Season 3 of Cobra Kai was released on New Year's Day, and fans got a treat in Episodes 9 and 10. Elisabeth Shue, who played Ali Mills in the 1984 film The Karate Kid, reprised her role in the third season of Cobra Kai to reunite with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Shue recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her appearance on Cobra Kai and revealed how it all came about.
"It all started when I was working on The Boys," Shue said. "I was working with this wonderful director, Dan Trachtenberg, who directed the pilot for 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.'
That led to Shue talking to the three Cobra Kai creators — Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald and Hayden Schlossberg, who said they wanted to wait and have Ali return in Season 3. She agreed but was concerned that Ali wouldn't fit in the story.
"It didn't feel like there was a place for her," she said. "But then when I saw how they actually structured the show and the sort of beautiful immaturity of the characters, who haven't really grown up as much as you would hope in 35 years, I can see why Ali would still be a part of their journey."
Since the show began, fans have been asking for Shue to appear on the hit series, as Ali plays a big role in The Karate Kid. And when she was back on set with Macchio and Zabka, it was like nothing has changed despite The Karate Kid being released 37 years ago.
"It was so fun to realize that all of our chemistry was exactly the same," Shue explained. "My chemistry with Ralph was the same, the same with Billy — it was odd! It was literally like a high school reunion; it felt like no time had passed. Like none at all."
Shue filmed her scenes for Cobra Kai in 2019, which led to her being asked how she could keep her appearance a secret for so long. She replied: "Maybe because I'm never on the internet, I haven't really been that aware that there is this moment coming up that a lot of people seem to care about."