The fifth season of Power ended on quite a cliffhanger to roll into the final season of the show. We won’t spoil how it resolves in the season premiere, but fans are going to find out whether a certain character pulled through or not. Whatever happens to her will drive Ghost (Omari Hardwick) through the final season of the Starz drama.
It’s been a five-year journey for Hardwick as Ghost, a New Yorker running a nightclub above board, but making his real money selling drugs. While the final chapter of Ghost’s saga will air in two parts — part one premieres Sunday, Aug. 25, and part two will debut in January 2020 — Hardwick’s future is already looking bright. He spent his summer filming Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead with Dave Bautista, and will have no trouble staying busy if his movie output between seasons of Power is any indication.
Hardwick spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about the final season of Power and also shared what he likes to watch when he can steal an hour after his kids go to sleep.
Outside of the latest and greatest cartoons, because I’m the pop of a 6- and a 4-year-old — if I’m not watching stuff with them, the first two seasons of Power I watched The Knick. It was appointment TV for me. I haven’t had appointment TV since then because I’ve been playing Ghost. Not only time-wise — it’s tricky. Then I started doing music, so my time was all about just being with the kids. The first two seasons I was watching Soderbergh’s The Knick. My friend Andre Holland [was] on it, obviously and Clive Owen. That was the last time. I like The Voice. That was appointment TV for me. I like Chip and Jojo, HGTV’s Fixer Upper was really big for me. I find myself watching a lot of that kind of stuff.
What I haven’t been able to see yet that is set on the DVR in terms of the pre-order, because I didn’t make it into the theater to watch it, is Avengers: Endgame. I never got a chance to see that yet. I’m working with Dave Bautista now and I told him, “I haven’t seen that yet.” He’s like, “It’s there. It ain’t gonna go nowhere.” [The kids and I] watched Jumanji yesterday, which is different than the one you and I grew up with.
I watched Into the Spider-Verse, the animated Spider-Man, which was phenomenal. I’ve had to watch that several times. I’m in a movie right now in New Mexico called Army of the Dead which is Netflix, so I snuck back [home]. My son was under the weather yesterday and I just wanted to hug him. It’s an hour flight. I live in Denver, so I went from New Mexico to Denver, snuck back, and in that little four hours of being home, that’s what I was watching. Oh, you know what I watched? Stranger Things. Really good. I have seen that. It’s really, really different. I liked Stranger Things a lot.
You can tell me whether it’s coming back out. The Night Of, my friend Michael K. Williams was in it. That joint was incredible. I love that. Between The Knick and season 1 and 2 of Power and being able to fit that in, wifey was pregnant with our second kid. After that baby came out, I really got into that. That was dope. I love following the story of it, especially with Ghost being this character that’s such a thinker, and me being a thinker, that was very good. You can tell me — are they doing a second installment? [Editor’s note: Sadly, not right now, although HBO has expressed interest should the creative team want to make more.]
Fred Topel for Rotten Tomatoes: Last season ended on such a cliffhanger. We’re not going to give away what happens in the season premiere, but did you have any input with creator Courtney A. Kemp in how that storyline in particular would resolve?
Absolutely. It’s cool that I haven’t necessarily had to want for it. There’s never been a summer that she and I aren’t on the phone about what comes. Playing the lead character, there’s always had to be major, major communication between the two of us as to what’s going on between each episode, let alone coming from the finale of one season to the beginning of the next. We’ve always conversed about it and she’s asked me my opinion. I fly out to L.A. Typically we sit in the writers room. We break down where the next season’s going to go. They ask you your opinions. She’s offered that from the gate so I’ve always had a say in that way.
RT: You must have thought a lot about where Ghost is going to end up. Is it quite a different thing to finally be there?
I remember running in Boston. Just took the family, drove them up four or five hours to Boston from New York. I remember jogging and listening to a song and the song inspired what I thought would be a great idea for the end of this if we ever got to that point and if we became as successful as we did. At that point, we’re season 2 but if we became as successful as we did, which we now humbly find ourselves, I had written an ending that is not what you guys will see. Getting to the place where whatever the conclusion of my storyline is on the show, if it’s not exactly what I conjured up in my spirit when I was listening to a song running in Boston, then that’s a different experience.
RT: What was the song?
“Wanted Man.” In the song, the guy’s on the run and it’s super dope.
RT: Can Ghost save his family, or is it already too late for that?
If he could all of a sudden have the family at the same place [it would be unrealistic] because when he rose to the top, he was doing it illegally. At some point as we see Tariq now proving to be that point. Tariq is saying, “But how’d you get there? Mom, don’t speak yet. Pop, how’d you get there? Okay, Mom, you talk. Oh, you’re lying too?” There was so much inequity in the dissemination of information, whether it be false or right, and you’re a parent. You can’t lie to your kids at the levels he did and then have a mistress on the side so that in your fall, you’re able to still salvage everything. My point is, I guess, is when he rose, he was building it on shaky ground. He was going to have a foundation of lies, so I don’t necessarily think we could have it where he salvages them that way. But if he can keep them alive, I think at this point that’s all Ghost is [trying to do].
RT: Do you have a badass role in Army of the Dead?
My grandma passed in the midst of that, which was tough. Dad’s ma. So it was really, really tough but she did really well —especially having my grandfather pass in November, having a husband that died in November — she lasted nine months after that. So I was wardrobing when she passed and then came home, back to New York. Then I went to the Essence Festival to promote Power. So after we laid her to rest, I might have had two days at the Denver house before Army of the Dead called me right back. The role is a super badass role. Not just a badass, but Dave Bautista and I play the guys that fought with each other at one point and now are being asked to fight with each other again to figure these zombies out. Zack Snyder’s been just a pleasure to work with and his whole camp has been awesome.
Power returns for the first half of its final season Sunday, Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. on Starz.