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'The Leading Man' Panel Discussion - 2014 American Black Film Festival

Source: Andrew H. Walker / Getty

Huge happy birthday to actor and heartthrob Omari Hardwick, who is best known for his current role as Ghost on the hit Starz show “Power.”

However, did you know that before Hardwick was shutting down the city and making the ladies swoon as Ghost he was actually in some of your favorite movies not to mention a classic R&B music video?

Don’t believe me? Check out our list for yourself and see what movies you didn’t realize Omari Hardwick was in!

1. Beauty Shop

Yeah that’s right, Omari Hardwick was in Beauty Shop alongside Queen Latifah, Alicia Silverstone, Alfre Woodard, Lil JJ and many more.

His role was small but his character Byron was one of the boyfriends of Darnelle (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and his big scene became a fan-favorite after he was punched by James (Bryce Wilson) for roughly grabbing and insulting Darnelle and Gina (Queen Latifah).

So yes, technically his character was an a** in this movie but that didn’t stop him from looking good even while getting punched.

2. Gridiron Gang

Gridiron Gang help to show the acting skills of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and rapper Xzibit and tell the loosely based true story of the Kilpatrick Mustangs during the 1990 season. However, this movie also provided an opportunity for Omari Hardwick to show his “gangsta” side.

His character was named Free and he was considered to be a leader in Willie’s (Jade Yorker) 88 gang. Early in the movie, he seems to be more of a big brother to Willie, who lacks a father figure. However, when he comes to visit Willie at Kilpatrick Detention Center, he realizes that one of Willie’s teammates, Kelvin (David Thomas) is from a rival gang. Later that week, Free and Kelvin get into a fight after the football game and Free shoots Kelvin in the shoulder before being killed by police himself.

3. Sparkle (2012)

Sparkle is known for having an all-star cast that included names like Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee Lo Green, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter, Tamela Mann and even then late Whitney Houston. However, some people forget that Omari Hardwick was also in the movie.

He played the character Levi, who was the cousin of Stix (Derek Luke). From the start he makes it clear that he is interested in Tammy “Sister” Anderson (Carmen Ejogo), even gives her a small ring box which only contains a picture of a ring, as he promises to one day give Sister a real engagement ring once he could afford it. Soon after his declaration Sister breaks his heart and plays him for Satin (Mike Epps).

However, in the end it’s Levi who comes out on top because later in the movie he proves to Sister “that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

4. For Colored Girls

“For Colored Girls” is still considered to one of Tyler Perry’s best films and with an ensemble cast that includes Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, Kimberly Elise, Tessa Thompson and Kerry Washington, it’s easy to understand why.

That being said, this cast also includes Omari Hardwick, who played the character “Carl Bradmore” who is also the husband to Jo (Janet Jackson). Although his role is small, it’s hard to forget his presence because he will forever be known as the man who cheated on Jo with another man and then gave her HIV through his sexual exploits.

5. The Guardian

The Guardian which stars Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher is known for highlighting the United States Coast Guard and their Aviation Survival Technician (AST) program.

However, what many people don’t realize is that Omari Hardwick is also in this film. His role is extremely small because he doesn’t make it past the first couple scenes, because his character Chief Petty Officer Carl Billings dies during a mission with his best friend and partner Ben Randall (Costner).

Nevertheless, he is in the movie.

Bonus. Floetry – Say Yes

Floetry’s song “Say Yes” will always be known as one of their biggest hits. In fact, the song even led to their first Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, but lost to “My Boo” by Usher and Alicia Keys.

That being said, I bet you never realized that in the video for “Say Yes” that Mr. Omari Hardwick makes a cameo appearance as an artist who is one of the passengers that appears to be drawing a picture of Marsha.

I don’t know about you but I think we need to salute Floetry for finding Omari back in 2002 and putting him in this video! He was fine then and he is still fine today!


5 Movies You Probably Didn’t Know Omari Hardwick Was In! was originally published on indyhiphop.com

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