Phifer plays Future, the best friend of Jimmy played by multi-platinum rap star Eminem.
Set against the 1995 hip-hop scene in Detroit, 8 Mile is the story of a young man struggling to find strength and courage to transcend the boundaries that define his life. Future motivates and encourages Jimmy, constantly urging him to utilize his uncanny skill to rap to move towards a better life.
"Future is Jimmy's backbone, pushing him to put his best foot forward and use his talents. He's constantly trying to give him direction. It was a great role for me. It gave me an opportunity to bring realness to the role, the genuine lifestyle of a guy who really loves hip-hop. I grew up in this world, so I had lots to draw on," says Mekhi.
Academy Award-winner Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential) plays Jimmy's mother, the fictional Stephanie, while Brittany Murphy (Clueless, Don't Say a Word) plays his girlfriend Alex. In addition to Phifer, others in Jimmy's crew include Eugene Byrd, Omar Benson Miller and De'Angelo Wilson.
Curtis Hanson (Wonder Boys, L.A. Confidential) directs from a screenplay by Scott Silver. The film is produced by Brian Grazer, Curtis Hanson and Jimmy Iovine. Executive producers are Carol Fenelon, James Whitaker, Gregory Goodman and Paul Rosenberg.
A New York native, Phifer most recently starred opposite Josh Hartnett and Julia Stiles in O and with Gary Sinise in Impostor. He will next be seen in Paid in Full opposite Wood Harris, Chi McBride and Elise Neal. He made his motion picture debut in Spike Lee's Clockers, opposite Harvey Keitel and Delroy Lindo. Soon after that came his starring role in the spoof comedy High School High. In addition, Phifer co-starred in films such as I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and Soul Food. Further film credits include Hell's Kitchen, Tears of a Clown and An Invited Guest, winner of the Audience Award at the 1999 Urban World Festival and the grand prize winner at the Acapulco Film Festival.
Currently, Phifer can be seen as a new series regular on the Emmy Award-winning series, E.R., as Dr. Gregory Pratt, an arrogant intern. Last year he starred in the ABC television movie Brian's Song, as well as playing opposite songstress Beyonce Knowles in MTV's Carmen: A Hip Hopera. In 1999 he starred in HBO's Emmy Award-winning movie, A Lesson Before Dying opposite Don Cheadle and Cicely Tyson, which earned Phifer a NAACP Image Award nomination. His other television credits include starring roles in HBO's The Tuskegee Airmen and Subway Stories, as well as guest appearances on the police dramas Homicide: Life on the Street and New York Undercover.
The future continues to look bright for Phifer, who next stars in the Universal Pictures film, Honey, opposite Jessica Alba and L'il Romeo.
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