Ralph Macchio says the timing felt right for him to compete on "Dancing With the Stars" and adds that he thinks people who grew up watching "The Karate Kid" movies will push for him to do well on ABC's hit ballroom dancing series.
The 49-year-old is one of 11 celebrities who make up the cast of the show's 12th season, which is set to begin on March 21 (see a full list). The pro-dancers who will train and dance with the celebrities will be revealed on Wednesday.
"The timing just feels right, based on the last couple of years and stuff that's been happening for me - my FunnyorDie video that blew up pretty well, 'Ugly Betty' for ABC the year before last, and then 'The Karate Kid' being remade," Macchio told OnTheRedCarpet.com.
"There's just such a resurgence of that, those people out there, that grew up with those movies, that I think even if I crash a little bit, they're going to want me to succeed," he added. "This show puts a positive spin on stuff so if there's one to jump out of your comfort zone, I think this is the one."
In the 1980s, Macchio rose to fame playing Daniel LaRusso in three "The Karate Kid" movies, which starred Pat Morita as his mentor Mr. Miyagi. Morita reprised his role in 1994 in a fourth "Karate Kid" film starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank as a female version of Macchio's character. He died in 2005.
A remake of "The Karate Kid" starring Will Smith's son Jaden and Jackie Chan as his character's mentor was released in 2010.
Also last year, Macchio recorded a video for the comedy website FunnyOrDie.com called "Wax On, (Expletive) Off," whose title parodies Miyagi's famous line from the "Karate Kid" movies.
Macchio is also known for his role in the 1992 movie "My Cousin Vinny" and had a recurring role as Archie Rodriguez on the comedy series "Ugly Betty" in 2009. In recent years, he also appeared on the shows "Entourage" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."
"It still plays constantly on the air. It's not those sort of movies that's sort of drifting away," Macchio said about "The Karate Kid," adding that his residual checks, which he receives after the film is aired in a certain market, are "kind of dwindling out."