La La Anthony Has Always Had The Power
If you’re a 90s baby, it’s almost like you got to watch La La Anthony‘s entertainment career unfold before your eyes, with the times.
You watched La La slay in the TRL days — when being a “VJ” was a highly sought after profession.
You also probably watched La La host reality TV shows like Flavor of Love—when MTV and other “music” channels were branching away from solely showing music videos.
Fast forward through some honestly iconic early 2000s movies (hello? You Got Served?) and now La La is acting in the type of shit you watch now — not music videos, not reality TV (okay, maybe a little), but dynamic and smart television shows like Power.
“I think people are really now seeing me as an actor,” says La La of her role as Lakeisha on Power.
If you’re a fan of Power, you know that La La’s character is in a whirlwind romance with Tommy Egan, played by Joseph Sikora. We had Joseph interview La La all about Power, how she got started in the industry, and how she balances her career with everything else.
What were some of your first thoughts when Power came out and how did you end up getting the job?
I heard about Power before there was even a name. 50 [cent] was always telling me about the show he was going to create that was going to take over TV and change the face of TV. And one thing about 50, when he says something—he really does it. When they started casting, I was like, “I gotta get in on this show.” I called him and said, “I don’t want you to give me anything, I just wanna audition.” And then I auditioned for this show a few times and that’s when I was given the role of LaKeisha.
Did you originally audition for LaKeisha or did you audition for other roles as well?
I auditioned for other roles as well.
Are we keeping that on the DL?
I don’t know…I think everything turns out the way it’s supposed to. I’ve been honored to play Lakeisha. I’ve learned so much—you have forced me to grow so much as an actor and I tell you that all the time. I’m so grateful to you because I hope that some of the things I’ve learned from working with you will take me into my life after Power. I think people are really now seeing me as an actor, which is all I’ve really wanted. I think Power has really solidified that for me, and that’s exciting.
LaKeisha kind of has been a slow burn, because she was around for so much of [the show]. Are you pleased with the evolution of the character?
Yeah. I think in life and in acting, all you want to do is grow. Who wants to stay the same? What’s great about LaKeisha is she kind of started in the background and grew into a real power player, so to speak, and that’s great as an audience to watch. It’s one thing to come in strong and then you’re just out of there. I’ve been consistently a part of the story until I finally became a major part of the story, and as an actor that’s all you could ever want. I saw it with this character and it’s been a great ride.
Tell me about you character’s journey with Tommy this season. Where do we pick up with the characters and what does season six have in store for us?
I think she’s really in love with Tommy and wants this relationship to work by any means necessary. She wants to prove that she’s cut out for this lifestyle and she can be your ride or die chick. But in being that, a lot comes along with that. Being in Tommy’s world, a lot comes along with that—and she’ll quickly learn that as she’s navigating the relationship. I think as women, when we are so in love, we’re blinded by love and willing to do anything—and anything comes with consequences.
Being a mother yourself, how significant is it that she allows Tommy to be such an influence in Cash’s life?
Yeah, that’s a big deal. Anytime you introduce your child to someone new that’s not their dad, you want to make sure it’s someone you want around your kid, someone your kid would look to. So her doing that is a big step and any mom would know that and understand that.
What does LaKeisha know about Tommy that other people don’t?
I definitely think she knows a side of him that people don’t, which is that he’s sensitive, he’s loving, all he wants is to be loved and she wants to be that person for him. Just to show him that not everyone is out to get you. There’s a sensitive kind of little boy inside Tommy that a lot of people don’t know because you only see him being a boss, killing people, taking no shorts—but at the core he really just wants to be loved.
Let’s take a quick jump back to what got you started in this business. Tell me a little about your first job in the entertainment industry?
My first job was an internship at a radio station in Atlanta, which is where I started. I was in high school and I went to the opening of the Wu-Tang clothing store in Atlanta—I loved Wu-Tang Clan as a young teen. I went and I saw people putting up posters and I said, “Oh, this is really cool, I wanna do it,” and they said you had to be 18. I was 15, so I lied about my age and then I was able to get the job. It started as an internship and from there I became a radio personality and then a TV personality in the MTV days.
I remember, I watched you, I was crushing a little bit here and there.
Thank you. That was a fun time, I then continued on to acting and producing and kind of where I’m at now.
And what do you see after Power? Can you leak anything for us?
So I’m on 90210 now, it’s the reboot, it’s on FOX. I’m filming it right now in Vancouver and it’s really exciting to see the original cast attempt to recreate the magic they had so many years ago. The fact that everyone agreed to come back is kind of crazy. I’m the only Hispanic African American cast member, which to me comes with great responsibility just to bring diversity and my perspective into that 90210 world. It’s been a great ride.
You’re one of the most busy people I’ve ever met in my life. How do you balance a career not only as a successful actor, but also as an entrepreneur, mother, and wife?
I think you just kind of figure it out. What’s great for me is I have a great family and support system, my family steps in when I need them to.
Steps in? They can dance!
They can dance and they help me in many ways. What’s great about my son, Kiyan, is he can come with me to set. He was just with me in Vancouver and on my days off we just explored all of Vancouver so he can feel like he’s a part of what I’m doing, which is awesome to me.
Photographer: Jared Ryder
Makeup: Ryan Burke using Pat McGrath LABS and Krylon
Styling: Jeremy Haynes