Toni Braxton officially retiring from music; wants to play lesbian on film

Toni Braxton is turning a new chapter in her career and retiring from being a recording artist.

The eight-time Grammy-Award-winning songstress told theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon that she no longer wants to record new music and will now focus her attention on acting.

“For what I do I have to love it. I have to feel that excitement and it’s gone,” Braxton confessed. “I’m just not going to do any albums anymore; maybe touring occasionally here and there because I love performing, but not as much as I did in the past. But no new projects.”

Saturday Braxton will star for the first time as a leading lady in Lifetime’s Twist of Faith, a film about a single mother who is the lead singer of a small gospel choir and falls in love with an Orthodox Jewish man.  The “Un-Break My Heart” singer stars alongside David Julian Hirsh and Mykelti Williamson, who is best known for his role as Benjamin Buford Blue in Forrest Gump.

Braxton’s 9-year-old autistic son Diesel makes his acting debut in the film, and could have had a bigger role, but she says she didn’t want to make him feel under pressure.

“We had originally talked about him playing my son in the movie but I thought it was just too much for him. He’s autistic, high functioning, but still I thought it was too much his first endeavor.”

Braxton’s last major film role was in 2002’s Kingdom Come, which also starred LL Cool J, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Vivica A. Fox, and Loretta Devine.

She has no new movies in the works, but Braxton revealed her dream role is to play a lesbian on the big screen.

“I would like to play a lesbian,” she said. “I don’t know why. And do a whole make-out scene and the whole thing; just something completely different than people would expect from me. Not a lipstick lesbian, either.”

Aside from Twist of Faith, fans of Braxton can see her on We tv’s hit reality series Braxton Family Values, (season 3 premiering March 14) where she stars alongside her four sisters and mother. However she does not like being referred to as a reality star.

“I hate to have reality star behind my name,” Braxton said.  “That’s just not what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

“For me it’s challenging because the artists that I grew up to be; me, the late great Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, we were taught to be aloof. No one needs to know about your life. But now in the age of reality you have to talk about your life and expose it.”

Twist of Faith premieres on Lifetime February Saturday at 8/7c.

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC