‘Power’ Star Omari Hardwick On Working With Charlie Murphy: ‘I Did Not Know He Was Suffering’
STARZ's hit crime drama Power returns for a highly anticipated fourth season on June 25, and there are big changes on the 50 Cent-produced hit. Along with the typical twists and turns, one of the major new faces this season will be Charlie Murphy; the late actor will appear as corrupt U.S. Marshal Williams in what was his final television role. Murphy died April 12 following a long battle with leukemia. He was 57.
Power star Omari Hardwick spent the most time with Murphy – on and off set – and was humbled to have had the experience to work with the beloved comedian. Hardwick revealed that the cast did not realize how badly Murphy's health was failing.
“We thought…he had a really bad hernia. I did not know he was suffering from what he was suffering from,” said Omari. “I think at this point we can all gather that he knew and that Courtney [Kemp Agboh] perhaps knew, but they were giving each other a chance to help each other out - so we weren’t told of his disease.”
Despite Murphy's condition, Hardwick and Murphy filmed some of the season's most intensely demanding scenes. “Had I known, I would have taken it a little bit [easier] in scenes where we had to be physical with each other. But obviously, that’s why they didn’t tell me – because I would have taken it easy on him.”
Thankful for the opportunity to work with the Brooklyn-born actor, Hardwick went on to share what he learned from Murphy – and empathized with Murphy working to get from under the shadow of his superstar little brother, legendary actor Eddie Murphy.
“I don’t think I’m a stranger to being a grounded human being, but he was one that had been through so much,” he said. “I was never one to be walking down the street and be called Jamil or Malik’s brother – Malik and Jamil go through [life] being called Omari’s brother. Charlie’s gone through being called Eddie’s brother. So when he’s away from the producers and the other actors – where his propensity to poke out his chest is a little more prevalent – I think with me, he went through [a], ‘Man, I’ve [always] been the other guy. My brother’s Eddie.’ So he shared so much of that and how tough that was – with people going, ‘Oh, you’re just on because you’re Eddie’s brother’ – [from] that I think I took away [to] remain as humble as you possibly can because as much as someone’s hot in this industry is as quick as they can be not. So, I think he just showed a level of humility I just thought was incredible.”
“It’s pretty amazing that I got to work with him.”
Watch the Power Season Four Trailer: