Fans of Karate Kid were thrilled when Elisabeth Shue appeared in season 3 of Cobra Kai. If anything, her two episodes weren’t enough. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) has been pining for Ali (Shue) since high school. Meanwhile, fans have been waiting to see her again since the first movie. At least they were able to catch up. Looking further, there are even more Easter Eggs in Ali’s wardrobe.
The Cobra Kai costume designer Frank Helmer talked to about the costumes in the series. In Ali’s case, Helmer collaborated with Shue on what she should wear.
‘Cobra Kai’ season 3 was Elisabeth Shue’s ‘Karate Kid 2.’
As for Ali, she did not return for ‘Karate Kid Part II.’ Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Ali broke up off-screen and he loved Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) in the sequel. Shue was aware of what Ali would be doing in 2020 when Season 3 of Cobra Kai is filmed.
“It was really great to work with her and just talk about what the character arc is for her,” Helmer said. “What’s the backstory? What has this person been doing for the last 30 years and how does she want to be portrayed on screen? That’s something I love about being a costume designer – the collaboration between the writers, the director and the actors to create this fully formed character. She was no exception to that. She was really great with us and we had a blast.”
Search for these clues in Elisabeth Shue’s “Cobra Kai” wardrobe
Enter Johnny reading Ali’s Facebook profile on ‘Cobra Kai’ at regular intervals. Ali herself gives a verbal update when she shows up. However, Shue has already revealed a lot about Ali’s life through her wardrobe.
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“On her big date scene with Johnny on ‘Golf and Stuff,’ we chose this suede-like denim jacket to show that she lives in Colorado now,” Helmer said. “She’s a doctor, but she’s also a down-to-earth person. We just wanted her clothes to reflect who the character is now.”
A lack of vanity made Elisabeth Shue even more endearing
Helmer says Shue was committed to the character of Ali. Shue had no diva pretensions, and that ultimately reflected even better on her.
“That was actually super refreshing and delightful to work with an actress who was so interested in respecting the character,” Helmer said. “It wasn’t a situation at all where she was like, ‘I want to look this beautiful, blah blah blah.’ I mean, she looks beautiful, but it was a very good collaboration to reflect the character with her.”
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Helmer added that Shue made Cobra Kai more than just a cameo.
“One of the great things about this show and everyone involved in it, from the producers and the showrunners to the actors and down to the PAs, we’re basically all fans of the show,” Helmer said. “So when we come, when someone like Elisabeth Shue comes to play a role that she originally played, she comes because she’s excited about it.”