Alani “La La” Anthony’s newfound level of stardom has the power to reshape reality and influence pop culture in a more positive way. She first walked into our hearts by way of TV screens set to MTV’s Total Request Live after an average school day, and the hazel-eyed 22-year-old youngster brought the show flavor with a look and voice incredibly able to capture an audience. You may not have had the keen instinct at the time, but La La was in the beginning stages of what has become, today, a major blogger blitz with all eyes on her.
Fast forward four years from her last days in the 1515 building, and you find her now married to Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, being a mommy to four-year-old son Kiyan and completely reigning as reality television’s sweetheart. Over the years, you may have caught her hosting gigs on Flavor of Love, For The Love of Ray J or a slew of other VH1-hosted reality shows, but you didn’t get a real glimpse of that TRL sparkle until her 2010 nuptials.
As she allowed VH1 cameramen to capture the intimate details of her star-studded wedding last July with La La’s Full Court Wedding, audiences found something über relatable and charming about her again, not readily found on popular reality shows Keeping up with Kardashians or Basketball Wives. It’s very apparent that her newest position in front of cameras and reality star power has endless possibilities of being a complete prototype of love and relationships, entrepreneurial business and the relationships women should have with one another. Subsequently, the peek into her life brings a positive light back to women of color.
La La’s Full Court Life is now airing with PG-rated drama surrounding the adjustment to the Big Apple and her girly, best friend moments, while exposing heavy topics of sexuality and the uncertainty of a blossoming acting career. Most importantly, the now 38-year-old’s FCL season illustrates her world as a down-to-earth NBA wife who exhausts the opportunities afforded to her through her star power. Think it’s tough to have such a role in life? VIBE Vixen finds out just how it is being Mrs. Anthony and making moves as a businesswoman.
How are you feeling about the show right now at this very moment?
I think people seem to be excited about it which makes me excited. People are going to find the show very interesting. It documents when Melo was traded to New York which was the biggest thing ever and [shows] just exactly how a trade goes down. And you get to see me and my friends. Whether it’s Kelly Rowland, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, we’re all supporting each other and being there for each other. It’s a good balance on television to see successful women supporting each other, having a really strong bond and great friendship. I think it’s necessary for people to see that too on television.
You have a crazy successful best friend circle. Are there any best friend moments on the show that you’re anxious for people to see?
Kelly [Rowland] is a big, big part of the show. She’s on more than any of the other people and you get to see Kelly’s personality. She’s skyrocketing now with “Motivation” and everything she has going on, but on the show, you get to see her being silly, us just being best friends and the conversations we have. Just fun times! It’s really a good inside peek to her and how she is. Serena’s the silliest out of all of us, and people wouldn’t even know that about her, so you get to witness that as well.
My cousin Dice is a big part of my reality show and what’s important to me about Dice besides, obviously, that being my cousin and one of my best friends, is Dice is dealing with sexuality issues and different things like that. I think it’s important to see things like that on television because you have a lot of people struggling with who they are and trying to find themselves and worrying about if people aren’t going to accept them. It’s good that we touch on these issues on the show. I think that can help a lot of people.
Awesome. Particularly, with this reality show and Full Court Wedding, more light has been shed on your acting and upcoming projects. Tell me, how did you land on Broadway for Love, Loss & What I Wore?
I got it because I auditioned, you know. I work really, really hard. Monologues are not easy and people might not really get that to learn a bunch of monologues and go onstage for the first time… I’ve never performed on a stage before and have to perform this for the director of casting and everyone then get a call that I landed it, I was really proud of myself because that was not an easy one to get. I think stepping into the space I’m going now which is the acting space really shows people that I’m serious about the craft, and I’m serious about what I’m doing. Everybody can’t do a Broadway kind of play and Love Loss & What I Wore, the people from the past have been huge names, so just to be considered to be apart of that is a big thing.
Exactly. Were you nervous about that at all going into the audition?
