By Robert Waldman -TAN Vancouver : Georgia is not just famous for peaches, no sir. Strapping Omari Hardwick hails from this corner of the world and today audiences can see him almost everywhere. Hot on the tails of his triumphant gutsy call as a macho man in For Colored Girls Hardwick continues to make waves whenever he lights up the screen.
Born back on January 9, 1974 in Savannah Georgia our man of all seasons grew up actually in Decatur Georgia. But what exactly does this mystery first name mean? Smart parents wanted to think out of the box and set their young boy off to meet the world with an introduction that means most high with gentle being his middle name Latif. Words like these are often hard to live up to but here’s one man who’s more than lived up to all expectations.
Above all else discipline helped shaped this man’s character. At home his upbringing was strict. That sense of obedience rang through whenever Omari took to the field. Big on sports our high school boy wonder excelled at football, basketball and baseball. Away from the field at the ripe old age of 14 he showed interest in poetry, quite a contrast with the gutsy world of sports. Teamwork on the field and in the creative world has stood him well as the transition to the film set proved trouble free.
Sports were so ingrained in his life he moved to San Diego and tried out for the Chargers. Cut short with a knee injury Omari fled East, taking up residence in New York where he studied off Broadway. Odd jobs here and there and a gig every so often got him nowhere until he caught a break courtesy of Spike Lee, From there it’s been an easier ride scoring big roles beginning with Miracle At St. Anna. He also won raves for his work on Dark Blue, Gridiron Gang, Kick-Ass, Beauty Shop, The A-Team, The Guardian and Saved.
More impressive still is Omari’s work for the underprivileged. Willing to give back shows a person’s heart and this giant gives of himself freely. Today he’s proud to sponsor Plan B. Inc. Theatre Group as well as Los Angeles’s Actors Lounge.
Look for more big things from Omari Hardwick, a man whose time has surely arrived.