Mekhi Phifer Gets Candid About 'Bucket List' Items While Raising Awareness for Teachers (Exclusive)

Mekhi Phifer, best known for his roles in box office hits like 8 Mile and Paid In Full, along with the hit show ER, has had a long list of successes on his resume that shine a light on his talents. But there are professions outside of Hollywood the actor wants to accomplish too. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Phifer revealed two things he still really wants to learn while he can.

"I wanna be an airline pilot — I wanna be a pilot. I wanna know how to fly a plane," he confessed in our PopCulture @ Home series. "I wanna know how to fly a helicopter and I wanna become a certified chef. That's in my bucket list things." It's natural to assume he enjoys cooking after stating his desire, so when asked for further details of what exactly he already appreciates about cooking, he listed a few menu items.

"There's a number of things. I like to cook salmon, I like to cook a big chicken, things like that," he continued. "You know, I'd like to do crab legs — I like to do, you know, all kinds of stuff. I mean, I'm all over the place. I like to make my rice the way I like to make it. I make my potatoes, you know, the whole set, bang bang! You know, just comfort food, but healthy still at the same time."

While he plans on sitting in the passenger seat a little while longer on both of those, he is in the driver's seat when it comes to educating the public about teachers and how much they do for their students. In fact, he recently partnered with Nutri-Grain as a way to raise awareness, sharing how the collaboration is one stemming from his own personal admiration. "My mother was a school teacher," he said. "She taught for almost 30 years and I remember family members, my uncles, and a couple of uncles and one of my aunts was a school teacher. So it's kind of embedded in my blood to get that message out there and to teach to be an asset if you will to your community."

Teachers and students alike have been hurting since the beginning of the pandemic. Thousands of students across the United States rely heavily on school meals to get by as some families struggle to put food on the table leaving kids and parents with little options. That's why Nutri-Grain is handing out 1 million bars to teachers because 60% of teachers estimate spending an average of $300 per year of their own money on just snacks alone.

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Every year, each teacher ends up spending a big portion of their own paychecks on school supplies and classroom decorations, so Nutri-Grain wanted to ease their minds a little by at least providing some free and nutritious snacks. Phifer continued: "I mean, a lot of teachers deserve more credit than what they [are given]. Obviously, they deserve higher pay, more support."

For more on Mekhi Phifer and your other favorite celebrities, keep it right here at PopCulture.com.