Meet Mary Mouser, star of YouTube Premium’s Cobra Kai, in our Summer 2018 issue.
If you were not an actress, where would you be?
I love to write. I think that’s the only thing I might be almost as passionate about as I am about acting.
What was your experience growing up in the acting industry and in front of the camera?
I loved it all, truly. To me, it was a giant game of pretend. But I also knew that I had to be responsible. People were depending on me to know my lines and when to say them. However, instead of making me stressed, I think that made me love it more. It made me want to make people proud. I know all of the terms, which makes people laugh sometimes when they slip into normal conversation. Like, “Going 10-1” is going to the bathroom, that one makes me look a little silly when it slips out.
How do you balance family and friends with your career pursuits?
It’s not always easy. My schedule is full one month and then dead for weeks on end. But the people close to me know that I try my best to manage it all, and it means that those people I do have close to me truly support me and want to be there.
Your social media following is constantly growing! How do you draw the line between your personal and private life?
For me, social media is just my little moments-diary. I post things that make me happy or sad, things that stick out to me or things I think people might find funny or cool. But it’s only that. It doesn’t reflect on my worth or life. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes all of the time, wonderful moments that don’t get documented and awful moments that I don’t feel like sharing, and that’s my choice. But it is fun to know that this many people want to know what I’m up to all day!
Describe your typical day. What’s it like?
As my Instagram followers know, I live with my best friend. Her name is Lady Charlotte and she’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She’s the best dog of all time, obviously. So, we hang out, I’ve been setting up my first official apartment on my own which I LOVE doing, and I binge watch TV. Lately I’ve been trying to learn how to cook, so if anyone has any epic (and easy) recipes, I’ll try them!
How did the role on Cobra Kai come about?
I got the initial audition and didn’t have a clue what it was, but after my boyfriend totally fanboyed about it, I got super nervous. I tried not to think about it, but looking back now I can’t believe I wasn’t even more nervous than I was at the time.
What drew you to the Cobra Kai series?
It’s such a cool story, a really unique take on a continuation that doesn’t feel “done” or overplayed. I loved the humor and the fun that the writers had with their own ideas. Plus, to be a part of such an iconic story is so insanely cool. I feel so lucky.
What was your favorite part about playing Samantha?
Learning some karate moves was one of my favorite things, but I also loved the amazing group of people I was able to work with. It was just like a giant group of friends working together to create something we could all be proud to share.
How did you prepare for your role as Samantha in Cobra Kai?
I binge-watched the original Karate Kid movies, a TON! Other than that, I really just spent me time getting to know the character and getting excited about the work to come.
What sets Cobra Kai apart from other YouTube Premium TV shows?
I think Cobra Kai is unique not only from other YouTube Premium shows, but also from most other things I’ve seen out there recently. It’s action-packed, interesting from all different perspectives and character types, and it also finds a way to make all of the drama fun!
What is it like to become a part of such an iconic franchise, The Karate Kid?
I feel incredibly honored to be a part of this universe. I can only hope that I’m making the Daniel LaRusso we all know and love from those films proud.
What is your “life motto” or personal mantra?
I don’t know that I have just one. I always used “Live in the moment” as one. That’s helped me a lot over time. But for the most part I just try to enjoy the days and not take things too seriously.
If you could give advice to your teenage self, what would you say?
To trust myself, and to not get caught up in other people. I have a tendency to take on other’s issues because I want to help the people I know, but I’m only one person, and I wish I had kept in mind that I can only do so much.
What is an accomplishment you are most proud of?
Outside of acting, I’d say the book I started when I was 16. It’s up to 500+ pages, and I’m only a few chapters from being done after taking a break from it for a couple of years.
What would be your dream role to play?
I want to be a villain, I’d love to have my own “Dexter”-esque role.
While working with inspiring actors, what valuable advice have you received?
To enjoy it all. I often get caught up in the “what ifs,” but I try to slow down and take my time, so as to truly embrace every step of the path.
What advice would you give to someone who is unsure of pursuing their passions?
I would say that it’s not always easy to pursue what you love, but if it’s something that makes you excited to get up in the morning and get going, it’s worth it. I always need coffee, but there are days that I can’t stop bouncing my leg or tapping my toes because I just can’t wait to be on set—that’s what keeps me going.
STORY JANICE KIM
PHOTOS GRAY HAMNER
HAIR CAITLIN KRENZ
MAKEUP COURTNEY HART
STYLING ANDREW PEDRO
Read more in Volume III, Issue No. 003 – Summer 2018.