What might seem conspiratorial at first turns out to be a silver screen legend. The son of Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood, was one of the early auditioners for the part of Daniel LaRusso. Turns out there was no nepotism when making the final decision as Ralph Macchio was selected over the young Eastwood.
In a petty vengeance, Clint Eastwood forbade any Coke products on his sets. Why did Coke receive the wrath of the Eastwoods? Columbia Pictures, who produced the Karate Kid, owned Coca-Cola at the time. That’ll teach them!
The Karate Adult
Forgive us in advance for ruining any childhoods here but the karate kid did not turn out to be a kid after all. Ralph Macchio, who played the titular character of Daniel LaRusso, was a whole twenty-two-years old at the time of filming.
That’s right – the Karate Kid graduated high school years before becoming what we all thought was one of the most famous child actors of the ’80s!
Mr. Miyagi’s Very American Accent
Pat Morita was cast as the indomitable Mr. Miyagi who, in the movie, hailed from Okinawa in Japan. Morita, however, did not hail from Japan and hailed from the very American state of California.
Morita’s Japanese accent was put on. Though having Japanese parents did, of course, give Morita the edge when impersonating the accent. In fact, fans were shocked to hear Morita’s original speaking voice.
Ralph Macchio Crane Kicks Sheen and Cage at the Audition
A string of actors that happen to be big names today was reputed to be in line for the role of Daniel LaRusso. Names such as Tom Cruise and 80’s golden child Emilio Estevez have cropped up in the Karate Kid casting history. Perhaps that should be mythology depending on who you ask...
Two names that were serious contenders were the up-and-coming Robert Downey Junior (who was yet to make his big break) and Nicolas Cage (who was already on his way to becoming a household name).
Pat’s Crane Feign
You might want to crane your neck while reading this childhood-shattering fact. The crane kick that Mr. Miyagi demonstrated to Daniel LaRusso became central and pivotal to the plot of the Karate Kid as LaRusso spent most of the movie perfecting it.
At forty-eight years old and not a professional karateka himself, the production crew decided that it was far too risky for Pat to stand on the pole and instead got a stunt double to don a bald cap and create the seminal movie moment.