La La Anthony was a beloved host on MTV‘s Total Request Live back in the early 2000s, and while she may be remembered for her time on the series, she’s so much more than that. Anthony has grown into a businesswoman, author and actress extraordinaire over the years, and now she’s a producer on the upcoming comedy horror film JuJu. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, the 41-year-old reminisced over her MTV days but also delved into what sets her aside from just that.
“It’s funny, I do miss them,” Anthony said when asked if she ever misses her TRL days, before explaining that while why her job was “incredible,” it was still work. “When I was on TRL, I was working. My job was so much fun, but you woke up, you go to work and now looking back, I’m like, ‘Wow. That was an incredible job.’ I mean, to be in the middle of thousands of kids every day in Times Square to bring in New Year’s eve live in the middle of Times Square.”
“Like, when you’re doing it, it’s like, ‘Oh, this is my job; this is what I have to do.’ But then when you look back on it, it’s like, ‘Wow, that was some really iconic, cool times — just from music for our culture. So to be a part of it was so incredible.” Anthony went on to say that when fans approach her saying they “grew up” watching her on TRL, even though she was a host, she also grew up on it. “I was like 19, maybe just turning 21, when I started MTV. I grew up on MTV as well in so many ways. It was a great place to learn a lot about my career and who I was. So I’m grateful for it.”
While the daily music countdown show was a huge step in her career and so many remember where she got her start, she says it’s a “challenge” at times always being known as the “MTV girl” considering all of the other work she’s done since. “After all these years, there are still people that are like, ‘Oh, La La from MTV or that’s the MTV girl.’ So, it’s still a challenge sometimes to prove that this is what I do now and for people to take me seriously. But I think since Power and The Chi, now I’m on the Wu-Tang series on Hulu, I think as I just do more and more work, people are just starting to see it more and more, and saying, ‘Oh wow, this is really what she does now.”
While she has her hands full already this year with upcoming projects, something else she’s taking part in after partnering with Special K and Black Girls RUN! is the first-ever virtual Special 5K that supports Feeding America. “It’s the first virtual race, and what I love about it, it’s inspiring people to get out there and feel good about themselves. But every 5K you log in is a donation for Feeding America, and we’re trying to get to 2.5 million meals, which is a lot of food for people in need, especially now more than ever.” Anthony highlighted that she’s excited to partner with the company in hopes of encouraging people to feel good and support community members at the same time.