Thursday, May 11, 2006

Paramedic Training Helps Former Football Player Score Acting Role

LOS ANGELES (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Sometimes the things you don’t want to do pay big dividends down the line.

That’s part of life and it helped actor Omari Hardwick get cast as a paramedic in the upcoming TNT drama, Saved.

Growing up, Hardwick planned to be either a football star or a famous actor. Although he played briefly on the San Diego Chargers practice squad, injuries curtailed his gridiron ambitions and he spent a few years struggling in show business.

During the lean years, Hardwick spent two years as a paramedic, in part, to please a girlfriend who demanded “more stability.”

However, Hardwick decided to pursue acting seriously and eventually earned roles in the Queen Latifah comedy, Beauty Shop, and on TV's Crossing Jordan.

Although those roles didn’t require Hardwick to use his paramedic training, it gave him an edge for Saved. As he puts it, “I can say all the words, lingo and jargon and make it sound like I understand it.”

But Hardwick also says football has prepared him for acting. In his words, “It’s like a series of 40-yard dashes. You make the play and sit down for a while.”

Saved debuts June 12 on TNT.

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