Who Is Omari Hardwick? New Details About The "Power" Actor Making Headlines For Kissing Beyoncé

Photo: Omari Hardwick/Instagram
Who Is Omari Hardwick? New Details About The "Power" Actor Making Headlines For Kissing Beyonce

It was the kiss seen — and heard — ‘round the world.

Omari Hardwick made international headlines when he was filmed kissing and hugging the legendary Beyoncé at the 50th NAACP Image Awards. The 44-year-old married father of two, needless to say, drew the immediate ire of Beyoncé’s equally-legendary fandom, The Beyhive, who swarmed social media and various blogs with their not-so-high opinions of Hardwick and his funny moves.

According to the Daily Mail, the Beyhive’s comments ranged from admonishments for the actor to get away from their 37-year-old queen, to quotes about how his actions were proof that the #MeToo movement was necessary. And while there were a few folks that did take up for Hardwick, most fans and observers were none-too-pleased about his actions.

Even 50 Cent — who never met an opportunity for trolling that he didn’t like — took the time out of his busy day to tease the Power actor for his touchy-feely behavior with Queen Bey. According to HipHopDX, Fif — whose real name is Curtis Jackson, and who is the executive producer of Power — took to Instagram to joke that the kiss would be part of the next season of Power, before roasting both Hardwick and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter — Beyoncé’s husband — for all the drama.

But there’s much more to Omari Hardwick than this controversial kiss.

So who is Omari Hardwick? Here’s what we know about the award-winning actor.

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A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Mar 31, 2019 at 3:40pm PDT

Omari Hardwick plays Ghost on the Starz series Power. 

1. He’s a poet.

There’s more to this multi-faceted man than just a pretty face. While growing up in Decatur, GA (a suburb of Atlanta) Hardwick was known for writing poetry all throughout grade school, high school, and even college. For six years thereafter, he — along with Hill Harper, Laz Alonzo, and Dondre Whitfield — hosted the Lexus Verses and Flow radio show, as well.

He carried this love of poetry through his acting career, and even participated in the National Poetry Slam not once, but twice. Omari Hardwick is so enamored with poetry that to this day, he continues to pop up in various nightclubs and coffee shops to perform his poetry. He also identifies himself as an "actor, activist, and poet," not just an actor. 

2. He almost joined the NFL.

Omari Hardwick is getting called out by the #MeToo movement for kissing Beyoncé.

Omari Hardwick wasn’t just the quiet kid in the corner writing poetry. He told IndieWire that, while he was growing up, he played a lot of different sports. His favorite sport, however, was football – and he was so good at it that he earned a full football scholarship to the University of Georgia. When he graduated college, he enlisted in the NFL Draft, hoping to get chosen for the lineup for the San Diego Chargers. When he didn’t get in, he changed course and decided to become an actor.  

3. He’s the co-founder of The Actor’s Lounge.

Omari Hardwick helped open The Actors Lounge in L.A.

 

When Hardwick decided he was going to become an actor, he didn’t just look out for himself — he looked out for other struggling actors just like him. To give Los Angeles-area actors a chance to showcase their talents onstage, Hardwick co-founded The Actor’s Lounge, located in the Greenway Court Theater near Fairfax High School, back in 2010.

The Actor’s Lounge also provides the opportunity for artists and musicians to showcase their talents onstage, as well.

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4. He’s a trained paramedic.

Omari Hardwick's breakout acting role was on the TNT series Saved.

Before he became the very successful actor that he is today, Omari Hardwick took on a series of “odd jobs” to pay his bills. At one point, he even lived in his car! But when he got the role of paramedic John "Sack" Hallon in the hit TNT series, Saved, critics and fans alike noted that he played his role extremely well. And there was a good reason for that: he’d trained as a paramedic for two years, according to TV Guide.

While Saved was very successful — the series premiere drew in more than 5 million viewers — it only lasted for one season on TNT. Nevertheless, the series established Hardwick as a serious actor, and not long after Saved was canceled, he began receiving more acting offers.

5. He credits getting the role of Ghost on Power to his wife’s prayers.

Omari Hardwick has been married to his wife, Jae, for eight years.

In 2011, Omari Hardwick married his wife, Jae, and together, they have two children named Nova and Brave. Just two years later, he got the role of James St. Patrick, better known as “Ghost,” on the hit Starz series Power, which is executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. But as Essence Magazine reports, Hardwick would not have gotten the defining role of his career had it not been for the positive influence of his wife.

“The 45 days of prayer from [my wife] asking God to help me embrace my Power & Dominion, and sitting down even a month after THAT with Courtney Kemp, & then talking to 50 Cent…God had answered that prayer & spoke to me,” he said, adding that he was initially hesitant to take the role because he was content with where his career was going. 

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. Find her online at www.bernadettegiacomazzo.com and www.longlivetheuprising.com, on Twitter at @bg_writes_stuff, and on Instagram at @bg_takes_pics.