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When asked if people “lose their minds” when they learn his age, Ralph Macchio graciously concedes that no, they don’t…but they might be “a little surprised.”
In a recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel liveMacchio – return to the world of The Karate Kid again in Netflix’s final season Cobra Kai-joked about maintaining his youthful appearance at the age of 60, calling himself a “monster child man”, and explained what it means to him that his iconic role in the 80s film is still in the public consciousness.
“I knew he was loved and the character was loved,” he said. “But to see it explode like that, it’s multi-generational…I mean we have 10-year-olds, 12-year-olds and people in their 60s and 60s and they’re all watching the same show. That’s to equal parts nostalgia and now contemporary relevance. It’s crazy.”
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Kimmel pointed out that ’80s nostalgia is at its peak right now: in addition to Cobra Kai now in its fifth season, Madonna is back at the top of the charts and Tom Cruise has the number one movie with his long-awaited sequel to Superior gun.
“It’s comfort food, that’s what we love,” Macchio said. “And when the stories are executed well, or the album is executed well, or the movie, the show, it gets smart when you can reach all of those audiences.”
He added that he still feels incredibly grateful to be able to play Daniel in Cobra Kai at this stage of his careersaying, “You create your own luck, maybe, do you believe that, I don’t know, I could say I live by this now. But I’ve been lucky more than a few times, and here we are again , and I’m really touched by that.”
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the UK covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.