Omari Hardwick may have been the lead on the STARZ drama series Power for six years but that doesn't mean his bank account matched it, at least for a while. Hardwick starred in the series as James "Ghost" St. Patrick. His character was a New York City drug pin turned nightclub owner who struggled to leave his criminal past behind him. Power birthed four spinoffs, known as the "Power Universe," featuring other major characters in the show. The spinoffs are: Power Book II: Ghost, Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Power Book IV: Force, and Power Book V: Influence. Despite the show being a hit from the beginning, Hardwick says he was so broke that he had to borrow money twice from the show's creator, rapper Cutis "50 Cent" Jackson.
He recently appeared on The Pivot podcast to discuss his career. When the subject of money came up, Hardwick made sure to note he began feeling comfortable financially very recently, despite being in the entertainment industry for 20+ years. "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," noting he only "made it" after Power, and joked that he earned "five dollars" from all the movies he appeared in before that.
According to Hardwick, he borrowed money in Seasons 1 and 2 to get by. "He [50 Cent] gave me $20,000 and the next summer he gave me $23,000," he said, noting the rapper obliged in part more than likely due to Hardwick's wife and children. "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."
Still, he says he "never" received the salary he wanted on Power, even by the end of the show's run. "How much do you think I made a week? An episode," he asked the hosts, with one host estimating around $150,000 per episode. "You got it right, yeah," Hardwick confirmed. "First time I've ever disclosed it."
Hardwick previously spoke of the financial struggles he faced as an actor on The Angie Martinez Show in 2019, revealing then that 50 loaned him money. He says he paid 50 back with interest. He also has spoken openly about Denzel and Pauletta Washington saving him from being homeless early on in his career.