Whilst the remake of karate kid airs around the globe a secret lay hidden only known within the hidden circle of the production team of The original karate kid.
Director ‘John G. Avildsen’ takes up the story
“As soon as they met there was chemistry…………….they hated each other!
It was 1983, Pat Morita who played Mr. Kesuke Miyagi and Ralph Macchio who played Daniel Laurrusso hadn’t actually meet until 1st day of filming, Daniel arrived on a Honda CG 125 and Pat Morita arrived late on set in a open top Buick playing Aerosmith at full volume and proceeded to run over Daniels motorbike”
“When the actors finally meet at the script read through Daniel made the fatal error of rushing the male bonding process by giving Pat Morita a string of Benny hill pats on his balding head in quick succession whilst grinning inanely at us oblivious to Pat’s screwed up face which was boiling with rage, it was this situation that led to us finding out that neither of them knew Karate or had any ability or talent to learn the sacred martial art when Pat Morita took a clumsy swing at Daniel which he duly ducked right into.”
William Zabka who played Johnny Lawrence of cobra kai said “ There was a particular scene were we chase Daniel dressed in skeleton fancy dress and corner him at the fence to his apartment block and then give him a few slaps, well when Pat Morita jumped down from the fence in rehearsal instead of attacking us he attacked Daniel and gave him a right going over , in fairness he was just flailing his arms as it was apparent he had no control over his limbs just naked raw aggression, a few connected which loosened a couple of Daniels teeth, when challenged about his conduct he hunched his shoulders and said ‘script lost in translation’, with a wry smile and he wandered off high fiving the remaining Cobra Kai actors whistling a beach boys tune .”
Second unit Director ‘Hope Goodwin’ said “The scene were Daniel catches the fly on his first attempt with the chop sticks actually happened off set at the canteen whilst waiting to film the real scene everyone of the crew whooped with delight but then there was a sudden smash of glass and stunned silence when Pat Morita dropped his slush puppy and turned the air blue accusing Daniel of stealing scenes, everything calmed down when we explained we weren’t yet filming , that was until we actually filmed the scene for real and he caught the fly again ,it all kicked off and Pat Morita had to be dragged away and given oxygen and a fresh slush puppy.”
“After discovering both of them had lied on there cvs and they didn’t have Karate black belts we set about training them for the training montage and fight scenes, that was left to a guy called ’ Luke Fontaine ‘
Luke Fontaine the fight chorographer said: It was terrible, Pat Morita had the flexibility of rigamortis, Daniel was ambidextrous by that I mean he was useless both on his left side of his body and his right side, 3 months down the line they still looked like white belts, it hurts, as they say your only as good as your teacher, I couldn’t get another gig for years after that”
Director John G. Avildsen continues “Id like to say the crew were delighted with the success of the movie but we weren’t and it was a sad day when they announced we’d be making the sequel.”
To this day ’ Luke Fontaine ‘ has never watched the film or coincidentally found paid work again, he volunteers his services to film sets around the world for free which is frequently turned down, Pat Morita has since died and retains his flexibility.