Fans of “Power” star Omari Hardwick, get ready for him to take on two roles that are the complete opposite of the high-powered drug dealer plays on the Starz crime drama.
Hardwick’s latest projects have him playing a man looking to find himself on the night of Donald Trump’s election in “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream,” and in Tyler Perry’s “Nobody’s Fool,” opening Nov. 2, he’ll show off his comedic skills alongside Tiffany Haddish and Whoopi Goldberg.
Hardwick dished with variety.com about his upcoming films, what it was like working with the legendary Ms. Goldberg and his charity work.
Do you relate to your character in “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream”?
Yeah, obviously I had a dream, and being a former athlete, that always helped. But absolutely I can relate [to Cass] in terms of being an African-American having to be subjected — that could sound dramatic — but being subjected to a country that hasn’t always looked out for brown people. And having to deal with President Donald Trump. I haven’t necessarily been able to get down with how [Trump] lives his life, so in that way, Cass is very much like me.
It’s a lot of ad-libbing. Probably 30 pages of ad-libbing and about 60 pages of us being on script. Definitely, it was difficult, but it’s fun for me. I would say acting is just listening, so it was listening on a steroid level.
What was it like working with Whoopi Goldberg?
She’s been a mentor. She’s been in my camp for a long time — I would say since “For Colored Girls” [a 2010 film in which the two co-starred]. I tend to gravitate toward strong female figures; I always have.
You’re also involved with charities?
We created a network [Omari Hardwick Bluapple Poetry Network] that started with 13 kids. We use poetry and metaphor to teach them poetry — me being a poet. So they just clean out the closet of whatever anger and frustration they feel coming from the inner cities. We’re trying ultimately to go to other cities: Detroit, South and West sides of Chicago — different places that I think the world owes a little more to young brown people — and use poetry to try to figure out how to manage their anger.