- “The Karate Kid” star Ralph Macchio said he and many others on the movie thought the title was awful while shooting the movie.
- He told Business Insider it was the movie’s legendary producer, Jerry Weintraub, who put everyone at ease.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
It’s 1983 and with Ralph Macchio’s breakout movie, “The Outsiders,” in theatres, he’s on top of the world as he’s on screen alongside the hottest names in young Hollywood: Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, and more. And to make things ever better, he’s already on an audition for the lead in another movie.
But the title didn’t get him excited at all.
“I just kept thinking the title is so lame, and if it worked I would have to carry it for the rest of my life,”Macchio told Business Insider with a laugh.
He was right about one thing back then: yes, he would be linked to “The Karate Kid” the rest of his life, but it wasn’t because of the title.
In “The Karate Kid,” Macchio plays the movie’s lead, Daniel LaRusso, the east coaster who moves to California and has to deal with high-school bullies until he learns karate. It would not just make him one of the biggest movie stars of the 1980s, but would forever link him with Daniel LaRusso after the movie took on an iconic status in pop culture. (Macchio has recently reprised the role in the YouTube show “Cobra Kai,” which launched its second season this week.)
But back on set of “The Karate Kid,” no one was thinking about legacy.
“It wasn’t just me – a lot of people on set didn’t think the title was good,” Macchio remembers.
Finally, it was the movie’s legendary producer, Jerry Weintraub, who put everyone at ease with these simple words.
“[He] said, ‘It’s a terrible title, which makes it a great title,'” Macchio said.
Can’t argue with that. The movie to date has a lifetime box-office gross of over $US91 million and will forever be in the pop culture lexicon.
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