Ralph Macchio has enjoyed a long career of being applauded for portraying Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid and now Cobra Kai, but it wasn't always easy. Just as Daniel LaRusso had to suffer at the hands of bullies in his high school experience, a young Macchio had to deal with the same thing. Unfortunately, the young actor didn't have his rep as a crane-kicking karate champ during his high school days, so he had to find other ways to avoid bullies.
Macchio was in high school long before he portrayed Daniel LaRusso at age 23 and, as many karate practitioners will point out, he is not a well-trained fighter. With no professional fighting ability to speak of, Macchio told Empire he had other ways of getting any wannabee bullies off his back with no professional fighting ability:
In school any time I got a little pushed and shoved I’d befriend the biggest guy in the class. It’d be like the movie My Bodyguard. I was like a Chris Makepeace!
Credit to Ralph Macchio to pull another movie from the '80s to describe his high school experience, and credit to finding a big guy to dissuade any bullies from coming around. It's hard to believe anyone would try to start a fight with Macchio given The Karate Kid's acclaim to this day but, as previously mentioned, this was before he'd become an 80's pop culture icon.
With that being said, Ralph Macchio went on to confirm that even after he starred in The Karate Kid, he still had to deal with tough guys every so often. Apparently, some people empathized with Johnny Lawrence back in the day because guys were trying to take down Macchio if they felt they had a shot. Though not everyone was so keen on taking him on:
After The Karate Kid, I think people just thought, 'I saw the movie, I saw the kick. I’m gonna fight that guy over there instead.'
Getting into the mind of a bully totally tracks that someone would want to fight a person who plays a tough guy compared to someone who actually is. Being the guy who knocked out Daniel LaRusso would make for great bragging rights in the '80s, though I'm not exactly sure how one goes about proving it without the internet. Also, it's just ridiculous that there are people who would actively challenge or try to pick a fight with an actor, though stranger encounters have happened with fans. At least whatever encounters that happened hadn't soured Ralph Macchio on continuing to play Daniel LaRusso on Cobra Kai and giving fans and bullies alike something to enjoy on Netflix.
Cobra Kai is now available to stream on Netflix. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the series as it prepares for Season 4 and the latest news happening in television and movies.