SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers about the third season of “Cobra Kai”, which premiered on Friday, Jan. 1, will be revealed by reading further.
Viewers of “Cobra Kai” received a major blast from the past with the debut of the third season — the series’ first on Netflix — with the unannounced appearance of Elisabeth Shue.
Shue reprised her role as Ali — last seen in 1984’s “The Karate Kid” — and she opened up about her surprise return to the franchise after more than 35 years.
Fans have been hoping that Shue would reprise the role after Ali sent Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) a Facebook friend request at the end of the series’ second season, and their hopes were fulfilled when Ali returned to the Valley for a two-episode story arc.
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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Shue revealed that her appearance in “Cobra Kai” can be credited to director Dan Trachtenberg, who helmed the first episode of “The Boys”.
“To be honest, I really hadn’t thought about being on ‘Cobra Kai.’ When I showed up on the set [of ‘The Boys’] for the first day, Dan came right over and said, ‘You’re doing ‘Cobra Kai’, right?” I was like, ‘What? I don’t know… Do you think that’s a good idea?’ He goes, ‘Is that a good idea? You have to be on ‘Cobra Kai’!” I said, ‘Why, why do you care so much?’ He said, ‘You have no idea how important ‘The Karate Kid’ is in my life.'”
According to Shue, Trachtenberg told her it would be “devastating” for fans if she wasn’t a part of the show. “I was like, ‘Whoa – okay!’ It was just very sweet, and it made me think, ‘Oh, I haven’t really investigated this.'”
After meeting with “Cobra Kai” producers, a plan was hatched “to wait and have Ali come back this season, primarily I guess because it’s a reunion season. I said, ‘I’ll do whatever you need.'”
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Returning to the world of “The Karate Kid” more than three decades later, she admitted, felt like a true homecoming.
“It was so fun to realize that all of our chemistry was exactly the same. My chemistry with Ralph [Macchio] was the same, the same with Billy — it was odd!” she added.
“It was literally like a high school reunion; it felt like no time had passed,” added Shue. “Like none at all. We kept reminiscing and laughing, constantly reliving the first ‘Karate Kid’ every minute between takes. Non-stop reminiscing about our experience and laughing about what a great movie it turned out to be.”
The third season of “Cobra Kai” is streaming now.