Peyton List Discusses Tory’s Heart of Gold


Mary Mouser also discusses tackling Sam’s darker headspace this time around.

We’ve already covered Daniel’s (Ralph Macchio) trip to Okinawa, Johnny’s (William Zabka) scenes at the hospital with Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), Miguel’s multi-layered road to recovery and Hawk’s (Jacob Bertrand) tense scenes with Kreese (Martin Kove). Now let’s get into what Sam (Mary Mouser) and Tory (Peyton List) are facing in Cobra Kai Season 3.

With the highly anticipated new season arriving on Netflix on New Year’s Day, I got the chance to chat with Mouser and List about their approach to their characters this time around. If you follow them on Instagram, there’s a chance you caught that Instagram Live video they did together back in September. During the conversation, a BuzzFeed character quiz came up. If you took that quiz and wound up getting Tory, it came with a description that said deep down, Tory has a heart of gold. It’s a curious descriptor for one of the most violent Cobra Kai students of the bunch, but who better to weigh in on the matter than Tory herself, Peyton List? Here’s what List said when asked if having a heart of gold is on her mind much while playing the character:

“Yeah, it is because in my head, I’m always right and I’m always doing what’s right and I’m fighting for what’s best and I’m fighting for justice and everything else. I think, yeah, my character does have a heart of gold. From her perspective, Sam has wronged her and seen the worst in her. And even with my friends, I’m friends with Aisha and I’m friends with Miguel and I like Miguel and Sam has tried to steal him away from me, and she seems like this privileged girl that I am threatened by because I’ve never seen anything like that and I can’t even imagine her having any problems and I can’t imagine her world so, to me, it all makes sense, but looking from the outside, I can see why ‘heart of gold’ would be questionable.”

Peyton List and Jacob Bertrand in Cobra Kai Season 3
Image via Netflix

As for Sam, boy does Mouser have her work cut out for her this season. Sam doesn’t just heal up from the school brawl at the end of Season 2 and move on. She’s struggling with some severe anxiety, much of which is tied to Tory. It’s a darker headspace to be in, but Mouser was very much up for the challenge.

“I think I was really excited to get into it. I was excited to get serious in different and new ways. And especially with this season’s arc, it was not easy, but it was relatable to me in a new way. I got to bring new parts of myself to Samantha that I hadn’t gotten to bring along yet, brought out my new baggage and started unpacking it. Oh so fun! But actually, it was really therapeutic and rewarding. Not necessarily easy, but I’m really excited for people to see it because I tried to play it as honest and true as I could. There is a lot of me in Samantha this year.”

If you’d like to hear more from List and Mouser, we’ve got the full non-spoiler portion of the chat for you at the top of this article. Also, be sure to check back after Cobra Kai Season 3 drops on Netflix because that’s when we’ll unveil the spoiler-heavy half of the conversation.

Ralph Macchio and Mary Mouser in Cobra Kai Season 3
Image via Netflix

Mary Mouser and Peyton List

  • What it’s like bringing the Sam/Tory rivalry to screen now that they’ve grown closer to each other behind the scenes.
  • Does List really think that Tory has a heart of gold?
  • Mouser discusses getting into a darker headspace with Sam this season.

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