Mahershala Ali first appeared in the crime drama television series ‘Crossing Jordan’ in 2001. He played the role of ‘Dr. Trey Sanders’ in the series and remained a part of the show till 2002. After appearing in television series, such as ‘Haunted’ (2002), ‘NYPD Blue’ (2002), ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ (2003), and ‘Threat Matrix’ (2003-2004), Ali got his breakthrough role as 'Richard Tyler' in the science fiction series ‘The 4400’ (2004 – 2007).
Mahershala Ali made his big-screen debut in the 2008 fantasy romantic drama film ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ directed by David Fincher. The film was praised by critics and was a box office success. After his successful debut, Ali went on to star in films like ‘Crossing Over’ (2009), ‘Predators’ (2010), ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ (2012), and ‘Go for Sisters’ (2013).
In 2014, Ali starred as ‘Boggs’ in the dystopian science fiction adventure film ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I.’ The film was a tremendous success at the box office and went on to become the fifth highest-grossing film of 2014. Mahershala Ali reprised his role as ‘Boggs’ in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ (2015). The year 2016 saw the release of the coming-of-age drama film ‘Moonlight’ in which Ali played the character of Juan, a drug dealer. The role proved to be one of the most successful in his career and earned him many awards, including an ‘Academy Award,’ and a ‘Golden Globe Award.’
Mahershala Ali won his second ‘Academy Award’ for his performance as ‘Don Shirley’ in the 2018 biographical comedy-drama film 'Green Book.' The film earned universal acclaim upon its release and was a phenomenal success at the box office. Ali was last seen in the 2019 cyberpunk action film ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ directed by Robert Rodriguez.
He is all set to appear in the upcoming Benjamin Cleary-directed science-fiction drama film 'Swan Song.’ He will also be seen in the upcoming Marvel superhero film ‘Blade.’