I was nervous, but I was driven. I’m always trying to prove people wrong. You have so many people who say, ‘You can’t do this and you can’t do that,’ so that’s what motivates me to keep pushing on. So I turned the nerves into the adrenaline I needed to put on a good performance.
Definitely, and the same goes for Think Like A Man?
Heck yeah! My acting coach and I were working hard, we’d set up this little area in my house, put my stuff on a flip cam because I couldn’t be in LA at the time and sent the tape over. I got a call and they asked me to come to LA to audition in-person; I did that, did what I was supposed to do and I booked the part.
Who were you most excited to work with when you got the news that you landed the role?
Well…. As a female, I think anytime you hear Michael Ealy’s name, you get a little excited [Laughs]. I mean, I’m married, but I know a good looking guy when I see him. I don’t have any scenes with Michael Ealy, but being there with him has been amazing. I’m working opposite Megan Good, and Romany Malco has been my most pleasant surprise. I met him on the set, and he’s just become a great friend of mine and a new addition in my life. He’s really good! Terrance J is like my brother, so to be able to hang with them, it doesn’t feel like work.
What’s one of the things that you’ve learned from one of the actors that sort of resonates with you?
What I’ve learned just from watching Megan Good is that acting should be effortless. I watch her and she makes it seem so effortless and so easy that it makes my job easier because I’m feeding off of her energy. BUt I just learned that when you’re good at what you do, it doesn’t have to feel like you’re putting a lot of work into it. I’m getting better at letting [my acting skills] come naturally and not forcing it or pushing it forward. The best kind of acting is when you’re not acting.
Did you have to think like a man to snag Melo?
[Laughs] I have a brother that always has that guy mentality, and I get the inside scoop about what guys really think about girls. and I’ve always used that in all my relationships. I think you have to have a bit of a guys’ mentality to get how they think because they’re such different creatures than we are. The book has definitely helped as well because the movie is funny; it’s a romantic comedy, but the book does touch on major issues and relationships, how to get someone to take your seriously and how to get someone to marry you.
Me and Megan just shot a scene a couple days ago where she’s saying that from now on she’s not having sex for 90 days, and my character is like, ‘You’re crazy! You sound ridiculous. Nobody’s waiting 90 days,’ blah blah blah, but it’s true. Will a guy take you more serious if you wait 90 days? I don’t know, but it’s a possibility! So, these things are touched on heavily.
Melo was recently in Puerto Rico to erect a new basketball court for the youth in that country. Do you guys usually split up the charity work, you do yours and he’ll do his thing?
No, we definitely do it together. We both work with his foundation, The Carmelo Anthony Foundation. With Puerto Rico, I was filming the movie, so unfortunately I couldn’t go. And I also do things on my own with various groups. I work closely with Oxfam, and I just did a huge charity auction and part of the proceeds went to Oxfam, so I kind of spread myself out. When you don’t see it, it’s usually because I can’t be there.
And you sold off some major fashion items, so to transition a bit, what’s your personal style?
You know what? I’m not a label person. I just go with what looks good. I have to give my stylist credit for that; I can’t take the credit for all my clothes [laughs]. But I don’t think my style is one thing, it’s just what I feel in the morning. That could be super glamorous or Nikes and a pair of jeans.
I hear that. What are a few of your beauty must-haves?
Neutrogena Makeup Wipes. I buy like 10 at a time because one thing I don’t want to do is fall asleep with makeup on my face. Even though I’m so tired at the end of the day, I always make time to wipe all the makeup off my face because of breakouts. Even when I’m not ready to do a full regime, it always helps to, at least, get most of it of.
What are five things about you that most people don’t know.
I love chocolate! I am insanely addicted to Nestle Crunch and I’m working on it [laughs]. I’m just so low maintenance. I love watching movies and hanging with my son and my husband, and I just feel like people don’t realize how easygoing and regular our life really is. You think it’s all these other things, but when we have those times just to be as normal as we can and sit on the couch and watch Shark Week, we do stuff like that. And that’s it.
Oh, and I cannot live with Carmex! Crunch and Carmex.. and Shark Week, I love!