(NEW YORK) — Omari Hardwick says he is “super proud” of Michael Rainey Jr., the young man who for six seasons played his hardheaded son Tariq on the widely popular Starz series Power.
This summer, Rainey Jr. followed in Hardwick’s footsteps when he became the lead of his own Power series, Power Book 2: Ghost. Hardwick tells ABC Audio that he was touched when he recently spoke to Rainey Jr. during his birthday because the actor acknowledged how inspirational Hardwick has been in his life.
“His text simply said, ‘I learned everything from you, Pop, you know so much,"” Hardwick says. “And he said, ‘I’ll never be able to put in words… what it meant to not only have your support as an actor, but also just as a young man.”
Hardwick reveals Rainey Jr.’s relationship with his own father wasn’t “great,” so it made sense for him to take on a paternal role on and off the camera.
“When he was acting out a bit and sometimes disrespectful on set then I had [to] lend a hand at being a disciplinarian,” Hardwick continues. “So there was so many components to me being not only the lead actor in that project, but also the father literally to that kid at times.”
Omari says he always wanted more for Rainey Jr., but what he’s been able to accomplish has exceeded his expectations.
“I constantly was in the ear of Courtney [Kemp] and Curtis [“50 Cent” Jackson] saying, ‘Hey, we got this kid here, we need to really use him. So obviously they found a steroid level of using in him,” he smiles. “He’s now the lead of the show. I never imagined that.”
“My hat goes off to what he’s been able to accomplish and continue in this legacy called Power,” Hardwick adds. “I’m super proud.”
By Candice Williams
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