It appears that Netflix has another big hit on their hands with the new series “Raising Dion” which was released under Netflix kids and family division. One of the breakout stars of this new series is a 9-year-old actress who uses a wheelchair.
Sammi Haney plays the character, Esperanza in the new Netflix series which premiered on October 4th. In a post for TheMighty.com Haney describes her character as a bright classmate of Dion who has brittle bone disease (which she also has in real life.) An artist who is wise beyond her years she looks out for Dion in an endearing manner and though it takes a while Dion grows to realize she is his best friend.
My parents were told I got the part because when the casting directors watched my audition tape I made everyone in the room laugh, and they loved my sassy personality. My wheelchair is not what got me the part. Hopefully by being on Netflix’s “Raising Dion” I will be able to help remove the stigma that people with disabilities cannot star in a major drama series.
“Raising Dion” follows the story of Nicole Reese (Alisha Wainwright), who raises her son Dion (Ja’Siah Young) after the death of her husband Mark (Michael B. Jordan). The normal dramas of raising a son as a single mom are amplified when Dion starts to manifest several magical, superhero-like abilities. Nicole must now keep her son’s gifts secret with the help of Mark’s best friend Pat (Jason Ritter), and protect Dion from antagonists out to exploit him while figuring out the origin of his abilities.