Omari Hardwick can’t escape Ghost.
The NAACP Image Award-winning actor has been in the business for almost twenty years and has played dozens of polarizing characters (i.e. Andre on Being Mary Jane) but his role on Starz’s Power as James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick has magnetized fans.
They’re obsessed. And the obsession has everything to do with how serious Hardrick is about his role as a New York City drug kingpin. Going into the show’s fifth season, the talent talked about being a method actor, honing his acting skills and the lessons he’s learned from the show’s lead producer.
“I’ve been through a lot,” Hardrict told the host of ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast. “So for me to get the part —not to be dramatic— but for me to have gotten the part… it’s so much more than being a talented number one. I’m in method.”
Hardwick admits to being intense during the filming of the show— so much so that his co-stars take notice.
“You gotta not disrespect or yell at Naturi [Naughton] or Lela [Loren], but if you’re in method, you might snap at them a bit. But then if you see someone else snap at them, you gotta make sure someone sends them flowers. It’s so many colors to the guy.”
What motivates him to do so well? For one, his relationship with the show’s executive producer, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
“I shout 50 Cent out a lot with this. I know Curtis and I think he’s got all of the gifts and marking to be the great actor that we’ve seen him be.”
Adding that Jackson had good foresight when casting and building the show’s premise with creator Courtney A. Kemp.
“He had a level of security that I haven’t experienced yet. I haven’t been able to experience the level of security for our people to go, ‘the right guy for this is this brotha’… The amalgamation of all of it has left us this beautiful template of Shakespeare meets urban night diaspora of New York— a love triangle, drama.”
Hardwick shared one lesson he’s learned from 50 Cent: Work hard to further develop your talent.
“It’s a motor. I got an odd engine,” he said.
“If you’re not busy with those talents, you don’t know how active and how motorized and how Energizer Bunny you’ve been… if you want something done, give it to someone busy. I’ve always perhaps had the motor but there’s a different level to it now that there are so many things to be done with the motor.”
“I get the business perspective a lot. Curtis has taught me a lot —being around 50 for so long— he’s taught me that.”