Denzel Washington Credited With Saving ‘Power’ Star Omari Hardwick From Homelessness

Omari Hardwick is best known as “Ghost” on Power, and he also plays “Andre” on Being Mary Jane. It turns out fans have Denzel Washington to thank for that. Hardwick recently opened up to Loni Love in an interview and spoke about his very humble Hollywood start.

Many acting hopefuls move to Hollywood and then take on a handful of odd jobs in order to make ends meet while waiting for their big break. That was no different for Omari Hardwick, who worked as a substitute teacher and football coach while also firefighting part-time. Things were tough for Hardwick, who says that he often showered at the YMCA and even slept in his car before finally making it big.

In the interview with Loni Love on The Real, Hardwick talked about how meeting Denzel Washington’s son, John David, changed his life. As his football coach, Hardwick grew close to Denzel and the rest of his family and even credits them for helping him to become successful.

“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,” Hardwick said of Denzel and his family.

At the time, Omari was also working part-time as a firefighter. He turned down a full-time position when Spike Lee picked him up for Sucker Free City. Hardwick ended up homeless and sleeping in his car when the project wasn’t picked up. Things even got so bad that Omari couldn’t pay for his car and was scared that it might get repossessed. That’s when he said Denzel Washington and his wife, Pauletta, stepped in, paying off his car so that Hardwick no longer had to worry about losing it.

When Omari Hardwick got back on his feet, he said that he paid the Washington family back for helping him through the tough times. Hardwick said that Denzel and Pauletta were so proud of him that they framed the check he gave them.

Who knew Omari Hardwick worked so hard and risked so much to earn his Hollywood success? Maybe that’s what makes his role as “Ghost” on the Starz hit Power so believable. In a way, Omari’s life echos that of Ghost as both men had a vision of exactly what they wanted for their life and worked hard to get there. Of course, Omari did things the right way, through legitimate jobs like substitute teaching and coaching, whereas Ghost opted to become the biggest drug lord in New York City.

Power is set to return to Starz in June, and fans can’t wait to see what Omari Hardwick, 50 Cent, and the rest of the cast have in store. The cast and crew having been filing since October, according to Carter Matt, and Season 3 is said to be just as shocking and explosive as the two that came before it.

Omari has a few other projects on the horizon too, and it looks like he’ll never have to worry about where to sleep again. In addition to the highly anticipated return of Power, Hardwick also has D Is For Detroit, Die Enormous, and Shot Caller, all slated for release in 2016. Keep an eye on Omari, because his star is definitely rising in Hollywood. Could Omari Hardwick possibly be the next Denzel Washington?

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]