Television revivals are all about bringing back characters that audiences know and love to take on new adventures and situations, but I also like to think it's a subtle way for actors to flex how good they still look decades after their original projects. For instance, Cobra Kai's Ralph Macchio may not look exactly the same as he once did when he first played Daniel LaRusso back in 1984, but I also wouldn't say it's super-obvious that he's aged a full 36 years in the time since his Karate Kid debut.
Listen — I blame my parents. They both look very young for their age. I have a youthful energy about me for some reason. A healthy lifestyle doesn't hurt. But I think I've just gotten lucky in the gene department.
There's apparently no magical skincare routine or mystical serum that Ralph Macchio is applying every night in a clockwise and counter-clockwise motion. Or at least if there is, the actor isn't willing to share the formula, and he attributed his youthful appearance to possibly having had great genetics passed down his way. Considering how much Macchio is still contributing to action scenes within Cobra Kai, he definitely doesn't look like he's too old to be in the role.
Macchio's youthful look only plays to the benefit of his character in Cobra Kai, as it shows Daniel's life has been far easier for him than it has for Johnny Lawrence in the years since they first locked horns in The Karate Kid. And that's not meant to be a knock on William Zabka, Martin Kove, or any of the other cast members who returned to the franchise, but it's definitely much easier to see how much everyone else has aged when they're sharing the screen next to Ralph Macchio. The same way everyone on Supernatural kept changing while Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki appeared to just stop aging around 30.
And while Ralph Macchio doesn't look like he's aged a ton, he and other returning Karate Kid actors have noted that Cobra Kai's fight scenes are different than what they experienced years before. There's a lot of work put towards injury-prevention for one thing, and even with that, William Zabka has broken his toe, and Yuji Okumoto injured his hamstring to the point where he thought he might need to visit a hospital (via Popculture.com). So while Macchio may look like a man half his age, let's not forget that he and all these actors are frequently filming scenes that put their bodies on the line, all for the sake of entertainment and great karate drama. So they deserve credit for that for sure.
Cobra Kai Seasons 1-3 are currently available to stream on Netflix. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the series and more happening in television and movie news.