The Karate Kid Part III graced Channel 4 screens over the weekend and finished off Daniel LaRusso’s story. While LaRusso was pitted against a new enemy in the third film in the franchise, his actor, Ralph Macchio had previously been on bad terms with his former on-screen rival: William Zabka.
Zabka and Macchio met for the first time on the set of the first movie, but they did not hit it off. In fact, they reportedly disliked one another, to the point where they made it difficult to shoot scenes together.
The Guardian revealed: “When filming began in California, Macchio and the actor who played his tormentor, William Zabka, never fully warmed to one another.”
Eventually, things got extremely out of hand, and Macchio got injured.
According to a report: “There was an accident during the filming of the Halloween fight that ended with Macchio being knocked out cold.”
In the movie, the fight at Halloween followed LaRusso being chased through the street and brutally beaten by Lawrence and his goons.
The details of the accident were not provided, but it must have been extremely serious to have knocked the star out.
However, this palpable hatred on the big screen did wonders for the reactions to the film.
“This simmering tension fed usefully into the movie,” the report went on. “When a cut was ready to be shown to a test audience in 1984, Macchio was invited along. The audience loved it.”
The two actors continued to dislike one another for the years that followed. Eventually, a chance meeting began the end of their feud.
Macchio bumped into Zabka for the first time in 2005 at the funeral of Pat Morita, the actor who played Mr Miyagi.
Macchio wrote in his memoir: “He caught my eye. No smirk, just a simple smile.”
Before long, Macchio and Zabka rekindled their friendship and began working together once again.
They started making cameos in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother and even starred in a music video together.
Just a few years later, they both started working on the comeback of The Karate Kid series: Cobra Kai.
Zabka made some comments about Macchio in the years that followed, as well.
He said of his previously strained friendship with the star: “A director picked both of us out [of] the universe and threw us in the same canvas. And then the movie exploded and turned into a classic.”
He added: “Over the years, Ralph and I had seen each other, we’d bumped into each other at different festivals and this and that, [a] memorial for Pat Morita.”