Omari Hardwick is known today for his striking acting roles in the likes of Power and formerly Being Mary Jane, but few know the actor's backstory, which surprisingly includes a mentor in Oscar winner Denzel Washington.
Hardwick sat down with The Real's Loni Love where he dished on his start in the business. The actor said before he made it to Hollywood, he was a substitute teacher and a high school football coach, who did firefighting on the side.
He hit a low point in both his life and career when he turned down a full-time firefighting gig for what he thought would be his big break in a Spike Lee project. After the project failed to get picked up, he was left homeless. This is where he met Washington's oldest son, John David, and once he formed a relationship with him, his famous parents also became instrumental parts in his journey.
"They perfectly and appropriately didn't 'help me out,'" he said. "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."
He mentioned that the Washingtons even helped him keep up with his car payments while he strived to make a name for himself in the business. Once he finally got back on stable financial ground, he paid them back for their hospitality in the form of a check, and the Washingtons were so proud of how he persevered that they framed it.
Such a beautiful story.
Take a look at the interview, courtesy of The Real, below:
Take a look at the Power actor speaking on his role in the popular Starz drama, below:
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(Photos from left: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for UP TV, Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)