Omari Hardwick’s Instagram via @omarihardwickofficial, retrieved 2-11-16
Omari Hardwick’s Instagram via @omarihardwickofficial, retrieved 2-11-16

You may know Omari Hardwick from films like Ava Duvernay’s I Will Follow, as Andre on BET’s “Being Mary Jane” or most recently his role as Ghost on Starz’ “Power.” The married father of one is a rising star in Hollywood but he came from very humble beginnings.

During a recent interview with The Real’s Loni Love, Omari shared how he got started in Hollywood and how a living legend helped him during a dark time. Hardwick was a substitute teacher and high school coach where he met John David Washington (HBO’s Ballers), the son of Denzel Washington while training him and other players. During this time, Omari met actor and living legend Denzel Washington and became close with the entire family.

Omari goes on to explain how both Denzel and his wife Pauletta got him through his tough time in his beginnings of living in Hollywood,

They perfectly and appropriately didn’t help me out. They gave me shelter when I didn’t have a place to stay or whatever but they sort of allowed me to be close enough to the family so I sort of transitioned into getting an agent…the whole thing…doing all these odd jobs.”

The actor also shared that he was once so broke that he couldn’t even afford his car payments and was in danger of being repossessed until Denzel and his wife stepped in, along with his parents, to pay off his car.

Once Omari got back onto his feet, the actor promptly paid the couple back and they framed his check because of how proud they were of him.

Did you know  Omari Hardwick also was training to become a firefighter but turned down the opportunity when he offered a role on Spike Lee’s movie, Sucker Free City?

Stories like these shows the importance of our community empowering one another in our dreams and never giving up on ourselves. Go Denzel!

Check out the complete interview:

Written by: Jnelle Belle


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