Born and raised in New York with his twin brother, Mekhi (pronounced Meck-high) Phifer had never seriously pursued any acting ambitions until he and his cousin answered Spike Lee's open casting call for Clockers. Mekhi's audition won him the part of Strike, a crack dealer suspected in a murder investigation in the projects of Brooklyn. Mekhi s commanding performance marked a powerful debut and won him much critical praise as well as a host of other offers.
Following the success surrounding his debut, Mekhi appeared in The Tuskegee Airmen, a powerful television drama starring Laurence Fishburne.
Movie audiences began to recognize Mekhi for his roles in the moderately successful ensemble drama Soul Food and in the inevitable horror sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
His talent was recognized after completing the telefilm, A Lesson Before Dying. Based on the best-selling novel by Ernest J. Gaines, the film cast Mekhi as Jefferson, a small town black youth wrongly accused of killing a white storeowner. For his powerful performance he was nominated by the Image awards for Outstanding Actor in a TV movie.
Mekhi is also the chief adviser to a start-up talent agency and has appeared in a number of music videos including The Boy is Mine by Brandy and Monica; Don't let go from En Vogue; and Nobody for Keith Sweats. He is interested in rapping, and wants to work on his own albums.
At the start of the new millennium, Mekhi appeared in a number of films including O, based on Shakespeare's Othello, starring Julia Stiles and Josh Hartnett; and the thriller, Head Games (2001). He went on to appear in 8 Mile (2002) starring Eminem, Honey (2003) with Jessica Alba and Dawn of the Dead (2004) with Sarah Polley. In 2002 he accepted the regular role of Dr. Greg Pratt on the hit series ER, for which he received two more Image award nominations in 2003 and 2004.
He also played the role of Max in Divergent (2014) and in the sequel, The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015). Most recently, he played the lead role in the suspense thriller Obsession (2019).
Mekhi has also kept busy on the small screen, with regular roles on series such as House of Lies in 2014, the Australian series Secret City in 2016, the CW drama Frequency from 2016 to 2017, and the role of Tommy Brown, Bobby Brown's (former husband of Whitney Houston) best friend in the 2018 mini-series The Bobby Brown Story. Most recently, he played Markus on the Apple+ series Truth Be Told (2019).
Mekhi has a son with his ex-wife, actress Malinda Williams. In 2013, he married Reshelet Barnes.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016)
The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015)
Slow Burn (2004)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
8 Mile (2002)
Paid in Full (2002)
Head Games (2001)
An Invited Guest (1999)
Lover Man (1998)
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)
Hell's Kitchen (1998)
Soul Food (1997)
Hav Plenty (1997)
High School High (1996)
Girl 6 (1996) (uncredited)