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‘She Became My Mom Away From My Mom’: Omari Hardwick Reveals How Denzel and Pauletta Washington Played a Role in His Success

Denzel Washington and Pauletta Washington appear to be the quiet type of givers. Another celebrity has now spoken out about how the Hollywood vet and his wife came to their aid in their time of need. 

In an upcoming episode of TV One’s “UNCENSORED,” former “Power” star Omari Hardwick spoke candidly about how the “Equalizer” star and his wife Pauletta took him in when he first got started in the entertainment industry. The actor cited that it all happened because of a bond he created with their son, “Tenet” star John David Washington

Omari Hardwick (L) and John David Washington (R) Photo @omarihardwick/Instagram

“I looked at him like a kid who was at Marist, and that kid’s name was Omari,” Hardwick said of John David and his own experience as a football star. The 46 year old revealed that as he got closer to John David, he also grew close to his mother. “She took me in like nobody’s business. She became my mom away from my mom,” the actor said of their blossoming relationship. “She became so much to me. We got super close.”

Unsurprisingly, Hardwick became a part of the family. The Washingtons,  including Denzel, fully embraced Hardwick while he initially struggled to break ground as a new actor. The actor spoke on some of the kind gestures the family made for him, including letting him stay at their home. “I was broke, and then Pauletta and Denzel eventually let me couch in their house,” the actor explained. He added, “Sometimes I would just be over there just for peace and spirit. Pauletta had such an incredible spirit and energy and John David and Katia, Olivia, Malcolm. Those are their twin kids. John David and I got super, super, super close. Still are to this day.”

Eventually, Hardwick got his big break in the Spike Lee-directed television film, “Sucker Free City.” “I was all excited to go back to them with that news that ‘Sucker Free’ was something that was going to make it where I didn’t need to borrow money from them anymore,” he said. “And I never did, but they definitely gave me $1500 when the car was about to be repoed.”

Hardwick isn’t the first actor to get a helping hand from the Oscar-winning Denzel Washington. “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, revealed that Denzel subsequently paid for him to study acting abroad at Oxford for a summer when he was a student at Howard University. 

During an interview on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, the actor recalled the moment he finally met Denzel and thanked him for his support and how the star responded with a joke. “He was like, ‘I haven’t met you yet,’ ” Boseman said. “And I said, ‘I gotta tell you something. You paid for me to go to school.’ He said, ‘So that’s why I’m here? You owe me money! I came to collect.’ “

“UNCENSORED” featuring Omari Hardwick airs Sunday, Oct. 18 at 10.p.m. EST on TV One. You can check out a trailer from the episode below. 

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