Longtime Spaghetti Western actor Clint Eastwood is best known for his role as Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry film series. The 92-year-old actor also tends to direct his own films, winning Best Director and Best Picture for the 1992 Western Unforgiven. Throughout his lengthy career, Eastwood’s list of accolades includes four Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, three César Awards and an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.
Apart from his professional career, Eastwood has eight confirmed biological children with various women. One of his sons, Kyle, began acting in the 1980s with an uncredited role in his father’s film Bronco Billy. After Kyle failed an audition for The Karate Kid, his father decided not to include Coca-Cola products in his films.
Why Eastwood Banned Coca-Cola Products From His Films
Many actors lined up for a chance to play Daniel LaRusso in the 1984 film The Karate Kid. On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Ralph Macchio revealed which big names were prospective Daniels. The Cobra Kai star remembered both Robert Downey Jr. and Charlie Sheen being at auditions. “I remember walking by and seeing Charlie Sheen hanging outside Jerry Weintraub’s bungalow,” Macchio said. The 60-year-old actor recalled how Sheen didn’t resemble an “Italian guy from Jersey.”
In addition to RDJ and Sheen, Eastwood’s son Kyle also auditioned for the lead role in The Karate Kid. However, according to The Game of Nerds, the casting team turned him down. At the time, Columbia Pictures, which distributed the 1984 film, was owned by Coca-Cola. Eastwood began holding a grudge against the company for rejecting his son, and subsequently banned all Coca-Cola products from his film sets.
Steve McQueen’s Son Starred in The Karate Kid
While Eastwood’s son didn’t make the cut for The Karate Kid, two other sons of famous actors made appearances. Steve McQueen’s son Chad played Cobra Kai member Dutch (the one who told Daniel he was “dead meat”). Dutch has not yet returned to Cobra Kai, which addressed his absence by saying he is currently serving a long-term prison sentence at Lompoc Federal Penitentiary. However, McQueen simply had scheduling conflicts that prevented his involvement.
Additionally, Frankie Avalon’s son, Frank, made a brief appearance as Chucky, the friend of the kid who invited Daniel to the beach party. Coincidentally, Avalon starred in the Beach Party film series with Annette Funicello. Even though Eastwood’s son didn’t nail his audition, Kyle is now a renowned jazz bassist who has composed music for several of his father’s films. On the other hand, Eastwood’s other son Scott made a name for himself in films like the Nicholas Sparks film adaptation The Longest Ride and The Fate of the Furious.
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