Actor Omari Hardwick, best known now for his role as “Ghost” on the Starz hit series, “Power” recently revealed on the talk show, The Real, how tough it was for him when he first left home to pursue his dreams in Hollywood. He was broke, homeless, and had no connections. Until a chance meeting with one of the most powerful men in Hollywood changed his life forever.
“I came out here with not a lot of money. But then I was able to meet Pauletta and Denzel Washington via their oldest son, John David.”
John David, one of the stars of the HBO breakout hit, “Ballers” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
“I worked at Campbell Hall, the high school he went to here in the [Los Angeles] valley. I was substitute teaching and coaching, but mainly became his trainer and his mentor at UCLA on Saturday mornings”
“Pauletta and Denzel were like my surrogate Aunt and Uncle. They gave me shelter when I didn’t have a place to stay. Through them I was able to still go to acting classes 6 hours a week and halfway pursue being a firefighter as a backup. But it was the day that I was offered to be a firefighter, that I got offered my first job from Spike Lee.”
His first acting role was a big deal. Hardwick filmed in San Francisco with promises of the show’s pilot turning into a series for Showtime networks, but it never happened. So it left Hardwick back out on the streets again. Literally.
“So right after that I was broke. Completely broke. Living in my car. My mom and dad said, ‘I love you but you not coming back here’. So my Pops and mom rounded up about $2,500 for me and Pauletta…got permission from Denzel, but she paid off my car enough not to be repossessed. So when I finally paid them back for that, it was a big deal–for me and them. They even framed that check.”
“So then I just kept my foot to the grind and here I am now.”
Here is the excerpt of the interview:
But the interesting thing is that because of the Washington family paying it forward, Omari did the same thing with a young actor a few years ago, the one and only Michael B. Jordan who is now riding his Hollywood star all the way to the top. See what Omari and Michael talked about in a meeting that Michael called Omari to to share their mutual respect. Omari shares in a instagram post:
Omari ends his post with:
“Tonight i am not next to you as i was at that hollywood bar almost a decade ago or on the carpet…a desire of us both. But i am here to share my #Creed to you: I AM ALWAYS NEXT TO YOU…@michaelbjordan “