Omari Hardwick Makes Power Moves through Starz Drama 'Power'

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 24, 2017 | Go to article overview

Omari Hardwick Makes Power Moves through Starz Drama 'Power'


Byline: Jonathan Landrum Jr. Associated Press

ATLANTA - When actor Omari Hardwick read the script for the Starz drama series "Power," he initially wanted to pass on playing the lead character.

Hardwick liked the show's premise, but he was satisfied at the time with taking a backseat to any leading role. His wife, however, encouraged him to go for it.

"I really had a problem with being the man," Hardwick recently told The Associated Press. "I'm past it now, but that was my insecurity. I ran from that. I was cool with being No. 3 on the call sheet or No. 2. I'm too competitive to be No. 7, but I was always cool with being the man next to the man.

"My wife told me the only way for my platform to get bigger is embrace certain things like ... the sex symbol thing. I wasn't nurtured to think of myself in that way, but I embraced it enough."

On "Power," Hardwick plays the character of James "Ghost" St. Patrick, a New York nightclub owner who is trying to escape the double life of a drug kingpin while dating a federal prosecutor as a married man. He accepted the role after meeting with show creator Courtney Kemp Agboh, saying it's one of the best career decisions he's ever made.

"There aren't a lot of people out there like this guy," Hardwick said of his character. "He wears on me like the heaviest mink coat your grandmama ever wore. There's a lot of Omari in Ghost and a lot of Ghost in Omari."

"Power" has become one of Starz's most popular shows, averaging nearly 3 million viewers last season, according to Nielsen. The series returns for its fourth season at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 25, with what Hardwick calls a "very dark season. I was living in a jail."

Joseph Sikora, who co-stars as Tommy, said Hardwick "flourished" in the role from the start.

"He definitely considers himself to be the quarterback, and takes that position very seriously," Sikora said. "I think he is very comfortable in a position of control and that puts people around him at ease. …

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