Why Ralph Macchio Had Doubts About Pat Morita Playing Mr. Miyagi

Since the premiere of The Karate Kid in 1984, the late actor Pat Morita has been related to the character Mr. Miyagi. Arguably, the Okinawa-born sensei is among the most iconic film characters.


Ralph Macchio Stated That He Was Unsure About Morita Playing Mr. Miyagi

YouTubeMr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) presents Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) a automotive for his birthday.

However, his co-star Ralph Macchio just lately revealed that he briefly had doubts about Morita taking part in Miyagi.

In a February interview on the Life is Short podcast, hosted by Justin Long, the actor mentioned his profession taking a decline following 1989 movie The Karate Kid Part III. He shared that he “fought to get within the room [to audition]”for the film My Cousin Vinny, because the studio feared the viewers would solely view him as Daniel LaRusso.

“[The studio] informed Jonathan Lynn, who was the director, principally, ‘he is the Karate Kid, we do not need him, you realize, you are simply going to see that,'” mentioned the 59-year-old.

The actor then admitted that he had an analogous feeling about Pat Morita. Before being cast as Mr. Miyagi, the comic, was finest recognized for his function as Arnold on the ABC sitcom Happy Days.

“Ironically [that’s] what I felt once they introduced Pat Morita in for The Karate Kid. I’m like ‘oh Arnold from Happy Days? This goes to be horrible,'” defined the father-of-two.


Other People Involved With ‘The Karate Kid’ Also Had Doubts About Morita

Pat Morita

GettyPat Morita strikes a pose on the Democratic National Convention in 2000.

Macchio was not the one particular person concerned with The Karate Kid who questioned if Morita was the appropriate match for the function. In a 2018 Sports Illustrated interview, the movie’s cast and crew talked concerning the film’s manufacturing.

According to Randy Sabusawa, assistant to John Avildsen, who directed the movie, famed Japanese martial arts actor, Toshiro Mifune, was wanted for the function.

“Jerry [Weintraub who produced The Karate Kid] was of the thoughts: Let’s get probably the most well-known Japanese actor on the planet for Mr. Miyagi. Let’s go for the grand slam,” mentioned Sabusawa.

The movie’s manufacturing coordinator, Susan Ekins, famous that Mifune audition however he didn’t get the function as “he did not converse a phrase of English.”

Pat Morita’s stunt double, Darryl Vidal, additionally acknowledged that “everybody considered him as Arnold [the owner of Arnold’s Drive-In] from Happy Days.”

The movie’s first assistant director, Clifford Coleman, then informed the publication:

Nobody wished Pat Morita; he had a horrible background. He was the kind of stand-up comedian who acquired up on stage loaded, soiled and foul. He was not Pat Morita the sensei.

Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote The Karate Kid, revealed that Morita finally landed the function as Avildsen “insisted on [him]” and “put him on tape.”

While Macchio initially felt unsure about Morita as Mr. Miyagi, he famous it was clear the late actor was good for the half throughout the audition course of. In a 2014 interview with USA Today Sports, the actor acknowledged:

Even in these audition scenes, you see Miyagi and Daniel there. Those had been simply chilly reads. Those had been stroll ins. John [Avildsen] talked concerning the characters somewhat and go.Those takes had been achieved with none route outdoors of explaining what the scene was and who the character was. It’s not terribly removed from what is the polished model on the display. It informs you on how vital casting is and the way vital the appropriate actor in the appropriate function is. I used to be simply the appropriate child on the proper time and Pat was the appropriate actor on the proper time. Basically you would argue there’s no one else.

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