was originally offered the role of the Cobra Kai sensei. Is that true, do you
know anything about that? – This is a truth or
consequences kinda interview. – It’s hard-hitting, I’m sorry. – I feel like there should
be lie detector stuff. Chuck Norris, I know this much, that was certainly in the conversation for Sensei Kreese, you’re saying? – Yes. – Yes. Casting of Marty Kove
took place very late. We were already shooting the movie when he came in, and he was on a show called Cagney and Lacey at the time, so once they found him
and once that was a match, it was about figuring
out how he could do it and fortunately for us, Marty Kove is the Darth Vader of ’80s and now back in Cobra Kai and throwing a wrench in everyone’s lives. – Right, still iconic. I hate to change text to something
a little bit more serious but in 2005 when Pat Morita passed away, you gave a eulogy at his funeral. What did you say, how was
that experience for you? – Well, certainly it was a tough day. It was my privilege to do it. I was nervous, and what to
say, so I didn’t do a lot of prep outside of speaking from my heart and knowing how rare it
is to have that sort of piece of magic that I always
call my relationship with him and those performances,
a bit of soulful magic, and I think that still
resonates in the Karate Kid film and even in Cobra Kai, it’s
real important to have that, ’cause the essence of what
he brought to that role is something that has become
a piece of pop-culture. There was one line I had in my head that I wanted to end, when I spoke of him and what he meant to me,
is forever my sensei. It came up to me on the plane out to Vegas which is where the services
were, and I said that and it kinda stuck in the
press and I’m proud of it. – You’ve had a lot of
great cameos over the years on shows like How I Met Your
Mother, you were on Entourage which is one that always sticks out to me. The thing about Entourage
is that it dealt with an experience that happened
at the Playboy Mansion. I’m wondering if there
was any truth behind that. – Oh god. You want me to unleash all my late nights into early mornings at the Playboy Mansion before the wife and kids. – So we do know that
there were late nights. – No, you know what, sadly
the first and last time I spent 13, 14 hours
at the Playboy Mansion was shooting that scene from Entourage. So sadly I have no true stories
that I’m gonna disclose now. – You were also in The Outsiders which is another really iconic movie, launched so many careers,
it’s a fantastic movie. It had a really grueling audition process from what I’ve heard. How was that audition
process for you personally? – It was a tough audition process. Francis Coppola, who
directed The Outsiders did something that often is never done, which is getting hundreds, it felt like, it was probably maybe 50
actors in one sound stage to sit around the perimeter and then he would call different actors to play different roles
like it was theater camp. So you’re essentially in
front of a video camera and this table with Francis Ford Coppola and his casting people and
twelve different teen magazines as he’s trying to plug and
play who would be right for these roles that
were iconic as far as, maybe not iconic but
famous through the book. So you’re watching other actors perform, trying not to be informed by
their reactions of the director and then you’re be viewed
by a theater community. – God. – As you’re being judged for the role, it was very difficult. For him, he just felt
he was creating this, how to get the chemistry
all working together. So whether it was Mickey
Rourke or Dennis Quaid or Matt Dillon or myself or
Tom Cruise or Scott Baio. It was just like all
these people auditioning and fortunately for me,
I got the part I wanted. I read a few scenes and
then I read as Ponyboy and Two Bit but I just wanted
to play this Johnny character and I actually raised my
hand to do a monologue from the book ’cause I felt I
wasn’t getting the attention. I think the reason I wasn’t
getting the attention is because he had made up his mind. So lucky for me I got to play one of the best roles in that movie. – Yeah, well it worked out for you and for us in the audience, too. – Thank you. – Like you said, it’s an iconic movie. It also has a really iconic poster of all you guys kinda
laughing and smiling together. I had heard that the reason
that you were all laughing and smiling is ’cause you
cracked a joke about Leif Garrett off-set trying to eat at
a craft service table. – I did, I did. I don’t like totally regret it, but it’s like I wish
there was another story. It is, I almost forgot that
till someone brought it up. I don’t know if it was Emilio or Rob Lowe, re-reminded me of when we
were taking all these shots, all these different kind of photos like brooding greasers,
tough guys, street guys, and then they put us all
in this sort of circle and said we’re just gonna
take a group shot here, and then one of the production
guys behind the camera saying listen everything over
here, all the food over here is just for the talent, he
was telling the crew guys. Leif Garrett was walking
by, I said, remember Leif, he just said that’s just for the talent. (Patrick laughs) And it got this big laugh,
and ’cause it the greasers and the socs, and he played a
soc, and we were the greasers, so there was a bit of that
rivalry stuff going on and then I instantly,
the left side of my brain or the right side of my
brain had a little sympathy, like boy that was a little harsh, and then the other side
of my brain was like, yeah I just nailed ’em, and
we laugh about it to this day and obviously everybody just cracked up and there’s the picture. – Right. To drop out of the ’80s,
into the ’90s a little bit, you were also in My Cousin Vinny. – [Ralph] Yeah. – Jonathan Lynn had
