Mekhi Phifer has captured the attention of critics and audiences alike with performances that cross all cinematic genres, from gritty urban dramas to heartwarming romantic comedies. Born and raised in New York, Phifer’s acting career began when he auditioned at an open casting call for director Spike Lee’s “Clockers” and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel, John Turturro and Delroy Lindo, Phifer garnered critical acclaim for his compelling performance as “Strike,” a young New Jersey drug dealer involved in a murder cover-up.
Phifer can currently be seen in the feature film “Divergent,” based on the popular book series by Veronica Roth. Most recently, he was seen on Showtime’s “House of Lies.” Previously, Phifer starred on the Starz! series “Torchwood” and on the FOX series “Lie To Me.” Recent films include “Flypaper” and “Close Quarters.” Phifer’s film resume includes a starring role in the remake of the top grossing 1978 horror classic “Dawn of the Dead,” opposite Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames. In the fall of 2002, he starred as “Future,” opposite Eminem, Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger in the critically acclaimed film “8 Mile,” as well as in “Paid in Full.” Phifer also appeared in “O,” based on Shakespeare’s Othello, “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Soul Food,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Tears of a Clown,” “Uninvited Guest” and “Imposter.” In June of 2002, he was honored by the American Black Film Festival, receiving the organization’s “Rising Star” Award.
In 2002, Phifer added television to his list of growing credits with a starring role on the Emmy Award-winning series, “ER” as “Dr. Gregory Pratt” for which he has received two NAACP Image Awards (2004 and 2005) for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Other television credits include the MTV film “Carmen: A Hip Hopera,” in which he did all his own rap work and starred opposite Beyonce Knowles. Phifer appeared in the Emmy Award-winning HBO movie “A Lesson Before Dying,” for which he received an NAACP Image Award nomination. He also starred as NFL Hall Of Famer Gale Sayers in the ABC television special Brian’s Song and appeared in the celebrated HBO film “The Tuskegee Airmen.” Phifer has also made guest appearances on “White Collar,” “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “New York Undercover.”
Phifer along with writer/producer/actor Ronnie Warner announced the formation of two production companies, Facilitator Films and Facilitator Music. The company’s first project was the film “Puff, Puff, Pass.” Marking Phifer’s directorial debut, the comedy was acquired by SONY and released on DVD in May, 2007. Phifer and Warner have completed several other film projects under the Facilitator Films banner. They have partnered with Clint Culpepper of Sony Screen Gems to executive produce “This Christmas” starring Delroy Lindo, Regina King, Nia Long, Loretta Devine, Chris Brown and Idris Elba released in 2007. They also partnered with Jeff Clanagan of Universal/Code Black for distribution of theatrical and DVD releases. Phifer and Warner, along with music producer, Todd Mushaw, whose production credits include Kelly Rowland, Dr. Dre, Game, Destiny’s Child, also have launched Facilitator Music, and recently signed their first artist Face, a Virginia based rapper.
Phifer most recently made his Broadway debut alongside Dule Hill, Tracie Thoms, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Condola Rashad in Lydia R. Diamond’s critically acclaimed play “Stick Fly,” produced by Alicia Keys and directed by Kenny Leon.
Pfifer currently resides in Los Angeles.