Born Mekai Matthew Curtis under the sign of Libra on 14 October 2000, in New Jersey USA, Mekai Curtis is a 23-year-old African-American actor. He’s probably best recognized across the globe thanks to having portrayed Kanan Stark in the wildly successful “Power Book III: Raising Kanan.” He has also had a number of other successes over the course of his often lucrative acting career since 2013.
Early life & education: Who is his dad?
Mekai was raised alongside his three younger brothers – Kezii, Jesigh and Zemhye – by their father Paul Curtis and mother Hadassah Curtis, of unknown professions. What can be said for certain is that they definitely didn’t shy away from supporting their children’s dreams, since Mekai was able to get involved with acting very early on, at his own request. Chasing this passion started out as attendance at various local workshops, though his ambition couldn’t be contained for long, and the family eventually moved to California while he was still young so as to fully develop his talents.
Curtis was already a well-established child actor by the time he’d reached his high school years, taking the time to attend all acting-related extra-curricular activities, while also being diligent towards his academic obligations. While there’s no information to confirm this claim, worldwide audiences believe that he never fostered aspirations for obtaining a college degree, doing his utmost to matriculate in 2018, and then become a fully-fledged actor.
Career: A child star
This particular would-be celebrity started his career earlier than most actors, appearing in various TV and radio commercials through various agencies before he was even seven years old. He resumed this practice for a while, after his family moved to California, and that’s where the channel Nick Jr. employed him to do a commercial for “The Three Little Pigs” in 2007, allowing significantly more exposure. He went on a natural hiatus for six years after that, debuting as Brick in James Pillion’s short film entitled “Bug” in 2013. His first appearance in a TV series occurred in the same year, as he was cast in the part of Irving in an episode of “Arrested Development.”
In 2014, he was seen playing the role of Paul Dumphy in the family comedy film “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Despite the mixed reviews, the film provided Mekai with valuable experience alongside seasoned actors such as Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell. In the same year, Curtis guest-starred as Felix Shumpert in the TV series “Girl Meets World.” The show’s 7.1 rating as a spin-off of the beloved “Boy Meets World” offered the young actor a chance to shine in front of a much greater audience than earlier, further boosting his standing in the industry.
The budding actor’s breakthrough ultimately came with the portrayal of Fish Fisher in the TV family comedy series entitled “Kirby Buckets,” in which he stayed for 59 episodes, from 2014 to 2017. The show had unfortunately not managed to captivate the audience, leading to an abysmal 4.9 overall rating. Throughout the filming, he found a place among a much higher-rated cast, voicing Zack Underwood in the animated TV series under the title of “Milo Murphy’s Law,” in which he remained for three years, from 2016 to 2019. This performance was nominated for a joint 2017 BTVA Television Voice Acting Award in the Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series category.
He realized three roles in 2018 after another one in 2017, the most significant being that of Cooper in five episodes of “Overnights.” It wasn’t until 2021, however, that his talent fully shone through, as he was chosen to play the titular character of “Power Book III: Raising Kanan.” This is for many reasons a dream role for any aspiring actor, though one that can only be realized by an African-American, as it is that of a young Kanan Stark, the character of Curtis Jackson, much better known as ’50 Cent,’ in the original “Power” series. Mekai has already been seen in all of the 20 episodes released thus far, and is set to feature in the coming 10 as well, starting on 1 December 2023. For as long as this show continues, Kanan’s influence on the global stage will undoubtedly continue to develop at a rate yet unprecedented in his career.
Seeing as the production team does their utmost to make Mekai look like the younger version of 50 Cent, it made sense for some fans to assume that the two could share some sort of familial bond, but this is far from the case. In fact, they met on the set of “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” as attested to by both celebrities during an interview.
The actor began by recounting how he initially came across the audition for the series, admitting that he didn’t realize at first that it was specifically for the title in question. He proceeded with the audition process, unaware that he was about to step into the shoes of a character developed by the iconic 50 Cent. The revelation came during his last tryout, marking the beginning of his collaboration with the renowned rapper and producer. Having been a fan of “Power” before joining the cast, Mekai expressed his excitement at the opportunity to explore the character of Kanan. He acknowledged the pressure associated with portraying a character originated by 50 Cent, pointing out the need to uphold the intensity and grit that the rapper brought to the role.
The interview delved into the preparation process, shedding some light on the actor’s commitment to understanding both 50 Cent as a person and Kanan as a character. Curtis described sessions with Doug, the show’s dialect coach, where they would analyze videos of Kanan to grasp his mental state. They additionally studied 50 Cent’s interviews, paying attention to mannerisms, such as the way he walked and talked. Mekai even shared a personal anecdote about discovering a detail in his own performance related to 50 Cent’s unique way of speaking.
An important aspect highlighted in the interview was the meticulous attention to detail in the show, whereby Curtis praised the production team for capturing the essence of the ‘90s era, from clothing to the overall atmosphere. This dedication to authenticity, according to Curtis, contributed in great part to the show’s outstanding success.
The conversation then shifted to the reception of “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” and its impact on global viewership. Curtis expressed his delight at being recognized and appreciated by various influential figures in the entertainment industry – a feeling that had been completely foreign to him until this series’ release. He recounted instances in which celebrities including Snoop Dogg and LeBron James expressed their addiction to the show, which was a more-than-needed tap on the back for the still budding actor, as well as the entire production team.
Mekai ultimately reflected on the show’s trajectory, noting the increase in viewership during the offshoot’s season. He speculated on the series’ future success, expressing confidence that the “Power” franchise would continue to captivate audiences as it has been so far.
The star-spangled road
On 14 June 2023, The Hollywood Reporter informed the world that the young actor’s future is now more secure than ever, seeing as he signed a contract with the world-renowned Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) – one of the most prominent talent agencies on the planet. This move aligns with APA’s ongoing commitment to nurture talents associated with the “Power” franchise, spearheaded by 50 Cent himself, who is not only the executive producer of the series, but also a client of APA.
With the third season of the series recently concluding, Starz is expected to greenlight a fourth, solidifying Curtis’s presence in the “Power” universe. APA’s representation of Curtis is also somewhat of a political statement in the contemporary world, serving to display their dedication to fostering both emerging and established talents affiliated with “Power” and 50 Cent’s production banner, G Unit Film & TV.
Mekai continues to be under the management of Untitled while APA takes charge of his representation, with Walter Mosley serving as his legal counsel. This collaboration positions Curtis within an influential network of industry professionals, setting the stage for further strides in his ever-developing career.
Love life: Does he have a girlfriend?
While there’s no doubt that numerous female celebrities are rather impressed by the work ethic and sheer acting talent Mekai has displaye throughout the duration of his most important project, it remains to be seen whether any of them catch his eye. The media outlets have thus far been unable to detect even a glimpse of more-than-friendly affection showing in Mekai’s behavior towards anyone in particular, meaning that he’s most likely single as of late 2023, while not even one of his former relationships is known about either.
What is his net worth?
Some of today’s most reputable media outlets have estimated Mekai Curtis’ total accumulated wealth at as high $5 million. It goes without saying that most of this sum was made playing Kanan Stark in the now ubiquitous series, and all of his prior earnings very likely pale in comparison to even season one’s boost to his wallet. As the third season nears release and a fourth one is most likely in the making, the stated amount can be expected to grow in the next few years.
Body measurements: What is his height?
Mekai Curtis stands at 5ft 8ins (172cms) tall, and weighs around 154lbs (70kgs). He has somewhat curly pitch-black hair and dark brown eyes, is of a generally darker complexion, and his build is most often described as athletic.