Interview: Mary Mouser On the Best Advice She Was Ever Given

Mary Mouser is best known for her roles on ABC’s Body of Proof, Hulu’s Freakish, CBS’s NCIS, and CW’s Life is Wild. Currently she can be seen playing Daniel LaRusso’s daughter, Samantha, in the YouTuber series, Cobra Kai. Mary sat down with Glitter to discuss her role in the series, including if she learned martial arts for the show, where she finds daily inspiration, her work with diabetes research, and something her fans might not know about her yet. Read on to find out more about this inspirational actress.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about your new YouTube series, Cobra Kai?

MARY: Cobra Kai a continuation of the 1984 Karate Kid movie, which is super cool, but it’s also a show that has everything from cool martial arts moves, to discussions about bullying, to heartfelt connections. It picks up 34 years after the original Karate Kid film, seeing where Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence are now, which isn’t really as grown-up as you’d think, and introduces the next generation of that classic rivalry.

GLITTER: Who do you play?

MARY: I play Daniel LaRusso’s daughter, Samantha LaRusso.

GLITTER: Did you need to learn martial arts for the show?

MARY: I learned some on the fly, but the training for some characters was extensive. I have to say, I’m looking into finding a Karate class now, I’m totally hooked.

GLITTER: How familiar with the original The Karate Kid movies before taking on this new show?

MARY: I knew of the quotes and references, but I hadn’t seen the movie yet, though it was high up on my watch list. But when the audition came around I had no idea what it was for, my boyfriend loves the original movies and said we had to watch them before, but I was afraid it would make me too nervous. I told him we’d watch when I didn’t get a callback, but I did get one, then I kept putting it off because the pressure kept getting crazier the closer I got to the real deal. Finally, when I booked it, we marathoned them and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

GLITTER: Where do you find your inspiration?

MARY: Usually in people, and in myself. The people around me—from my friends and family to my boyfriend, to the people I work with—I really feel a pull to make those people proud or feed off of what they’re giving. I also love to set goals for myself, and I am fiercely competitive, even within myself, so I fight with all I can to achieve them.

GLITTER: How involved are you when it comes to diabetes research?

MARY: Though I don’t know enough to be in those labs where the real research happens, I do work hard to be a part of everything I can from my side. I participate in walks for the cure and other JDRF events. But even beyond searching for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, I love those events for the sense of belonging and community they provide. The people who love me do their best to support me through the highs and lows (literally and metaphorically) but sometimes you just need to chat with someone else who feels like a human dartboard.

GLITTER: When did you first start performing professionally?

MARY: I started acting when I was five-years-old, but it never felt like a job. It was my favorite hobby and I adored every second. Now, even knowing the business side better, I still feel like I shouldn’t get to call it a “job,” it’s truly my passion.

 GLITTER: Is there something about your fans would be surprised to know?

MARY: Hmm, maybe that I’m a total nerd? I love all things Disney, supernatural-themed, Star Wars, Harry Potter… the list goes on and on. I don’t just ‘like’ something, I throw my whole self into the fandom.

GLITTER: How many times have you gone to Disneyland in one year? Do you love events like Dapper Day? Are you excited for the new Star Wars themed land?

MARY: I don’t even know if I can count that. I try to go at least once a month, preferably twice or more a month if I can make it! I did participate in Bat Day, the day Goth’s go to Disneyland, which was a blast. I cannot wait for Star Wars Land, and the new Marvel feature coming to California Adventure soon! I’m counting down the days!

GLITTER: Best beauty advice for a novice?

MARY: I would tell them to know their own palette. I always tried to match what colors were trendy when I first started exploring make up, but I quickly learned that the best thing I could do for myself was know what colors worked for my skin tone and made my eyes pop and such.

GLITTER: Is there someone you’d like to work with that you haven’t worked with already?

MARY: Tim Burton. I’m a huge fan! Or The Rock, he seems fun to work with.

GLITTER: Any projects you can tell us about that you’re working on next?

MARY: One of the best, and sometimes not-as-cool, parts of acting is the unpredictability. One day I was having my 12th birthday and the next week I was on a plane to live in South Africa for a year. I love it. But right now, I’m waiting for that next fun adventure. I do have an episode of Room 104, on HBO, that should be coming out soon!

GLITTER: What positive message do you hope to send women who follow you?

MARY: To be yourself. It’s not a new concept, but it’s something that I still struggle with daily. I know who I am, I’m a nerd and I’m a little goth and my tastes are all over the place, I love those things about myself. But it’s sometimes hard to not get caught up in what someone else is doing that works for them, and just keep doing what makes me happy, however I still do my best to remember that every day.

 GLITTER: Many women are coming forward in media and standing up for their rights as women. How important is this issue to you?

MARY: This issue is incredibly important to me—as a woman, as someone in the public eye, and just as a person. It’s a new era that’s taking over, with a lot of work and fight behind it, that I stand behind wholeheartedly.

 GLITTER: What is your definition of self-love?

MARY: This one is hard. I don’t know how I define it, exactly, since it’s something I think we all work on every day. I see self-love as an act. Like brushing your teeth or taking a vitamin. It’s something vital to health and functioning, and it’s something you choose to do each day. It’s something we must actively do each day to keep ourselves alive and healthy.

 GLITTER: How can fans follow you?

MARY: My Instagram is what I keep up with mostly, its @missmarymmouser! But there’s also my Twitter if people want really old and embarrassing tweets to look at, @marymmouser.

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Photographer: Gray Hamner Makeup: Courtney Hart Hair: Caitlin Krenz Stylist: Andrew Pedro / Iris Cartagena