May 25, 2021
Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage
After six seasons, it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else playing the complex and titular role of James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick other than Omari Hardwick. Nonetheless, that was almost the case as the 47-year-old revealed on The Fat Joe Show that he first lacked the confidence to take on the lead role in the Starz hit series, Power.
“I feared it for many a reason, you know,” Hardwick told Fat Joe earlier this month. “Ultimately I had to look in the mirror, Joe, and put it on myself and say I think I was really afraid of either grabbing that big a-s mountain and putting it on my shoulders and being ‘the guy.’ I think I was comfortable with people going ‘yo that kid Omari really, that n——a be stealing scenes,’ and I was never that guy ever trying to steal scenes.”
As a result of the Georgia native’s athletic background, he was accustomed to “being a part of a team” yet his insecurities lead him to suppress his talent.
It wasn’t until his wife Jennifer shared that she had been praying for him to rise to the challenge; “God please allow him to embrace his power,” Hardwick recalled. At the time, he knew 50 Cent and Courtney Kemp wanted him for an unnamed pilot but after the show’s name was revealed, the blatant similarity in his wife’s prayer was his sign to accept the role.
Although it’s shocking to believe that an actor as talented as Hardwick would try to hide from the spotlight, the NAACP Image Award winner touched on the topic during his 2020 Uncensored episode when he revealed he first auditioned as a stuntman for The Gridiron Gang. He was originally denied the smaller role for being too attractive but with the help from Tupac Shakur‘s former manager, Leila Steinberg, and a scruffier look, he landed the role as a supporting actor.
Tell Us: What other actor could have played James St. Patrick?