Cobra Kai Stars Ralph Macchio & Mary Mouser Go "Beyond the Bonsai"

As we draw closer to Cobra Kai season five, Sony Pictures Television and Netflix released a one-on-one between cast members Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso) and TV daughter Mary Mouser (Samantha LaRusso) in Beyond the Bonsai to talk about how far they've come from starting out in the franchise. Macchio provided a perspective on how he trained when starting out in The Karate Kid in 1984 compared to his training on the Netflix series. Mouser also started talking about how far along she's come since she first started in season one in 2018.

COBRA KAI (L to R) RALPH MACCHIO as DANIEL LARUSSO and MARY MOUSER as SAMANTHA LARUSSO of COBRA KAI Cr. TINA ROWDEN/NETFLIX © 2020
COBRA KAI (L to R) RALPH MACCHIO as DANIEL LARUSSO and MARY MOUSER as SAMANTHA LARUSSO of COBRA KAI Cr. TINA ROWDEN/NETFLIX © 2020

"You guys had a lot of training leading up to the films, though, right?" Mouser asked. "Yeah, for 'The Karate Kid,' we probably trained six solid weeks, and throughout the film, we would rehearse," Macchio said. "John Avildsen, our director, would always say, 'More and more, faster, better. You can't practice this enough'. He directed a film, a little picture called 'Rocky,' so he had some leverage. We couldn't say, 'No.' [or] 'You don't know what you're talking about.' All the sequences in 'The Karate Kid' were certainly stuff Billy [Zabka] and I did leading up to the tournament. The skeleton fight at the fence, we had weeks, and then we would, in between scenes, always be running that stuff. The payoff scene with Pat Morita and I with the chores and it becoming karate moves. That sort of revelation was something we rehearsed for weeks on end. 'Cobra Kai,' on the other hand, as you know, we do all the prep work, but sometimes it's on the day. It's on the fly because of the schedule, budget, and how the show is done. How's that been for you?"

cobra kai
Cobra Kai. (L to R) Gianni DeCenzo as Demetri, Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, Griffin Santopietro as Anthony LaRusso, Jacob Bertrand as Eli 'Hawk' Moskowitz, Aedin Mincks as Mitch, Mary Mouser as Samantha LaRusso, Nathaniel Oh as Nate, Khalil Everage as Chris in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

As the two interact, they cut through various clips of The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai. Mouser broke down how they prep for fights throughout the season. "I have a lot of fun with it and prep time as much as humanly possible. That's what I was gonna ask that we get to train those first couple of episodes. I feel like we usually get the most time to prepare before going into a season, and then we get the fights for the episodes. We start off with our first karate beats on [episodes] two or three, [then] you get more into four. You get to the mid-season in five. We get that lead in time to practice. By the time we get to those episodes nine and ten fights where it really counts, we are jamming through. That's the skill I've picked up on top of the martial arts from this show is having to let go of that inner voice in my head that's like, 'Do you know what you're supposed to do next?' and having to trust my body to like 'there's a fist coming at my head, better duck.'

Cobra Kai Stars Ralph Macchio & Mary Mouser Go "Beyond the Bonsai"
Cobra Kai. (L to R) William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, Yuji Okumoto as Chozen Toguchi in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

For more on how Macchio compares the fight choreography between the films and the Netflix series, his chemistry with Morita, Mouser's own evolution with martial arts, their favorite moments & more, you can check out the video below. Season five of Cobra Kai premieres September 9 on Netflix.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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