Justine Santaniello: Hey everybody and welcome to “Lifestyle Today”, I’m Justine Santaniello. Now we’re halfway through January already, I can not believe it, so I’m hoping that you’re all standing strong in those resolutions that you set for yourselves and remember: don’t get discouraged. If you slip up, you start up again! That’s it! Trust me, I know. But hopefully a little splurge of binge-watching is still a part of your new routine, and if you want a healthy dose of fun, heart and some serious butt-kicking you are going to love our next guest. Mary Mouser plays the super tough and super loveable Samantha LaRusso, daughter of, that’s right, the “Karate Kid” himself, Daniel LaRusso in the Netflix series, “Cobra Kai”. Mary, we are so excited to have you!

Mary Mouser: Course! Yeah this is, uh, I’ve had quite a few months of doing nothing so I’ve got a little-a little extra time saved up in the bank I guess in terms of energy.

Justine: So, tell us what’s it like being a part of such a beloved piece of pop culture that’s now getting this fresh new life in 2021.

Mary: Um, terrifying. In the best way possible, but uh it definitely was very intimidating going in I remember the first season I was like, “wow like this is-this is legend status that we’re stepping into,” in terms of what it is that, you know, the people I’m working with, people I’m meeting, the-the content, the name LaRusso like all of this is stuff that people have, you know, carried in their hearts for so many years. It was really intimidating, but uh luckily we’ve had such incredible responses from everybody that it’s-it’s been so much fun and it kind of-I think-I feel like we’ve earned a little bit of, uh, you know trust and-and-and leeway when it comes to it so now I feel like we’re all in the same boat or we’re like okay like we broke down that initial barrier now it’s just, you know, every episode all hell breaks loose.

Justine: So as your character Samantha has grown and changed, what can we expect to see from her in season three?

Mary: You know I-I feel like when I initially got Samantha and I, you know, was handed this role I was like wow this is so cool and she’s so different from me. Um, and then season three I think where we leave her off in season two it’s like karate is no longer a safe place for her, and uh I think, you know, Samantha has a lot of growth to do and a lot of, you know, self-reflection, and hopefully, you know, a lot of-I think we’ve all talked about how everybody leaves off at the end of season two with some kind of payment due, and I think Samantha’s is, you know, an emotional toll that-that she has to pay to kind of move on, and um it’s whether or not she can do that.

Justine: I have to ask, what advice would you give to other young women who want to be a part of the TV world?

Mary: With acting I feel like it is a crash course boot camp every week, and can I love myself enough to not be totally, you know, heartbroken at every no that I get? Um, and so I feel like it’s, you know, in a way that’s been such a gift to me because it’s really taught me to reevaluate what’s important and being told yes is not as important as being proud of how I portrayed something and how I-how I gave my all and left the room, and being liked is not as important as being happy with myself and, you know, not putting any of that in jeopardy just to get a job. Um, and, you know all these things I think are applicable in lots of different aspects of life, but it really does feel like boot camp all the time in the best way possible because I feel like I’m stronger, and I would hope that anybody else that would take it on would take it on with the mentality that you can absolutely do it and have an amazing, you know, life and career and it’s so much fun. Uh, but you definitely can’t go into it wanting to be everybody’s first choice. Sometimes you gotta fight for it and that makes it even more valuable.

Justine: Mary, thank you so much. This was so much fun. We can not wait to check you out, season three of “Cobra Kai”.

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