La'Darius Marshall, one of the breakout stars of Netflix's hit documentary series, Cheer, said watching how others perceived him on the show made him want to improve himself.
In an interview Thursday with other castmates on BuzzFeed News' morning show, AM to DM, Marshall said he felt he was portrayed accurately in the documentary.
"I've grown from this show. Just watching myself like, Ooh, this is not how I really want to be as a person," Marshall said.
As pressure mounted leading up to the national cheer competition, Marshall was shown clashing with one of his cheerleading squad members, a flyer named Allie Ross, as she struggled to get a stunt right during practice.
"You [have been] cheering on all these amazing teams, you having the ability to pay for all the stuff and all this private stuff," Marshall says in the show. "People don't have that — and I'm one of those people. So when I come here, I expect you to give 110% just like I'm going to give 110%."
Documenting the Navarro College cheerleading squad in Texas as they train for the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) collegiate competition in 2019, the Netflix show has been widely praised amid concerns about the athletes' safety and the grueling nature of the sport.
The show follows the decorated cheer team as they train to win another national championship.
Led by coach Monica Aldama, who is a parental figure for many of the Navarro cheerleaders, the squad is put through backbreaking practice sessions. Many endure serious injuries with the single-minded goal of winning in Daytona Beach, Florida, where the NCA competition is held.
Interviewed Thursday along with Aldama and teammates Gabi Butler and Jerry Harris, Marshall suggested watching the show helped him understand Aldama's advice for him.
"It was better that I saw it for myself, because then I could see what Monica was talking about," Marshall said. "You know, honestly, it's not about changing — it's about improving myself."
Long before Cheer aired in early January, Marshall was a viral star — his spunky cheer performance was caught on tape in 2018 and shared widely on the internet.
And he's not letting go of any of that energy.
"I'm going to always be crazy," Marshall told AM to DM, but he added that he's not so quick to snap at others now. "I'm working on it."