Using his suave looks and unmatched talent to visually serenade moviegoers for years, Cory Hardrict is making big splashes and long strides in 2013. And as suave as he is, Cory continually likes to keep it real…real funny! I don’t know if any of you realize this, but Cory Hardrict is…HILARIOUS! From the very beginning of our conversation to the very end, the whole thing was like a free comedy show for me. I went from being nervous about having to talk to such a well-known star, to feeling like I was cracking jokes with a good friend. It’s that ability to get those he comes in contact with to a certain level of comfort and inclusion that makes Hardrict the connecting link in any cast he is a part of. Digging from deep within and leaning on real life experiences, Cory uses his own journey as the master script for all of his roles. And now, making sure he makes it to the top of the Hollywood ladder without slipping on a single rung, Cory Hardrict shows us more of what he’s got in his new films LOVELACE and WARM BODIES…
WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT ACTING WAS WHAT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DO?
When I stepped out of the womb (>laughs< I’m joking, I’m joking). I was in a high school play (I played a slave). I had to limp across the stage like I just got my leg chopped off, and everybody was laughing, and it hit me. The response of the people made me want to entertain. It’s a crazy story, but that was that: having to be a slave made me want to act…which is pretty funny considering how popular Django is right now! >laugh<
YOUR NEW FILM “LOVELACE” HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE LINEUP OF THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU GOT THE NEWS?
I felt great, just like anybody else would. This is my first film in Sundance, and people will get to see my work and enjoy the film. I haven’t seen it yet, but they say it’s great, and it’s gonna be well portrayed and true to the original story. I was excited.
TELL US ABOUT “LOVELACE.” WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE FILM THRUGH YOUR ROLE?
I play the DJ, Frankie Crocker. I feel like I’m always trying to get in the know [with] my costars because they always come to my radio station. I interview them and give free publicity to the porn industry. I’m always inquiring and trying to understand the industry because it was such a cult following back in the 70s. I give it a nice comedic twist. My character’s really funny, but in a real way. I just bring soul to it.
YOU HAVE ANOTHER FILM SET FOR RELEASE ON FEBRUARY 1, 2013. TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE IN “WARM BODIES.”
I play Kevin, and I’m the head soldier for Lieutenant Griggio, played by John Malkovich. He sends me out throughout the film trying to find his daughter because he’s afraid she’s gonna get hurt after she falls in love with a zombie. My job is to find her and save her. There are a lot of twists and turns. All the while, I start to feel for the main zombie character. It’s like a Romeo and Juliet…but for zombies. It’s a tear jerker, but it’s real.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THESE TWO ROLES?
Both scripts were great. When I saw the cast for LOVELACE, I just knew I had to be a part of it. I just love working with great actors and people. With WARMBODIES, I just auditioned, and a few days later I got the call saying I got the part. And then I found out who was involved and I was in awe…I love Jonathan Levine’s work. I just don’t ever want to get boxed in to doing one type of film. I have a certain approach to [my] work. I’m good for passing up the things that I don’t feel are great enough. I believe in my gift and talent, and sooner or later it’ll be all what I envision [it to be].
WHAT DO YOU GENERALLY LOOK FOR IN THE ROLES THAT YOU TAKE ON?
Well, first off, it has to be honest, and on the page for me to bring something else to it. I just love honest material. I don’t believe in stuff that’s not believable. I’m very picky (like I’m Denzel…but I’m not Denzel >laugh<), but it’s crucial to where I want to go and what I want to do. I’ve been approached to do some shows on TV and some [other] popular films, but that’s just not where I am at the moment. I also look for who’s involved [to see if the project would be a good look for me].
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST EXCITING ROLE TO DATE?
I’ll go with a smaller film I did called THE DAY. It’s on DVD now. I had to lose a lot of weight for the role and I had to shoot in 5 below weather in one house for a month. It was so fulfilling to me because it seriously caused me to push myself. It brought out the art of acting in me. I also enjoyed working with Clint Eastwood in GRAN TORINO. He’s the type that just doesn’t shoot a lot of takes and he gets everyone’s respect without saying a word. That really helped me: knowing that I can go toe to toe with a legend and it still come out great. He was very humble and it was great.
WHITNEY HOUSTON DID IT WITH HER REMAKE OF “I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU.” IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ANY ROLE TO REVIVE AND MAKE YOUR OWN, WHICH WOULD IT BE, AND WHY?
The president. I would love to play Barack Obama if/when they make [that film]. We’re both from Chicago, and he has so much poise and elegance and never seems to crack under pressure. That’s been my life up to this point, after losing my parents and grandparents and brother, and I’m still here making it. I see my son and know that there’s someone else for me to live for…just like the president. He’s here in the spotlight, living his life the way he does because someone is looking at him and modeling themselves after him. That’s what I am for my son.
A LOT OF PEOPLE BECAME [MORE] FAMILIAR WITH YOUR COMEDIC SIDE THROUGH YOUR CAMEO WITH YOUR WIFE ON “THE GAME.” DO YOU AND TIA HAVE ANY UPCOMING PLANS TO WORK TOGETHER AGAIN?
Not in the near future. I won’t lie, we don’t plan on it. We have our own paths and we’re doing well, and I’m just trying to go my [own] way. People don’t really know I’m funny though because I’m always playing serious characters, but I’m glad people liked me as the Cable Guy.
SUM UP YOUR ACTING IN THREE WORDS.
The. Most. Underrated. I just feel like the game comes with a lot of politics: who you know, what agency you’re with, etc, and I’ve just always been the underdog climbing my way from the bottom to the top through all the politics. I feel like people who see my work only have great things to say, and they feel like I should be doing more. It’s not that I don’t want to do more, but it’s the politics of the game. I feel like I prove myself when I get my shot. Most of the films I’ve been in have been extremely successful, like Clint’s film: I may have only had two scenes, but they were the most talked about scenes of the film, and the project made $300 million. I’m trying to do my part to change it all. I don’t let the politics deter me. I’ll get there. Like Terrence Howard said “It takes 20 years to become an overnight sensation,” and I have five more years to go!
What questions would YOU ask Cory Hardrict if you had the chance??? Leave me a comment and let me know! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @HumblyVain, and Bleu Magazine at @BleuMagazine!
Words by Kent Olden
Photos by Bobby Quillard
Talent Provided by MLC PR, Los Angeles