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Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio still doesn't like The Karate Kid 3 – but he's proud of its influence on the show

Ralph Macchio in Cobra Kai
(Image credit: Netflix)

Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio has never been "a fan" of The Karate Kid 3, but he recently spoke about how vital the movie was to season 4 of the hit Netflix show.

Macchio played teenage protagonist Daniel LaRusso in the Karate Kid movies between 1984 and 1989, and reprised the role for Cobra Kai starting in 2018.

"I was not a fan of how the Karate Kid 3 came out," Macchio told The Hollywood Reporter. "I felt the story was only repeating itself and was not character forwarding for the end of LaRusso. And production-wise, it was being written one way and then changed another way. It was not a smooth ride. In the end, there were parts of the character that I didn’t embrace as well as I did with the original and the first sequel. I don’t put it on the top of my resumé."

However, the movie has had a big influence on the latest season of Cobra Kai – particularly with the reintroduction of villain Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). "It informs Cobra Kai going forward, clearly with season four," he continued. "It gives us so much story. And what is so wonderful about doing the Cobra Kai series, the creators find ways to take that story and let it evolve and find backstories for characters who might have been thinly written."

Macchio added: "There is a larger-than-life element to Cobra Kai. When you break it down, it is kind of ridiculous – but that is why it is so much fun! So, you take a character like Terry Silver for this show, with those larger-than-life elements and his relationship with Daniel, then add those layers of complexity to his evilness. And now it becomes a refined performance. On top of that, from the perspective of Daniel as an adult, now we are adding other stakes and elements about his own kids and students. It is remarkable that what I would call the shortcomings of the original franchise are now bearing fruit 36 years later."

Cobra Kai season 4 was released on December 31. If you're already up to date, check out our list of the other best Netflix shows that you can watch right now.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.