Mary Mouser is enjoying her role as Samantha LaRusso in the Netflix series Cobra Kai. But the third season of the series was much different for Mouser compared to what her character went through in Season 1 and Season 2. Mouser joined her cast members in a virtual panel discussion called Paley Front Row Presented by Citi: Cobra Kai and revealed why the third season was "Challenging" for her.
"The whole season for me felt challenging, but in such a great way that when I got done with the season, I was tired in a different way that I hadn't been for the other two seasons," Mouser said. "In the past, I was physically tired. I was like, 'Whew, that was a lot of karate.' And then this season, I finished and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I could just go live on a beach somewhere for a month and recover from this.' But it was really cool. It was very special, and I have had a really cool experience of people reaching out to me and saying that they connected with Samantha in new and different ways."
At the end of Season 2, Samantha gets into a fight with Tory (Peyton List), leading to the entire school getting into a brawl. At the beginning of Season 3, viewers see Samantha having post-traumatic stress disorder, leading to flashbacks and nightmares. Mouser admitted it was challenging to portray a darker version of Samantha.
"It was kind of hard at first," Mouser said. "It was something I didn't feel like I could take on entirely. I was nervous about it, where I've gotten to have Samantha be this separate bubble from my life and be like, 'Oh yes, go into the world where your biggest issue is her lovely little love triangle in amongst kicking and punching,' and that's so fun."
Mouser also talked about how some people think of her being the real villain instead of Tory. "Samantha got passed down the LaRusso title of being the real villain and the real bully, and that's totally fine," she said. "I think that's fun if you want to say that. Now I, as Ralph said that his younger self might have done, would be like, "You're completely crazy. That's not the fact at all," but it was fun, definitely, to get to show this other side of Samantha, the version of Samantha that I've known all along, where she might be making decisions that people don't agree with, but she's got a really good heart." Mouser and the rest of the Cobra Kai cast just finished filming Season 4 of the Netflix series. The new season will likely be released at the end of the year.