Ralph Macchio was the perfect choice for the role of Daniel LaRusso on The Karate Kid, but in reality he faced stiff competition. He discovers the big name actors who were considered for the role and how he beat Robert Downey Jr in The Karate Kid and another iconic role in a movie.
During a January 5 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Macchio discussed some rumors and fan theories about the 1984 hit movie. Turns out, the actor had some serious competition for the role in The Karate Kid.
“Everyone knows you as Daniel LaRusso, but is it true that other people were also considered for the role?” Asked Fallon.
Macchio confirmed that although he was chosen early, it was not a close deal and a few other contenders were considered.
“I was chosen very early, but it was one of those trial deals that you’re not on yet,” he recalled.
On the other hand, Nicolas Cage was another actor who was considered, as well as Robert Downey Jr. Not only did the actor land the role of The Karate Kid, but he also got another role that Downey Jr. was being considered for.
“Robert Downey Jr. also did the workshop for me that I did at The Outsiders, so I was doing pretty well with Downey Jr. at the time,” he explained.
Let’s recall how Robert Downey Jr.’s career took off in a huge way by starring in many famous roles, such as playing Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
On the other hand, Fallon also asked the interpreter of Daniel LaRusso if it was true that he did not like the title of The Karate Kid and confirmed why he was not a fan of it.
“I thought, and I wasn’t the only one, I thought it was a bit of a cheesy, cheesy title for a movie directed by the guy that made Rocky and all this,” shared Macchio.
While the actor didn’t have better ideas for the film’s title, he did share what director John G. Avildsen wanted to call the film East Meets West in West.
Fortunately, they did not accept that confusing title, however The Karate Kid movie had a different title internationally, for good reason.
“I think in many countries it was called The Moment of Truth when karate had a negative connotation in certain territories,” Macchio explained to Fallon.