never seen The Karate Kid before casting you, is that true? – [Ralph] That’s true. – [Patrick] That’s craziness. – [Ralph] He goes, what
is this Karate Kid? What is it about? – It’s about a kid, he does Karate. – Is it good? And it was funny because I
think the studio at the time were just like, yeah you don’t want him, he’s the Karate Kid guy, we’re looking at, I know some of the names
that were on the list, I don’t wanna say that either ’cause I don’t wanna dog
anybody, they’re big stars now. The two names that the studio wanted are super huge stars right now, and then Jonathan was just like, yeah but he’s like perfect for the role, let me see this Karate Kid thing. And it’s great ’cause I auditioned, I got the part for the right
reasons I like to believe. – Yeah. Did he ever watch if afterwards? – Yes. – Okay, so he has seen The Karate Kid. – He said whoa, I should’ve
cast you before you came in. – He’s the one person. – It was great, he was a
great guy, and that movie, My Cousin Vinny, I call it
the late for dinner movie. If it’s on, you’re gonna
be late for dinner. – I love it. I’d also heard that Will
Smith was originally up for the role as your character’s
sidekick in that film. Did you ever do a screen test with him? – Yes, that’s one of the big movie stars. – Really? – Yeah, well I might as
well go out right now. It was Ben Still and Will Smith, that’s who the studio wanted. And even though he’s
written as Vinny’s cousin, they said, well we’ll
figure that out later. Will actually did come in to read, and we read together for My
Cousin Vinny at one point and I think he called me once they decided to make a remake of
The Karate Kid in 2010. My opening line was,
the last time I saw you was when we auditioned
for My Cousin Vinny. That’s the first and last time that I got the part and you didn’t. (Patrick laughs) – We had fun. – I don’t know if you remember this. In 1992 you were on Letterman,
and you were 30 years old is what you said in the interview. You said, to me it’s
dramatic when I look 30, I figure in 20 years I’ll be there. That was almost 30 years
ago and you still look like you’re hovering right around 30. How are you staying so youthful? – Yeah, it’s my parents’ fault. (Patrick laughs) Maybe it’s martial arts,
but I do very little of martial arts unless
the camera’s rolling. I would blame it on my parents, good genes and a decently healthy lifestyle. Yeah I got that youthful thing, there’s a tie-in from My
Cousin Vinny, see look at that. Segueing everything together. – Did you say yout? – Yeah, two youts. – Can you still crane kick? – You’re not gonna see it. – That’s not a no. – Yes, that’s not a no. It probably doesn’t look quite as good as it did 35 years ago, but
I get asked all the time. The only time I will assume the position outside of for the Cobra Kai series which we did for season
two in one episode, is when I get asked by the
troops on the military bases. If they ask me, then we’re all in, and that usually shuts everybody else up. – Nice, crane kicking for the troops. I’ll ask you one last question
and it’s the hardest one. People have said that
possibly, your character in the Karate Kid, in the original one, cheated in that tournament because they made blows
to the head illegal. Do you view yourself as a cheater? – I don’t view him as a cheater. The great thing about all this
stuff and the fan theories and the pop-culture relevance
of justice for Johnny and it was an illegal crane
kick, he should’ve never won. That stuff, people say how do you feel, we feel bad, no you don’t feel bad, they’re talking about
your movie 35 years later. We have a hit show, somehow,
that’s relevant in 2019 because of great writing
first and foremost and great performances, but because of this
relevance in pop-culture. If they could keep talking
about the movie, it’s awesome. I think it doesn’t hold water. I think everyone who
was in the movie theater back in the day or saw that
movie was not rooting against the kid that was being beat up constantly. – [Patrick] Right. – But it’s awfully fun to
go on technicalities now and if it was an illegal kick, it makes for better storytelling. – Well the Karate Kid
endures, the second season is available right on
YouTube of Cobra Kai, and it’s the 35th anniversary of one of the best movies
ever in Karate Kid. Ralph Macchio, thank you
so much for coming by. – Thanks for having me, I had fun. (bright rock music)

20 thoughts on “‘Karate Kid’ Star Ralph Macchio Reveals Role He Beat Will Smith For | Heat Vision

  1. omg…i can't believe that ben stiller and will smith auditioned to be in my cousin vinny! i'm glad they didn't get the part because ralph macchio and the other actor did phenomenal jobs and acted the roles perfectly…i can't imagine the film being any different and replaced with any other actors

  2. As a happily married man I'm not ashamed to say that ralph looks great for his age he's holding on to his yute haha

  3. Well, people do tend to look thirty five years older than they did in 1984, this is not a shocker, I know I do. Ralph looks great and seems like a lovely, very personable guy, as do William Zabka and Martin Kove (who surprisingly enough also no longer look as they did in '84). I loved Cagney and Lacey too – tv and films were so good back then. I'm glad for Ralph, he's a nice guy and good actor and it's nice to see him getting success again with this and The Deuce. Good for Ralph and the other guys. LOL at him not thinking he was getting enough attention from Coppola and putting his hand up…typical twenty year old guy thing to do.

  4. He's living a clean life..probably not drinking, no smoking and messing around with other women, which can contribute to stress and aging on the body. Not doing those things is probably what is keeping him "Yutful." 😅

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