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Cobra Kai's Mary Mouser Reveals What It's Really Like To Work With Ralph Macchio And William Zabka - Exclusive

Anyone who has seen "The Karate Kid" spinoff series "Cobra Kai" since it kicked off in 2018 knows that while the rivalry between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) continues to be examined, there are several other stories at play. Just as pivotal to the plot is the new generation of teens vying for karate greatness, including Daniel's daughter, Samantha (Mary Mouser), as well as Johnny's estranged son, Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), and Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) — a teen neighbor Johnny has taken under his wing.

Naturally, since Daniel and Johnny are mixing it up again, Samantha has a lot of interactions with Robby and Miguel. Now, in Season 4 of "Cobra Kai," Mouser has more scenes with Zabka since Daniel's Miyagi-Do and Johnny's Eagle Fang dojos have joined forces to ward off the threats of John Kreese's (Martin Kove) Cobra Kai dojo. The dilemma for Sam is, since Johnny's teaching methods are decidedly different that her father, it causes a rift between the two as the teen seeks to find her own path as a karate student as well as her own path in life.

"Cobra Kai" is remarkable in that it's just not a series about karate, but the lives of many teens who navigate the struggles teens face as high schoolers trying to find their own identities. In Season 4, the identity Samantha seeks diverges from the teachings of her father's late friend and mentor, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), which causes a rift between the teen and her father. Complicating matters is the compassion Samantha's mother, Amanda (Courtney Henggeler), shows for her daughter's chief rival, Tory Nichols (Peyton List), as she learns of the teen's hardships.

Macchio and Henggeler are 'the best scene partners,' Mouser says

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Mouser said she's thrilled how the storylines of Samantha and several other characters in the series continues to grow and become more complex.

"I was jokingly talking about this with some of my castmates. It's just crazy to think where we all started with these characters," Mouser said. "When you take on a role you really get some information, but a lot of times, especially for that first audition, you get a couple sentences. You get somebody who says, 'This is this person's kid' and 'This person's sister' and 'This person's girlfriend,' and 'Go for it.' Going from that to where we are now is just kind of crazy. But yeah, I feel like this part of Sam's life is so fun to play into ... Of course, for me, it gives more time to work with Ralph and Courtney, who are just the best scene partners."

Despite the strife between Samantha and her screen parents in season 4 of "Cobra Kai," Mouser said in reality she's developed a strong family bond with her Macchio and Henggeler.

"I'm very grateful to get to work with them. They're just such kind and yes, incredibly talent people. They welcomed me into their world, which has been so nice," Mouser enthused. "We joke around a lot, too. There are some moments there, especially like a moment in season 4 between Daniel and Samantha that really cracked me up. In between takes, Ralph said, 'If my daughter really ever said that to me, I would not be saying this back to her. I'd be saying a whole different thing.' That's funny to play all that up."

Mouser loves Zabka's 'retro Johnny badass-type vibes'

Despite the fact that Johnny and Daniel are on the same side as Season 4 of "Cobra Kai" begins, it's an uneasy alliance that starts to show cracks as Samantha begins to embrace Johnny's more extreme methods of teaching karate. Naturally, since their characters share more screen time this season, which means Mouser has more chances to experience Zabka's great sense of humor in-person.

"Oh my gosh. Yes, He cracks me up. I mean, he's one of the nicest people, but there's so much of his just retro Johnny badass-type vibes in him that it's just so funny sometimes how much they parallel one another," Mouser revealed. "He's so awesome, and yeah, he keeps us very entertained.

Of course, since Samantha is working with another sensei like Johnny this season, it means Mouser the actor has been given the opportunity to broaden her karate skills. However, Mouser said she looks at the opportunity from more of a professional standpoint than a personal one.

"I don't think I was thinking of it as, 'Man, I'm going to get really good after all this.' It was more of, like, 'This is so important to me, and I want to do it as much justice as possible, so I'll put in as much work as I possibly can' — and hopefully that turns out well," Mouser observed. "But it ended up really helping bring me to a different level that I'm still grateful for, and it's awesome. Because then, it plays out just perfectly timed with the idea of Samantha learning a couple of different styles and how that would've impacted her karate abilities."

Season 4 of "Cobra Kai" is now streaming on Netflix.