Mekhi Phifer Actually Wrote His Emotional Scene In 'Paid In Full'

Revisit the classic scene for the film's 15th anniversary. 

Paid in Full's cult following has helped kept the film thriving, 15 years after its debut.

With today (Oct. 25) marking the movie's 15th anniversary, it's quite hard to ignore Mekhi Phifer's emotional performance as Mitch in the Charles Stone III- directed film. Portraying real-life drug dealer Richard Porter, Phifer's character takes an troubling turn after his son is kidnapped. While opening up to Ace (Wood Harris), Mitch is vulnerable as his kingdom eventually crumbles around him.

An interview Sway In The Morning would later reveal that Phifer's pristine acting skills helped him create the touching scene. "I actually wrote that scene, it wasn't in the movie," he said in 2014. "When I was researching the character, I [spoke] to Rich Porter's sister and one his best friends named Jay Black. They told me about little man, what happened, how they [got] the finger and how they went to the McDonalds to trade for the ransom but by that time, the kid was already dead. But in the [script], it was really just me saying to (Harris), 'Yo A, you got the keys? Okay, one love,' and that was it."

Phifer shared how he wanted to show Mitch's ups as well as the downs of his short life. In reality, it was Porter's 10-year-old brother who was kidnapped and killed in Dec. 1989. Porter died one month later; his body was found with bullet wounds in the Bronx. The actor added he wanted to include just how much the life in the fast lane effects those around drug kingpins.

"I wrote that scene since it needed a character ark," he said. "We didn't want to glorify drug dealing, but show the realness of it and how it hurts people and hurts families. I just felt like in the scene beforehand, he's telling A, 'I love the game, I love the hustle,' So he's feeling all good and then, boom his little man is gone. It puts him into a tailspin and you see what happens."

Ugh, where is this man's Oscar?

Harris, who played Ace (inspired by Azie Faison Jr.), also had several scenes that were improvised. While speaking to the Breakfast Club in February, the veteran actor shared how he ad-libbed the moment where Ace finds out about Mitch's death.

"Stuff like that is not scripted so you have to find the moment," he said. "Just find every moment and when you're in front of the camera and be there moment for moment. You have to be alive for the role. I don't think I would've reacted like that, but I can see him acting like that because there's no words there. It's just said [in the script], 'Ace cries.'"

Check out some more unforgettable scenes from the film below.

"I'm Broke Baby"

"Ni**as Get Shot Everyday B"

"Kermit The Frog"

"Money Making Mitch vs. Ice"

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

An Unofficial Documentary About Drake Is Currently On Streaming Services

An unauthorized documentary about the rise of musician Drake can be viewed on video distribution services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Drake: Rewriting the Rules initially dropped on Vimeo in Nov. 2018, and now, fans of the "God's Plan" musician will have a chance to watch it at their leisure on other platforms.

The documentary chronicles the music superstar from his days growing up in Toronto, to portraying Jimmy on the hit-teen drama Degrassi, to becoming a hip-hop star and working with musicians from Kanye West to his Young Money leader, Lil Wayne.

"Discover the untold story of how Drake rewrote the rules and rose from a child actor to become a cultural phenomenon and global musical icon," writes IMDb of the film's synopsis. "He is the king of pop and hip hop, combining many musical styles into one mainstream sound." The film runs 74 minutes long. Interviews from media figures and writers are included in the doc, which was directed and written by British filmmaker Ray King. However, no representatives from Drake's team are included.

Drake has not commented on the doc as of press time. He has been relatively quiet in the news, however, it's being reported that he is close to securing a residency of sorts at the Wynn's XS Nightclub in Las Vegas.


Continue Reading
Courtesy of Hulu

Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Nason said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.



Continue Reading
Al Bello

Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.


Continue Reading

Top Stories