Mary Mouser: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Mary Mouser

Getty Mary Mouser is one of the stars of "Cobra Kai."

Mary Mouser is an American actress who “Cobra Kai” fans know for her role as Samantha “Sam” LaRusso, the daughter of “The Karate Kid” protagonist Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). Over the Netflix series’ three seasons, fans have watched Sam reluctantly join her father’s karate dojo, fall for two rival fighters, and struggle with PTSD after a scary fight with Cobra Kai member Tory Nichols (Peyton List).

According to IMDb, Mouser was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She has two siblings who have also done some acting work, brother Aaron Parker and sister Frannie. Mouser started her career in the entertainment industry at a young age, and she had the full support of her parents. During an August 2020 appearance on the “Collider Ladies Night” podcast, she recalled how they flew the family to New York for “a few months at a time” so that she and her siblings could look for work.

Mouser did print and voiceover work early in her career, then she headed to Los Angeles to pursue acting roles. She voiced the lead character in the animated series “Me, Eloise,” and she scored parts in a few different crime dramas, including “Without a Trace,” “CSI” and “NCIS.” The actress also has a popular YouTube Channel and is active on Instagram, where she occasionally treats “Cobra Kai” fans to behind-the-scenes photos from the set of the show.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. She Was Abigail Breslin’s Photo Double

Mouser considers herself fortunate to have discovered a lifelong passion when she was just a little girl. “At the age of five acting was really like a giant game of pretend, except all of the actors were playing along with me!” she told A BOOK OF.

In a 2011 interview with Variety, she said that her family was on vacation when she landed her first acting gig. She attended an open call and was cast as the photo double for actress Abigail Breslin in the 2002 movie “Signs.” During her “Collider Ladies Night” interview, she confessed that she “had no idea what a photo double was,” but she enjoyed the work.

When Mouser was serving as a stand-in for Breslin, viewers were only supposed to see the back of her head and various parts of her body. This proved to be a challenge for the young actress. While she was shooting one scene, she almost managed to sneak her face into the shot by accident. Actor Joaquin Phoenix was carrying Mouser through a cornfield, and she eventually grew tired of the view behind him. “I tried to turn my head around to look and see what we were doing, and Joaquin Phoenix grabbed my head and just shoves it back into his shoulder so that I didn’t ruin the take!” she told Collider.

2. She Rescued Peyton List at a Bar

YouTubeSam and Tory fight on “Cobra Kai.”

On “Cobra Kai,” the rivalry between Sam and Tory has escalated so much that Mouser is often asked if she and List hate each other in real life. While filming an Instagram Live video with List in September 2020, she reassured her followers that the two of them actually get along great. She also revealed that List made an excellent first impression on her. “After meeting you I was like, ‘Oh my god she’s so nice,’” she told her co-star.

The actresses are on such good terms that Mouser came to List’s rescue when a “really weird” guy started chatting her up at a bar. However, she didn’t have to bust out her karate moves to get him to back off. “You come up to me, and you’re like, ‘Excuse me. Hey honey, come on,’” List recalled during their Instagram chat. “And the person’s like, ‘What?’” She revealed that Mouser then told the guy she was List’s girlfriend. “You saved me from the most uncomfortable situation,” said the grateful star.

While Mouser and List might be close in real life, they don’t think there’s any chance that their “Cobra Kai” characters will ever become pals. In addition to belonging to two different dojos, the girls are romantic rivals who have both dated Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña). After Tory saw Sam kissing him, she started the crazy school brawl that ended with the object of her affection being hospitalized in a coma. “I think someone asked us the other day. They go, is this going to be a 30-year feud? Just like Johnny and Daniel? And I’m like, I think maybe,” List told Hollywood Life. “I think there will always be more with these two.” While some fans might want to see what circumstances could possibly lead to the sworn enemies calling a truce, Mouser wants Sam and Tory to keep fighting each other. “It is a lot of power there, but I think it’s fun to watch them butt heads instead,” she said.

3. She Has a Chronic Health Condition

Mouser was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2009. According to Mayo Clinic, the chronic illness “usually appears during childhood or adolescence” and is managed by taking insulin and monitoring blood sugar levels. In a May 2019 YouTube video, Mouser marked her 10-year “diaversary” by sharing the story of her diabetes diagnosis. It came a month after she celebrated her 13th birthday. “My symptoms came in the forms of decreased weight, increased appetite, constant and excessive dehydration, consistently being sick with different colds or flus and things like that, headaches, changes in my mood, and I’m sure there are a lot of others,” she recalled.

Mouser said that she was “really scared” ahead of a doctor’s appointment to test her blood, and her fear didn’t subside after she received her diagnosis. She had tons of questions about it, including whether she might die. She was in such bad shape that she had to be hospitalized and was told that she would have to fast for a while. “I remember being in the hospital and fasting and just being so hungry that I was literally crying,” she said.

Mouser eventually learned how to control her blood sugar and started feeling better. She even found a way to use her condition to her advantage at school. “I just told my doctor that my P.E. teacher was too hard on me and that I needed to do activity at home where I could monitor my blood sugar more closely,” she told List during their Instagram Live session. “So I got a note to get me out of P.E. for all of my years in school.”

4. She’d Never Seen ‘The Karate Kid’ When She Auditioned for ‘Cobra Kai’

Ralph Macchio and Mary Mouser on Cobra Kai

YouTubeDaniel and his daughter Sam talk on “Cobra Kai.”

One disadvantage of skipping P.E. presented itself when Mouser was cast in “Cobra Kai.” Her role was a physically demanding one, and she wasn’t exactly ready for all the intense training she had to do to play Sam. “I never did sports. I’ve never been very active,” she told Elite Daily. “So it’s been a big adjustment, but it’s become something that I’m passionate about even in my off time.”

When she auditioned for “Cobra Kai,” Mouser also didn’t know the backstory of her character’s father and his foe Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) because she’d never watched “The Karate Kid” movies, she told Brief Take in August 2020. She told the outlet she kept putting off viewing the films during the callback process, so she had to decide whether she wanted to binge-watch them when it came time for her to do a screen test with Ralph Macchio.

“At that point, I was like: ‘I don’t want to watch anything, I don’t want to jinx anything, I’ll be too nervous,’” she recalled. When she got the part, she finally watched them. “I’ve been a huge fan ever since,” she told Glitter Magazine.

5. She’s Dating an Actor

Mouser has been in a relationship with fellow actor Brett Pierce for over half a decade. His acting credits include “Scorpion,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Stuck in the Middle.” Mouser shares photos of herself and her man on Instagram every so often, and she paid tribute to him in a December 2020 post marking their five-year anniversary. “Happy anniversary to the most spectacular boyfriend – who I am so grateful to say is also my best friend, my whole heart, and the only one I would want to be locked in a cabin with for the whole weekend,” she wrote.

Mouser has mentioned Pierce often while speaking about “Cobra Kai” because he’s a huge “Karate Kid” fan. “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,” she recalled during her Glitter Magazine interview. Though she didn’t take his advice, Pierce was right there with her when she watched the films later on.

According to Mouser, Pierce also reminded her about her first “Cobra Kai” audition. Unfortunately, she’d already missed it when he mentioned it. “I guess I didn’t set any alarms,” she confessed during an appearance on “The Netflix After Party.” “I woke up to my boyfriend calling me saying, ‘Hey, how did your audition go?’ I was like, ‘What audition?’” At the time, Pierce was unaware of what the audition was for, and he had a strong reaction when Mouser told him the title of the series. “Call, get yourself back in there. Whatever you have to do,” she recalled him saying. “Offer them limbs. Just get your a** back in there!”