La La Anthony is a woman who wears many hats. She is an actress, a TV personality, an author, a producer, a designer, a businesswoman, and a mother. With so much on her plate, the 38-year-old can’t afford to be sidelined by the migraines she’s been suffering with for some time. Excedrin’s Migraine product has been the one thing she says has helped her continue to work and enjoy moments that she used to have to put on hold because of the pain.
“It was definitely over 10 years for sure and at different times in my life it has been a really big burden,” she told me over the phone, noting that her headaches are brought on most often by cigarette smoke, lack of sleep, delays in eating and not drinking enough water. “Excedrin Migraine is something that I’ve always used and turned to for relief, and really, the only thing I’ve ever been able to use to find some type of relief.”
La La teamed up with the pain medication makers to launch their Excedrin Take Two initiative, which invites migraine sufferers to share moments they missed out on or that were affected because a migraine came on and relive them migraine-free. The star can relate to having special moments dampened by intense headaches.
“There was a family reunion a couple years back and I think we all know what it’s like to be present but not present,” she said. “I remember just being so out of it because my head was pounding and I just wanted to lay down. I didn’t get to fully enjoy our family reunion. I have a really big family so the reunions are what we look forward to every couple of years. For everyone to say, ‘Hey, you didn’t seem like yourself, are you okay?’ that was frustrating. That would be something that I would love to have a do-over on.”
She learned her lesson from that situation and decided to be aware of her triggers. La La keeps Excedrin Migraine in her bag so that she never has to miss a beat while working on her many different projects, presently including BH90210 and Power.
“I’ve never had to slow down because of it,” she said. “I’ve never had to stop because of it. My days are able to continue, I’m able to get relief, I’m able to push forward and that’s what you want. You don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t even work because of a migraine. You just don’t want that.”
And La La has a lot of work to do these days, especially as an actress. She’s come a long way from her days of being a radio personality and VJ to now being the star in a number of primetime shows and movies.
“I always thought it was cool and could be cool to try, but not at that time,” she said of taking up acting. “But once I started taking acting classes and really getting into it and taking it seriously, then I was like, wow, this is something I really want to do and really want to try my hardest to become better at and learn. I’m still learning. It’s something that you learn every single day. I have Power, 90210 and I’m also in Chicago right now filming Lena Waithe’s show The Chi. That’s been a great experience for me.”
She is joining the Showtime series at a time when those behind The Chi are trying to move forward from the allegations of sexual harassment that were brought against axed star Jason Mitchell by his former co-star Tiffany Boone. La La says despite the cloud that was cast over Lena;s project, she’s happy to be a part of Season 3.
“I think Lena Waithe is one of the most amazing people and talents of our time,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to work with her and so when this came up, I was like, there’s no way I’m going to pass this opportunity up. The Chi is such an amazing show. I was a fan before I was on the show, and yeah, different things have happened, but at the core, it’s an amazing show. The writers are amazing, Lena is amazing and they’re going to continue to do amazing things over there and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
In the meantime, though, she’s completing the final season of Power. La La is happy to have a more prominent role than ever on the series now that her character LaKeisha Grant has grown to be the HBIC on the Starz series.
“It’s so amazing to me because as an actor and one who plays characters, all you want is for the characters to grow,” she said. “So when you see the arc of LaKeisha from the beginning to now and how much the character has grown, whether you love her or hate her or agree with what she’s doing or not, she’s there, her presence matters on the show and that’s all you want.”
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The only downside to all that character development is that people have a lot to say about La La’s character online. Still, she welcomes the passion of fans, which she says means she’s doing a great job in her role.
“I’m so grateful to Power and our writer and creator Courtney Kemp for just giving me great material to work with to where people really feel it. They’re mad at Lakeisha. They’re mad at me!” she said. “They’re upset with the decisions she’s making and things she’s doing, and it’s a testament to the writing and for me, it’s a testament to how I’m playing the character that people really think it’s real life. They have a hard time separating!”