Words Dominique Carson
Fashion Chris Sandford
Photography Shelby Niece
(Film actor, Cory Hardrict’s work ethic is impeccable. His life story is the epitome of following your instincts and believing in yourself.)
Many of us are familiar with Cory Hardrict because he is a talented actor, married famous television twin Tia Mowry, shared his profound love story on social media, and a family man.
Hardrict also has a child with Mowry, named Cree Taylor Hardrict.
Through his over decade long career Cory Hardrict has made a name for himself. However, some may not know about his journey to stardom and his past struggles. It wasn’t an easy road for Hardrict but with faith, persistence, consistency, and prayer, he immersed himself into acting.
The Chicago native began his career when he was featured in local television shows, commercials, and print ads. But, Hardrict earned his first national gig as a cast member in the Oprah Winfrey’s film, There Are No Children Here. The film was an enjoyable experience for Hardrict but an eye opener at the same time. He was ready to hone his craft as an actor but needed to make some serious sacrifices if he wanted a shot in showbiz. It was essential for Hardrict to pursue his dreams so he moved to Los Angeles with $75. He said good-bye to the Midwest and hello, California.
After settling in the Golden State, Hardrict was featured on television series, Smart Guy and Felicity. He also earned a shot on the big screen, debuting in the romantic comedy, Fox 2000 Pictures’ Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore and David Arquette. After the movie, he appeared in a plethora of films and television series including, Crazy/Beautiful, Battle: Los Angeles, Lovelace, Warm Bodies, Transcendence, Pacific Blue, City of Angels, Boston Public, NYPD Blue, Strong Medicine, Lincoln Heights, The Shield and Cold Case, Heroes, He’s Not That Into You, just to name a few.
However, the hard work doesn’t stop there. Hardrict was recently featured in the Oscar nominated film, American Sniper with Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller in 2015. You can also catch him in the independent film, Brotherly Love, on Netflix and will play Haitian Jack in the 2PAC biopic, All Eyez on Me in 2017. Haitian Jack was a music manager and executive for the late rap icon.
Hardrict took time from his busy schedule to speak with Bleu Magazine about chasing the dream, finding the love of his life over a decade ago, fatherhood, his Netflix series, upcoming projects, and the life-lessons he learned along the way.
Check out our exclusive interview with the film star!
Bleu Magazine: Thank you Corey for speaking with Bleu today; we greatly appreciate it. I want to talk about your next movie, Spectral.
Cory Hardrict: Spectral is a science and thriller film that made it’s debut in December. In the film, we are fighting with supernatural beings that are trying to take over New York City. It’s a great film for those who are interested in action films. I work with talented people, from James Badge Dale to Nic Mathieu, the director.
B: Can you explain to us your role in the movie Destined?
Cory Hardrict: I am thankful for being a part of this film; it’s a great movie. In the film, I play two characters, Sheed and Rasheed. One is an architect and the other is a drug lord in two different worlds. The film gives you a representation of life’s parallels which are corporate and street life along with gentrification. I mean it’s a great story line and it reminds us about making wise decisions. If you don’t, you can get caught up and fall through the cracks. It was split into two characters as a way to let people the possible outcomes if we go left or right.
B: What was it like seeing Destined at the LA Film Festival and American Black Film Festival?
CH: I love the festival circuit and it was an amazing feeling to watch your film again at those festivals. People are recognizing my art and talent which is always a plus. I just want to keep it going from here on out. I make movies for the people, not for the money.
B: You’re also in the Tupac biopic, All Eyez on Me? What was it like playing Haitian Jack?
CH: It is truly a biopic worth watching! I enjoyed playing him in the movie and he was portrayed differently from songs and the media. He was an important person in Pac’s life, offered him guidance and support. I wasn’t nervous because I love playing characters who are authentic and real. In order for me to play this role correctly, I had to do my research and study Haitian Jack. I had many conversations with Jack and he made sure I played his character correctly. It’s going to be a great film; Demetrius Shipp Jr, the guy who plays Pac is basically his twin. I am rooting for him because he is reliving Pac in this movie.
B: How have you evolved as an actor from when you first started?
CH: I look back on my life and I believe I was able to have a career as an actor because of God, my mother, and starring in my first professional film, There Are No Children Here as an extra. It was a big deal for me because after the film, I fell in love with acting. And 22 years later, I can reveal real life experiences through art. My art has the ability to intimidate real life and I am giving back to people at the same time. It’s always about the people, not me., I understand without God, I wouldn’t have a successful career in this business. And now that I am a husband and father, my outlook on life changed greatly. I am a grown man who has a support system at home, my wife Tia and son Cree.
B: The entertainment industry is known to be very strenuous and cut-throat. How do you balance family with work?
CH: First of all, people need to know that celebrities are still human beings. The only difference between me and the “average person,” according to society is money. And with that being said, my family and home life comes first. I am a family man who appreciates his support system. My wife and son keep me grounded. My wife, Tia was there for me when I didn’t have anything but believed in me. As a man, it is important for me to be there for my family and keep everything in its’ proper perspective. I separate my personal life from my career. Acting is a job, family is my main priority.
B: Would you like your son, Cree to join the family business?
CH: I mean he was offered a few commercials and projects. But, honestly, I want him to be happy and enjoy being kid. I don’t want to pressure him into this business. I want Cree to go to school, have fun, and learn. He’s five and already like sports. He also plays the piano so he is pretty much exploring his talents and interests.
B: What advice would you offer young adults who do not have a strong support system at home?
CH: NEVER give up! Fear is the trick of the enemy. It will definitely talk you out of your dream. You have to stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize. You have to believe yourself; if you don’t, then who will? Your way of thinking has to change and understand nothing happens overnight. I would also say work on your craft, have faith, trust God, and understand that all things are possible. Go for it, aim high!