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Ralph Macchio excited for 'Dancing With the Stars' adventure

Actor Ralph Macchio is partners with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff on the 12th season of 'Dancing With the Stars.' (Bob D'Amico)

March 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Ralph Macchio, the original "Karate Kid," is in for a new adventure on "Dancing With the Stars."

"The thrill of the footlights, I embrace, that I'm looking forward to," said Macchio.

He has never really been out of the footlights but he's stepping squarely onto center stage by agreeing to compete on the ABC show's 12th season.

It's been 27 years since he gained super stardom in "The Karate Kid." But now he's ready to chop through the rest of the contestants and face a new challenge along the way.

"The competition part of it, the judging and all, obviously slipping and falling and passing out, those aside, that makes me a bit nervous. That is out of the comfort zone," said Macchio. "But I feel I'm at a place, the timing feels right based on the last couple years and stuff that's been happening for me: my 'Funny or Die' video that really blew up pretty well, 'Ugly Betty' for ABC the year before last, and then 'The Karate Kid' being remade.

"I think even if I crash a little bit, they're going to want me to succeed," he said. "And this show puts a positive spin on stuff, so if there's one to jump in out of your comfort zone, this is the one."

Macchio is beginning his training at home in New York and will move out to Los Angeles when the competition heats up.

And since he's been in the business for much of his life, he should be able to pack the audience with famous friends.

"I'm going to need to bring them. I'll take your advice on that and figure out who the loud people are in my life," he said.

Tony O'Dell, one of "The Karate Kid" co-stars, said if Macchio wants the support of the film's "Cobra Kai" guys, they'll be there to cheer him on.

"Dancing With the Stars" kicks off season 12 on Monday, March 21 at 8 p.m. on ABC7.

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