Interview: Cory Hardrict

From the interview archives.

You know actor Cory Hardrict from films like American Sniper and Battle Los Angeles and currently you can see him on the new crime drama The Oath as Cole Hammond. VULKAN caught up with Cory to talk about what sets The Oath apart from other crime series and his upcoming films LAbyrinth and #211. 

In your opinion, what sets The Oath apart from other crime dramas?

I grew up watching The Wire, The Shield, Breaking Bad – those were great shows with great characters. It’s a mix of those three shows, but THE OATH’s showrunner lived this life. He has taken his personal experiences to tell the story. It has a truth to it and that allows us to have an original drama that is authentic and true.

The series is executively produced by 50 Cent and G-Unit Film and Television; what’s the most surprising thing you learned about 50 Cent while putting this series together? 

I don’t think I was really surprised. He’s behind THE OATH 1,000%. He’s so hands on with our creator, Joe Halpin, you know, in bringing the best product to the marketplace. He only puts his effort and his name on things he truly believes in.

What initially intrigued you about Cole Hammond when you read the script?

Well, the first thing was, he was adopted into a family, specifically a white family, being African-American.  He just needed LOVE and didn’t see color. That was how the role was created. In my opinion, this is what the world should be like. And second, he was able to play a cop, but multiple levels of vulnerability. He was able to really show his human side. The character had a bunch of layers. Something that you only really see in feature films. Because of that, I knew that I had to take the part. To really grow as an actor.

What do you hope viewers take away from this series?

First and foremost, it’s entertainment, so, I want the world to enjoy.  But, most importantly, it’s deep-rooted in family and that bond should never be broken. There’s a message there… The reality that things of this nature take place in the ‘real world’, in the ‘art imitating life’ kinda way, gives the viewer the ultimate experience!! There’s a lot to pull from!

Switching gears…You seem to be drawn to films about Tupac lately. Is it intimidating at all to get involved with projects about someone that was & remains such an icon?

It’s not intimidating. It’s about getting the films right and paying homage to this Iconic figure. It’s like putting together a puzzle in my eyes. Anything I can do to contribute to a legacy, I make sure I give it my all!!

What was the most challenging part about working on LAbyrinth and getting into the head of Kelly Jamerson?

I’ve been blessed in this life by being given the opportunity to play many notorious figures. It’s all about honoring the character and re-creating the world that they lived in, that will still resonate with the audience… I don’t pull no punches, I go all the way in!!

LAbyrinth has a remarkable cast as well. What is one thing you learned from working with this cast that you’ll apply to future projects?

Show the world what you got. Being around superstars force you to be on your “A game”, but, I’m ready for any challenge!  Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker are legends! Also, I got to work with my brother, Neil Brown Jr., who’s a Star!

Favourite Tupac and Notorious B.I.G track of all time? 

“Ambitionz Az A Ridah” by Tupac and “Who Shot Ya?” by Notorious BIG.

Are there any other musical artists whose story you’d like to shine a light on with a film? Who and why, what makes them special to you?

I’ll have to think about that one… there are so many wonderful artists to choose from!!  I would have to say Bob Marley. He’s a LEGEND.

You’ll also be playing Hanson in #211, a film about a bank heist. How would you describe Hanson to a good friend of yours?

He’s here to protect and serve, and would die for the people! Hanson also has a great heart, who does everything by the book, but will put you to sleep, really quick. LOL.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about Nicolas Cage while working on this film?

Nick was cool, calm and collected.  He knows what he wants and plays ball with the fellow actors. Being his partner-in-crime, gave me a chance to learn from him and GROW. How he engages in scenes… I mean, he won an Oscar and that’s where I wanna go! Shout out to Brother Cage! He’s a legend, man!

What is one thing you think people could start doing in their daily lives to help improve our society?

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, ONE ANOTHER!  Treat people how you want to be treated, just start there! Being of service, having empathy, seeing no color lines. God created us all EQUAL! 

I wish I could ask you about all your roles because you’re in so many interesting films! I guess my last question is, how do you keep yourself sane when you’re so busy working on so many different projects?
Staying true to myself, holding on to every ounce of integrity in my heart and never settling for less! Also, tons of swimming at home. That’s my safe-haven. And focusing all my love and intentions on filming. This is what I was put on this Earth to do. At the very end, they (the films) will be here. ONE LOVE. Charisma and Passion will get it done!

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