R&B diva Toni Braxton always had thought about acting, but she really caught the bug starring as Belle as "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway a few years back. Now, she's easing into Hollywood with

R&B diva Toni Braxton always had thought about acting, but she really caught the bug starring as Belle as "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway a few years back. Now, she's easing into Hollywood with a small but colorful role in the 20th Century Fox film "Kingdom Come."

The cast includes Whoopi Goldberg, LL Cool J, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Vivica A. Fox in a farce about a dysfunctional family gathering for a funeral. Braxton plays a materialistic relative who has married well and likes to flaunt it.

"I'm not an actress. I don't even want to take the title. But I'm trying to become one," Braxton said. "I need to learn, and this was a great place to learn with all these established actors."

"Kingdom Come" director Doug McHenry said Braxton hurled her self into the part, working with her acting coach on set and developing good rapport with the other actors. There was talk of putting her on the movie's gospel-themed soundtrack, but Braxton wanted the focus to be on her acting.

"I wanted people to know I was serious, that I wasn't playing games, Braxton said. "People might be like, 'Oh, she's on the soundtrack; that's why she's in the movie.' My manager said, 'We don't want to be on the soundtrack. People know she can sing. Let's let people look at her as an actress.'"

On the music front, the artist says she plans to in August release the first single off of her forthcoming fourth studio album, due out late in the year. Braxton won the best female R&B vocal performance Grammy for "He Wasn't Man Enough," from her 2000 album "The Heat."

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