Unaware of his co-star, Charlie Murphy's condition before he died, Omari Hardwick expresses regret and says he would have done things differently if he knew.
It’s been two years since “Power” actor Charlie Murphy surprised his fans and his co-workers when he suddenly died. Little did everyone know that he had been battling cancer until his death.
Charlie's co-star, Omari Hardwick received the news via text and recalled being stunned by it.
“We thought…he had a really bad hernia. I did not know he was suffering from what he was suffering from.”
Charlie died after completing his scenes for season four of “Power,” one of which fills Omari with regret.
"...had I known he was dying of cancer, I would’ve looked at Courtney and gone, ‘I can’t do that’"
During his recent interview with Hot 97, Omari admits if he’d known of Charlie’s dire condition, he wouldn’t have done what he did to him in one of their scenes.
"We didn't know. We didn't know his level of sickness, but he's a tough cat."
Charlie played Marshall Williams, a correctional officer who had it for Omari’s character, Ghost while serving time in prison. They had a fight scene and looking back now, Omari says he would have backed off if he knew.
“I had -rest in peace- very skinny, great comedic timing brother of Eddie Murphy-Charlie Murphy, beatin’ my a**, who had I known he was dying of cancer, I would’ve looked at Courtney and gone, ‘I can’t do that’…unless you change the storyline. I can’t fight him BACK.”
Courtney Kemp Agboh was the showrunner who handpicked Charlie for the job. Omari suspects she knew of Charlie’s condition.
"Courtney, shout-outs to her. I think she knew he was sick and she gave him a job," the actor told Revolt TV in 2017. "We didn't know. We didn't know his level of sickness, but he's a tough cat."
This is not the first time Omari expressed his regret. In June 2017, he told Boombox had he known of Charlie’s condition, he would have gone easy on him during their fight scene.
“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.”
Omari also spoke of being inspired by Charlie’s humility. Both having brothers working in the industry, Omari lauded Charlie for being grounded despite working in the shadows of his superstar brother, Eddie Murphy. In contrast, Omari, whose brothers are Malik and Jamil was never called his brothers’ brother. It was the other way around. So it was an important lesson for him to learn.
Humility is a virtue not new to Omari who was humbled by his difficult past. Before he became a successful actor, he went through tough times and at one point, even relied on the helping hand of Denzel Washington and his wife, Pauletta who offered him shelter. He was jobless, broke, and homeless and the couple stepped in. To this day, Omari looks back at that time with gratefulness and humility.