In the Lifetime movie Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story, seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer Toni Braxton plays real-life struggling single mom Antoinette Tuff. Tuff was working as a bookkeeper at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia on August 20, 2013, when a deranged gunman entered the building. When the school went into lockdown, Tuff was left alone with the gunman in the front office. After many harrowing hours, Tuff managed to convince him to surrender. She says her faith in God guided her through and prepared her for the crisis.
Braxton leaves her usual glamorous self behind for this project and it pays off. She delivers a powerful performance as the courageous Antoinette Tuff. When Tuff negotiates with the gunman and delivers the line, “You don’t have to do this, son,” you utterly forget you’re watching Toni Braxton. It is an Emmy-worthy performance for sure. Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story also stars Yaya DaCosta (Whitney) as 911 operator Kendra McCray, and Malik Yoba (Empire) as Sergeant Franklin. Antoinette Tuff’s son Derrick, who was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, is portrayed in the film by Shalaby Omar (Doubt), a young actor with spina bifida. Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story premieres on Lifetime on Saturday, January 27 at 8pm. Braxton gives an amazing performance, filled with wisdom and principled compassion.