Celebrity Chat: Layla Crawford
Layla Crawford’s resume includes film, television, and commercial roles…and she’s not even 10. You may recognize this young beauty from her Nike or BMW commercials, as the young Rockey (played by Nene Leakes) on The New Normal, or as L.L. Cool J’s daughter on the hit show NCIS:Los Angeles. Layla is currently starring in the Byron Allen-produced sitcom The First Family alongside Christopher B. Duncan, Kelita Smith, and Jackée Harry. Nappy Headed Black Girl caught up with the eight-year-old dynamo to discuss acting, upcoming projects, and, of course, hair.
You’re a very busy young lady! How did you get started in the acting business?
I started as an “early bird” dancer with Debbie Allen Dance Academy when I was three years old. It was a wonderful experience. I learned ballet, hip-hop, and tap. When I was in kindergarten I auditioned to be in the school play. I was the only kindergartener that was chosen to be in the production. I was inspired by my drama teacher Ms. Adrian Taylor. She encouraged me to continue to act on stage. From that point on, I have loved acting.
You’ve already worked alongside some very big names. Is there an actor you’d like to work with in the future?
I’ve been very fortunate to work with some amazing actors in my short acting career. There are so many people I’d like to work with. I’d really like to work with my close friends that are actors like me. And I love Keke Palmer and China Anne McClain. I would love to work with Halle Berry!
I enjoyed watching The First Family. Will the show be returning for another season
Yes, the show is currently on the air. It is a first run syndicated show so you have to check your local listings to know when and what channel the show is on. And beginning April 19, The First Family will also air Friday nights at 8:00pm on Centric TV.
When you’re not being fabulous on-screen, what do you do to relax and have fun?
I love to spend time with my close friends and family whenever I can. I particularly like hanging out with my little brother, Blake. We are very close. I also love to play with my American Dolls collection. And I love to write songs and draw.
And now to the good stuff…let’s talk a bit about your hair. It seems that you wear a lot of natural styles like twists and braids. Who does your hair? Do you do anything special to keep it healthy?
My mother and my auntie Carolyn of GiGi’s Beauty Salon in LA usually work together to care for my hair:
- First, we wash and condition with WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner and Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment.
- Next we either allow my hair to air dry or blow it out with warm air.
- Then we put in two-strand twists.
It’s important to keep my hair moisturized. I also sleep with a bonnet or wrap at night on a satin pillow. In the morning I spritz with Not Your Mother’s Rise and Shine Silky Smooth Shine Mist.
Where can your fans expect to see you next? And where can we follow you online?
We are currently filming new episodes of The First Family, which I’m very excited about! They’re hilarious, and we have some great surprise guest-stars coming on the show.
What advice can you give other young, aspiring actors?
I advise anyone who wants to be an actor to follow their dreams. You have to be willing to study and practice. You have to be focused. And never give up, even when you feel down. Just never give up.
Congratulations to Layla on her two 2013 Young Artist Awards nominations for The First Family and Note To Self. Watch The First Family premiere April 19th on Centric at 8/7c.
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