When reviewing La La Anthony’s career trajectory—from Atlanta radio DJ to MTV host to reality star to actress to beauty entrepreneur to best-selling author—one would imagine she can relate to Jay Z’s proclamation, “I got a hustler’s spirit.”
But the wife and mother is inspired by the words of another hip-hop star turned businessman. “The best advice I ever heard is from a quote by Will Smith, which basically says, ‘I will not be outworked.’” Anthony explains, “People may be naturally better actresses or naturally better TV hosts or naturally better producers. When I come to the table, you know you’re getting an extremely passionate and hard worker.”
This is why Anthony is maneuvering through Hollywood at breakneck speed. In 2016 she’s already banked a new series, A&E’s Unforgettable, and will return to Starz’s gritty hit drama Power.
Then there are her films: She is costarring in Ernest Dickerson’s Double Play and producing alongside Queen Latifah, who’s adapting Anthony’s relationship guide, 2014’s The Love Playbook (Celebra), for the big screen. “I have friends who joke with me and say I work like, ‘If I don’t get this job, my rent won’t be paid,’ ” says Anthony. “I laugh, but I’m just programmed that way. I like a challenge and I’m competitive. Why couldn’t I have a reality show, be done with that and now be on an amazing television series? Why can’t I do all these things?” she says. “I’m always about breaking through.”
Another barrier broken: becoming a theater producer. Anthony stands proud as one of the producers of Eclipsed, featuring Lupita Nyong’o in her Broadway debut. “To be part of a project with an actress I love and admire… That is an amazing thing,” says Anthony.
Eclipsed opens on Sunday, March 6 and runs through June 19.