‘Cobra Kai’: Elisabeth Shue Had a Surprising Reaction When She Was Approached to Return as Ali — ‘Why Do You Care so Much?’

Cobra Kai fans love when actors from The Karate Kid show up. Season 3 made fans very happy with the return of Karate Kid Part II characters Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) and Chozen (Yuji Okumoto). But the guest appearance who took the cake was Elisabeth Shue returning as Ali, a cameo hinted at in the season 2 finale. Shue was surprised to learn Ali was such a big deal to fans. 

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Shue described how she learned what a big deal she was to Cobra Kai. This included her boss on The Boys. Cobra Kai returns for season 4 Dec. 31.

‘The Boys’ boss begged Elisabeth Shue to do ‘Cobra Kai’

Shue stars on Amazon’s superhero series The Boys. Dan Trachtenberg directed the pilot, and brought up Cobra Kai to her. For Shue, The Karate Kid was just a movie she made as a young actor in 1984. She’d gone on to starring roles in Adventures in Babysitting and an Oscar nomination for Leaving Las Vegas. She didn’t know people were still thinking so highly of Ali.

“To be honest, I really hadn’t thought about being on Cobra Kai,” Shue told EW. “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.’”

Elisabeth Shue reached out to ‘Cobra Kai’ creators because of Dan Trachtenberg

Cobra Kai creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald didn’t keep it a secret that they’d love to have Shue on the show. So, learning how important it was to fans like Trachtenberg, Shue obliged.

“[Trachtenberg] told me what a great movie it is and how much he loved Cobra Kai, and that it would just be devastating – ‘devastating,’ he kept saying – for the fans and for the memory of The Karate Kid if I wasn’t [on the show]. I was like, ‘Whoa – okay!’ It was just very sweet, and it made me think, Oh, I haven’t really investigated this.”

Obviously, the meeting with Cobra Kai’s creators went well and the rest is history.

“Then I sat down with the three producers and writers who created it, Jon, Josh, and Hayden,” Shue told EW. “They were so lovely and similar to Dan — super Karate Kid fans. They really wanted 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.’”

Elisabeth Shue was part of the plan before she even knew she was

Cobra Kai has been laying Ali Easter eggs the whole time. In season 1, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), new to the internet, begins looking at Ali’s Facebook profile. He sends her a friend request and the last shot of season 2 is his cell phone notifying him that his high school ex-girlfriend has accepted his request. Still, Shue was not committed at this point. They only hoped. 

“’Ali with an I’ is the original source of the rivalry between Daniel and Johnny, and we’ve referenced her throughout the years,” Schlossberg told app. “And so, from the very beginning, we knew that we would want to bring her in, that we would want her to be a force of good in terms of bringing them back together in this pivotal moment.”  

Sources: Entertainment Weekly, app

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