Laya Deleon Hayes has been acting, singing and dancing since she was 5 years old. Now, at the age of 16, the rising star has built an impressive body of work in such a short period of time. Hayes impressed the world voicing the titular role in the BAFTA, Emmy and Peabody Award-nominated animated series, Doc McStuffins, which earned her a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance.
Hayes has established a successful voice over career, garnering roles in Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie, and most recently, she voiced the Iron Maiden in the popular video game series League of Legends.
Although in the early stages of her acting career, the young actress is no stranger to television after making her debut on the Grey’s Anatomy episode, “Thriller.” Proving she’s ready to take this industry by storm, you can now catch Hayes playing the teenage daughter of the legendary Queen Latifah, Delilah McCall, on CBS’s reboot of The Equalizer.
BeenWorthy spoke with Hayes about her well deserved NAACP win. What made us proud is that through using her voice in Doc McStuffins, she’s been able to inspire so many black and brown children all over the world. We know that there is so much power in our voice, and Hayes doesn’t take that lightly.
We asked the young performer to recall the moment she recognized the power of her voice and how it’s impacted her life personally. “With finding my own voice, honestly, I feel like it’s just been a constant journey,” said Hayes. “When you’re growing up, especially when you’re in this industry and you are a black girl or a biracial girl like I am, you’re always having to go through that constant battle of not only trying to find yourself, but also trying to make sure you’re representing yourself in a good way. I’m very fortunate that with the roles I’ve been able to be apart of, like Doc McStuffins, I’ve been able to kind of represent that type of little black girl that I know I’ve always wanted to see on television as well”.
Young and gifted, we know that Laya DeLeon Hayes has a very bright future ahead. We look forward to supporting her career every step of the way.
Check out our full interview with Hayes in the video above. Remember to watch Hayes Sundays on CBS’s The Equalizer at 8/7c.