MEKHI PHIFER was already familiar with Othello, as he was a big fan of
the Lawrence Fishburne film version of Shakespeare's great tragedy. He was
excited to be offered a leading role in a script that did such an excellent job
of bringing the characters and themes into the present day.
"I knew the Othello story already, and this script just followed it to a
'tee,' but modernized it. When I first read it I fell in love with it. What
Shakespeare wrote is timeless. He knew how to add love, and trials and tribulations,
heartache and passion, and a lot of other human qualities that we all have and just
make it into a work of art. But if you change up the language a little bit and
make it more accessible to the general public, I think people will be able to
relate to it a lot more."
Born and raised in New York City, Phifer stared acting when he went on an
open casting call for Spike Lee's CLOCKERS and won the lead role. Starring
opposite Harvey Keitel, Johhn Turturro and Delro Lindo, Phifer garnered critical
acclaim for his compelling performance as Strike, a young New Jersey drug dealer
involved in a murder cover-up. Following his impressive screen debut, Phifer appeared
in the comedy spoof HIGH SCHOOL HIGH.
Phifer was recently seen starring in I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
and the HBO original move A LESSON BEFORE DYING, opposite Don Cheadle and Cicle
Tyson. In the film, based on Ernest Gaines' best-selling novel, Phifer stars a s
ayoung man wrongly accused of murder who is sent to death row. Phifer was also
seen in the successful family drama SOUL FOOD, as Lem, an ex-convict struggling
to land a decent job and become accepted by his wife's family.
Phifer's television credits include starring roles in the HBO Original Film
THE TUSKEGG AIRMEN and SUBWAY STORIES, as well a guest appearances on the police
dramas HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET and NEW YORK UNDERCOVER. Mekhi was most
recently seen in MTV'S CARMEN: A HIP HOPERA.
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