The former “E.R.” doctor plays strapping CIA agent Rex Matheson in the BBC-turned-STARZ sci-fi series, tasked to help unravel the mystery of why no one, anywhere on earth, is dying.
The handsome father of two says the London-shot adrenaline-packed show — which co-stars Bill Pullman and Lauren Ambrose — is like “24” meets “X-Files.”
“It’s like ‘24’ because it has a continuous storyline ,” explains the 37-year-old former aspiring rapper, speaking from the American Black Film Festival in Miami, where he’s there to promote the web site ThirdReel.com. “And it’s like ‘X-Files’ because it’s just crazy – people are being shot in the head, getting hit by rocket launchers, the whole nine – but somehow they’re still alive. I’m helping my team get to the bottom of why.”
One thing female fans may want to get to the bottom of is why a man this fine is single. Once married (to fellow actor Malinda Williams) and then engaged four years ago to his youngest son’s mom, the former “Eight Mile” star says he’s open to tying the knot again – when he meets the right girl.
“I’m like the United Colors of Benetton with it,” he laughs when asked to describe his ‘type’. “I’m international with it. I’m not locked into any one thing. I don’t like skinny per se, or necessarily light-skinned or dark skinned [women]. I’ve dated Latinas and [women of other cultures] … at the end of the day it’s all about works best for me.” But, he adds, “I always love my sistas.”
In fact, he’s encouraging all of them to make a date with him in August, when his next film, “Flypaper,” with Patrick Dempsey and Ashley Judd, comes out. “It’s a bank heist movie about two crews that try to rob the same bank on the same day,” he reports. “A definite must see.”
In the meantime Phifer urges fans to get up close and personal with his new behind-the-scenes venture ThirdReel.com. “We’re basically an online movie theater,” he says proudly, “providing free or low-cost content by filmmakers who wouldn’t have a venue for their work otherwise. It’s nothing like YouTube – you won’t see any skateboarders bruising [their body parts] on a handrail! We offer serious content – movies that may not have made it into Sundance, as well as dope new stand-up comedians, documentaries and actors’ reels. It’s a game-changer.”