Toni Braxton’s autistic son will star alongside his mom in her new Lifetime movie, Twist of Faith.
9-year-old Diezel Braxton’s appearance in the movie is his acting debut, and he could have had an even bigger role if it weren’t for pesky school commitments. 45-year-old Toni told Associated Press she was keen to shield her youngest son from the pressure of too much responsibility:
“He was supposed to play my son initially but by the time we worked out the shooting schedule, school had started. Even though he’s considered high functioning right now, he wasn’t in the past, and that’s why I thought him carrying the movie and trying to do the movie and tutoring would have been too much for him.”
Due to the pressures of school, it was decided that Braxton’s autistic son should take a smaller role. The singer and actress says:
“He was a little disappointed at first, but I think in the end, he’s happy about the turnout.”
Braxton, who also has an 11-year-old named Denim, says she is feeling the heat from being Twist of Faith‘s leading star. The singer has tackled small TV and film roles before, but admits being the lead star makes her nervous:
“I never had to carry anything before. It’s a lot of work. Singing is indigenous for me, but acting is not. I’ve had to work to prepare for it. Be nice to me, guys! This is my first real acting debut! There are a few boo-boos. … It’s a lot more technical than I thought.”
Braxton is more famous for a Grammy-winning singing career that spawned hits such as “Un-break My Heart” and “Breathe Again.” She has revealed she is currently recording an album with longtime collaborator Babyface called “Love, Marriage, Divorce.” However, her workload is curtailed because she suffers from lupus, an autoimmune disease.
Despite her health difficulties – she was recently hospitalized for blood clots – Braxton says she is fortunate to still have a career:
“My doctors told me I would never be able to perform again. I’m very lucky that I’m still able to dabble in it a little bit.”
You can watch Braxton’s autistic son Diezel make his acting debut this Saturday on Lifetime at 8pm EST. Here’s a trailer: