Power star Omari Hardwick is featured in the July/August 2018 issue of EBONY Magazine.
Killer, drug kingpin, husband with a girlfriend on the side, and built like Black Superman—now that’s a man without a confidence problem. But that’s James “Ghost” St. Patrick, the alter ego-packed protagonist Omari Hardwick portrays on the Starz crime drama Power.
Hardwick’s real-life story is very different. He discussed his own dance with power recently between bites of his pasta, chicken and string beans lunch following his EBONY cover photo shoot in Brooklyn, New York. As a kid, Hardwick, 44, dreamed of a professional sports career after receiving a football scholarship from the University of Georgia. “I had moxie and confidence as an athlete, but I was masked with 60 other athletes on the football team,” Hardwick says. When not playing a leading role, “I was masked by 50 other people on the set.”
After a professional football career didn’t happen, Hardwick went hard into acting—paying for acting classes by working many jobs at once. He was a substitute teacher and coach at Campbell Hall, an Episcopal day school in the Studio City area of Los Angeles. He sold women’s shoes at Nordstrom, worked catering halls and did security gigs “when I still had 200 pounds of football weight on me.”
On Power, Hardwick plays a man attempting to cut ties with the drug world, where he is known as Ghost, and become legitimate businessman James St. Patrick, while trying to rekindle his relationship with his high school sweetheart (who calls him “Jamie”). Hardwick says, “The show has been good for me.”
Still, Hardwick says he’s doing what he can to make some things better. “I was always involved in giving back to the community, and I always felt I could give back in time, not necessarily money,” he explains, emphasizing that time spent with his children and with other young people is more valuable to them.
The Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network is an after-school spoken-word poetry program free to students in Florida attending Broward, Dade and Palm Beach County schools. Through the Real to Reel film competition, Hardwick helps celebrate aspiring Black filmmakers who are at least 21 years old. The winner receives a private screening of their work and $10,000.
Power airs Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.
Photography: Dennis Leupold / Stylist: Ashley Pruitt / Barber: Johnny Cakes / Grooming: Aanita Gibson