Mekhi Phifer as Max

Mekhi Phifer as Max

*Mekhi Phifer is like you have never seen him before in “Allegiant.”

Those who have seen “Allegiant” know what I’m talking about and those who have not  will agree when they see it.

On the subject of the “Divergent” franchise, Phifer is very proud and considering the state of blacks with roles in Hollywood, he very well should be.

“My character Max is the leader of the Dauntless faction, which is basically the police or Marines of that world,” he explained.

“He is sort of not only a protector of that society but [there] to enforce the laws that have been created order to enable that society to thrive,” he continued. “So he was pretty important and instrumental in Tris (Shailene Woodley) and all those people becoming Dauntless.”

You first came on the scene with “Clockers,” but the following year you appeared in that great HBO movie, “The Tuskegee Airmen”—

Wow, you remember that?

Of course, the Tuskegee Airmen were some extraordinary heroes. And since then, you carved out an impressive career. Did the “Divergent” series open any doors for you?

Nah, I’ve been opening doors since the start of my career in 1994. This is just another notch in my belt. I think you just have to be consistent and do good work and you open your own doors.

Can you talk about some of your exciting upcoming projects?

‘Roots’ will be coming out in late May or early June. I have the film ‘Pandemic’ coming out, another show called ‘Secret City,’ that was filmed in Australia and I’m shooting a pilot right now called ‘Frequency.’

Is ‘Frequency’ based on that fantastic film with Jim Caviezel, Andre Braugher and Dennis Quaid?

It’s kind of a derivative of that. It’s really well written and has a really great cast.

How has your journey been up to this point?

I sort of been pushing the envelope and creating a body of work that one could look at and see the diverse amount of characters and diverse amount of choices that this person has made. So I think for me, just trying not to be pigeon holed or typecast in any way.

 “Allegiant,” directed by Robert Schwentke, also stars Octavia Spencer, Theo James, Zoe Kravitz, Keiynan Lonsdale; who now stars in the TV series “The Flash,” Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, and Jeff Daniels, is in theater now.

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Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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