How Old Was Hilary Swank in The Next Karate Kid?

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In November 2014, The Next Karate Kid actress Hilary Swank showed off her toned legs on the red carpet at the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards at the Palladium in Hollywood.

Hilary Swank at the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards at the Palladium in Hollywood on November 14, 2014Hilary Swank at the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards at the Palladium in Hollywood on November 14, 2014

After disappointing in a Giambattista Valli dress earlier the same week, we were happy to see Hilary back in form.

21 years earlier, she starred as Julie Pierce in the martial arts drama film The Next Karate Kid. Also known as The Karate Kid Part IV, the movie was a critical and commercial failure.

Hilary Swank as Julie Pierce and Noriyuki "Pat" Morita as Mr. Miyagi in The Next Karate KidHilary Swank as Julie Pierce and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita as Mr. Miyagi in The Next Karate Kid

The fourth and penultimate film in the Karate Kid film series, it was the first installment not to feature Ralph Macchio in the lead role as Daniel LaRusso.

Beating out some 500 other hopefuls to play the orphaned teenager Julie, Swank thought she was auditioning for a much smaller role.

“I thought I was auditioning to play Ralph Macchio’s girlfriend,” she told the Chicago Tribune in a 1994 interview. “It wasn’t until after I got the screen test that I found out I was going to be Ralph, well, sort of.”

To prepare for the role, the young actress studied karate with a trainer for five hours a day. “I woke up bruised and sore all the time,” she said about wanting to do her own stunts in the movie.

“But I want to keep training because I feel really confident now. Like if someone tried to grab my purse or something, I feel like I could take care of myself.”

Hilary Swank's first leading film role was in The Next Karate Kid as Julie PierceHilary Swank’s first leading film role was in The Next Karate Kid as Julie Pierce

Filmed in the summer of 1993, Hilary Swank turned 19 while filming the movie. Born on July 30, 1974, in Lincoln, Nebraska, Swank turned 20 on July 30, 1994. The Next Karate Kid was released on September 9, 1994.

Cast at the age of 18, Hilary Swank turned 19 while filming The Karate Kid as orphaned teenager JulieCast at the age of 18, Hilary Swank turned 19 while filming The Karate Kid as orphaned teenager Julie

In an interview with CinemaBlend, Cobra Kai’s creator Jonathan Benjamin Hurwitz discussed the possibility of Hilary Swank returning as Julie in the Netflix series.

“We always say that our show takes place in the Miyagi-verse…in our minds, any story in which Mr. Miyagi was a character, with Pat Morita playing Mr. Miyagi I should say, is canon to our world. The Next Karate Kid is a part of our universe. We believe that the events of that movie happened…In terms of that movie, it has its pluses and minuses. One of the things that’s really special about it is it’s very early work for Hilary Swank and she’s gone on to be one of the great actors in Hollywood. Her performance is great in that movie and her chemistry with Pat Morita is fantastic,” he said about a possible role for Swank in the popular martial arts comedy-drama streaming television series based on the original The Karate Kid films.

Hilary Swank and Pat Morita in The Next Karate Kid

At the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards, the then 40-year-old actress sported a stunning white flower-beaded and sequined dress from Nicholas Oakwell Couture and carried a pink Judith Leiber Couture clutch.

Hilary Swank in a stunning white flower-beaded and sequined dress from Nicholas Oakwell CoutureHilary Swank in a stunning white flower-beaded and sequined dress from Nicholas Oakwell Couture

She accessorized with Graziela jewelry and completed the ensemble with white Christian Louboutin “Iriza” d’Orsay pumps that you can buy at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Hilary Swank flaunting her toned legs in white Christian Louboutin "Iriza" d’Orsay pumpsHilary Swank flaunting her toned legs in white Christian Louboutin “Iriza” d’Orsay pumps

How do you like Hilary’s striking dress and white shoes? We recently spotted the Iriza pumps on Jourdan Dunn and Nicole Richie.

Hilary Swank toting a pink Judith Leiber Couture clutchHilary Swank toting a pink Judith Leiber Couture clutch

Credit: Apega / WENN / Brian To / FayesVision

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