Cliff filmed his part as Pablo Escobar in the film Blow in just three days.
At the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, Miramax Films bought U.S. distribution rights to Cliff's first feature film Eagle vs. Shark.
Cliff co-produced the short film "Two Cars, One Night" which received an Academy Award nomination in 2005.
In 2004, Cliff, with producer Ainsley Gardiner, formed the independent film production company Whenua Films.
During production of River Queen, Cliff crashed his car into a house while answering a cellphone text message. He escaped with only minor injuries.
Cliff enrolled at the New Zealand Drama School and then the Teatro Dmitri Scoula in Switzerland.
Cliff has eight siblings.
Cliff starred in two separate films entitled "Fracture" and played a detective in both.
Although Cliff is of Maori descent, he has only played a Maori in a couple of movies. He has been cast as many other dark-skinned nationalities having played, among others, Mexican-Americans, Colombians and Arabs.
Cliff is 6'0½" (1.84 m).
Cliff: Maybe when I'm in my 70s, I'll get a Ph.D. and become an economist philosopher.
Cliff: (On his role in Runaway Jury) That's my foot over there next to Dustin Hoffman as he walks past and talks to Gene Hackman.
Cliff: If you're a Maori actor and someone comes to you with a part in the adaptation of The Whale Rider, mate, you go.
Cliff (on Whale Rider): I've been waiting for this film for a long time. It's fun to go off and put on a disguise and pretend to be someone else, but to be able to get back to myself and my culture, that was just more than really nice, y'know - it was vital.
Cliff: It would be my ideal world if I could do two movies like that [Whale Rider and Spooked] a year here - and finally get a job with Peter Jackson, but not playing an orc necessarily. If I could do that, I would be a very happy man.
Cliff: I'm not a celebrity. I don't have a public following; people don't go to see Cliff Curtis movies.
Cliff: I put a thing out to my agent saying, 'Let's try a year where I don't play a terrorist or drug dealer, where I don't kill anybody, and see what happens'.