5 Things You Never Knew About 'Karate Kid'

PHOTO: Martin Kove and William Zabka star in the 1984 film, "The Karate Kid."Columbia Pictures
Martin Kove and William Zabka star in the 1984 film, "The Karate Kid."

"Thirty years. How did this happen?" Billy Zabka said, addressing hundreds of "Karate Kid" fans on the film's 30th anniversary.

Droves of the movie's fans came out Sunday and waited for more than an hour at Comic Con in New York to see Zabka, who played Kobra Kai leader Johnny, speak alongside Ralph Macchio, who starred as Daniel, and Martin Kove, the villainous Sensei John Kreese.

The stars were excited to see their fans, as the energy in the room was palpable.

"Show no mercy!" one fan yelled.

Macchio replied, "Thanks buddy!"

Parents brought their kids to the panel, so that multiple generations could share memories of the movie with its cast.

The trio of actors also dished on deleted scenes, how they got their iconic roles and talked about the late Pat Morita, who played the wise and all-knowing Mr. Miyagi.

On the movie's 30th anniversary, here are 5 things you may not be aware of:

1 - After portraying the leader of the Cobra Kais - the karate gang that tormented Daniel - a real karate gang from the Valley wanted to beat up Zabka!

While Macchio said no one threatened him after playing a karate hero, Zabka had a very different take.

"There was a guy ... in the Valley and he was a friend of mine and he came up after the movie and said ... there was a real karate gang that was like wanting to beat me up, truly, in the Valley," Zabka said.

2 - Ralph Macchio and the directors weren't sold on Pat Morita.

After auditioning at director John Avildsen apartment in New York, Macchio got the part of Daniel.

Although he said Morita -- who was nominated for an Oscar in the film -- was amazing and had "soulful magic," he wasn't sure about the famed actor after his stint on "Happy Days."

"The producer Jerry Weintraub said, 'I don't want this guy Arnold from 'Happy Days' in this movie.' I felt kind of the same way. It was a big character ... so when Arnold from 'Happy Days' walked in with his little pot belly, I kind of said the same thing. Until they said action and this character just emerged with this great humor and heart and soul. He was the human Yoda."

3 - Zabka revealed an amazing deleted scene that was his audition piece.

"I went into read and I remember doing a scene that's cut out of the movie ... It's before the final tournament and I go up to Daniel and hand him a piece of paper. He goes, 'What's this?' and it's a death certificate. He's like 'What's this for?' and I'm like, 'You got to get your mommy to sign it to be in the tournament with the big boys.' Then, he goes 'I thought it was supposed to be no contact' and I go, 'Yo, accidents happen!'"

Zabka added that his new persona actually helped him get the role of Johnny.

"Then I walk away and he says, 'Hey, do you think he might be wrong?' and I said, 'Who?' He goes 'Your instructor, think he might be wrong?' Then my line is 'Watch your mouth a******.' So when that happened ... something just kind of came over me and I walked across the room and one of the rules in acting is you never touch the director. But i literally grabbed the director and said 'Watch your mouth a******.' I walked out thinking, 'If I don't get the part, at least I threw the director in his chair.'"

4 - Martin Kove also got the role as the evil Sensei by attacking the director verbally.

"John Avildsen saw my picture and said, 'We don't want him.' I got another shot and they liked me and sent me the script," Kove said.

They told him he had a week with the script, but the next morning, he got a call that he had to meet the director that afternoon. He hadn't read the script and was obviously angry they had changed the schedule on him.

"I hadn't looked at it. I was really pissed off and I used all that venom," he said. "The scene was 'Mercy is for the weak' and pacing up and down the dojo. So, my wife said to me, 'Take all that venom out on these people.'"

"Bottom line was I berated John Avildsen. I told him he was such an a******* and I just beat him up verbally and he loved it. ... I got the part.

5 - The two Senseis actually kept in touch!

Kove recalled that Morita "was so much fun. We would see each other about twice a year after the movie. He was just rich and fun and hysterical. ... He was just steadfast and strong, he was terrific. It's a shame that a man like that has to go."

Bonus - The famous fence fight scene where Miyagi kicks butt took two weeks to film

"I got my what handed to me in the fence," Zabka said. "The fence fight scene we filmed for probably two weeks. It took forever to get that right ... we rehearsed that so many times. I remember doing the rehearsal and I guess I wasn't projecting loud enough. Pat said, 'When you do the rehearsals, you have to give 110 percent.' ... He was right and we amped that scene up about 10 notches."

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