Around the 49-minute point of his appearance on The Pivot podcast embedded above, Hardwick said he didn’t feel all that successful until he landed the Starz series. Asked by co-host Channing Crowder when he started to feel comfortable financially, he explained he’s not earning what he should.
“I still haven’t made what I should have made. I still never made the money—no, the money, I never made what I should have made. Never,” Harwick said. “Period. It’s happening now, finally.” He only felt he “made it” after Power, and joked that he earned “five dollars” from all the movies he appeared in before that.
He then opened up about owing 50 Cent some money, which he previously touched on in 2019 on the Angie Martinez Show.
“I think he forever just really really respects the shit out of me for that, we just not taught that in our community,” Omari shared. “Barely do we pay anybody back.” He suggested the Pivot hosts, who all have pasts in the NFL, have likely had similar experiences with people asking to borrow money. “So once we’re hit up for money, and I am financially obviously stable at this point, once we’re hit up for money we don’t expect it back. … So for me to give it back to 50 with interest, I was just so proud to be able to do that. And it was early! He felt like, ‘Damn, you can’t be messed up, you need money!’”
Hardwick revealed he borrowed the money from the Fif in the summers after the first and second season. “He gave me $20,000 and the next summer he gave me $23,000,” he said, noting Fif obliged in part because he “adores” wife Jennifer “Jae” Hardwick and the couple’s kids. “He might like them more than me. It was absolutely given in a way of, like, you know take care of the family bro, use that.”
He said that ultimately he “never” got the salary he wanted on Power, even by its sixth and final season. “How much do you think I made a week? An episode,” he asked the hosts, with one estimating around $150,000 per episode. “You got it right, yeah,” he replied. “First time I’ve ever disclosed it.”
Hardwick got his big acting break when he was cast as James “Ghost” St. Patrick on Power in 2014. He had a few movie and TV credits to his name, but his career strengthened since then. In recent years he’s appeared in Sorry to Bother You, Army of the Dead, and Nobody’s Fool. As for the TV side of things, he’s acted alongside Toni Collette in the Netflix thriller Pieces of Her and is in the forthcoming animated Army of the Dead spinoff Lost Vegas.