Actor Cory Hardrick is a very smart man. Aside from the artist side, he’s establishing himself quickly into the nuts and bolts of the business of show-business. Make no mistake the game of making movies and television are lucrative and one of the key reasons it’s challenging for people of color to get their foot in the door and to find a place permanently to reap the rich financial awards.
In the new film “211” which follows a group of greedy American soldiers who murder a war profiteer in Afghanistan, after he failed to give them their illegal payment. The murderous soldiers then track the criminal’s money to a bank in Massachusetts and decide to retrieve it and take the bank’s employees and customers hostage. When the local police uncover the plot Officer Mike Chandler (Nicolas Cage) is amongst the eager law enforcement members who report to the scene.
Cory Hardrict plays Mike and Steve’s (Rainey Jr.) police colleague, Hanson. The heist movie is high octane and earns the title “thriller” but it also effectively highlights how people, from diverse backgrounds, can form a bond despite being immersed in a treacherous environment that’s populated with sneaky, evil, and greedy people in power.
“211” was written and directed by York Shackleton and inspired by a real bank robbery that happened in 1997 in Los Angeles. The heist led to a deadly battle between the two heavily armed bank robbers and the Los Angeles Police Department and is referred to as the Battle of North Hollywood.
Officer Mike, who is on the verge of retirement, still misses the bang-bang-bang of the old days when the public couldn’t keep a sharp eye using cell phone cameras to show just how inappropriate many men and women in “blue” conduct themselves. He’s also deeply in the complicated stages of grief after losing his wife after a prolonged illness, as well as dealing with the impact of being estranged from their daughter Sophie Skelton (Lisa MacAvoy). The conversation with Hardrict began with him explaining what drew him to play Hanson in the new drama. He liked having the opportunity to play along Nic Cage. When I heard that he was attached to star in the film, and I would have the opportunity to do some great stuff alongside him, the actor became even more intrigued to star in “211.”
Hardrict is a very-very busy actor and producer although his name might not be instantly recognizable, his face most likely is. Married to actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict, since 2008 the couple have two children and the family calls Los Angeles home. His credits are thick including “The Outpost” (currently in post-production) and the upcoming “City of Lies.” In addition to the action thriller “211,” he can also be seen in the television series “The Oath,” “When the Streets Lights Go On,” and on the big screen “All Eyez on Me,” “Brotherly Love” and “American Sniper” to name just a few.
Here is a brief excerpt from an interview with Hardrict.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL (LAS): Can you describe your character in the new film “211?”
CORY HARDRICT (CH): I play [police] officer Hanson who I’d describe as an ‘easy going guy’ so when he goes to assist on a heist, it’s a surprise. He’s a simple but effective member of the team.
LAS: Do you enjoy action films and carrying and using supervised firearms?
CH: I do. We [actors] go through a lot of training to use [guns] and it’s fun. I love shooting in films. I’ve had a lot of military training and I’ve played so many characters now that use them — but — it’s always a jolt, a thrill to play that type of character.
LAS: What was it like working with Nicolas Cage? He’s been described by many as intense.
CH: Nick was great. We have some very cool scenes together [in “211”] and he is very focused. He’s been doing this for so long so it was great working with him, really great.
LAS: Let’s talk about your career as a producer? I’m guessing but you’ve learned a lot from your uber intelligent wife (Tia Mowry-Hardrict) I mean, she’s a very smart lady!
CH: I am stepping into the role of a producer and providing screen opportunity for other people and that’s great — you know? I’m going to be producing projects that I want to see on screen and projects that I want to act in, as well. This is part of my passion. I’m looking for good material that people [Hollywood] won’t get behind for various reasons but it’s good material. I’ll be there to get it going.
LAS: This is exciting news! Do you have a company and if so — and I apologize for now knowing this in advance, what’s the name of the production company?
CH: (laughing) No, it’s ok. No apology is needed. The company is fairly new and the new of my production company is HARDCORE FILMS. I combined part of my last name —‘Hard’ and a piece of my first name ‘Cor’. I’m really looking forward to getting behind projects that need that extra push.
LAS: I have great respect for your wife, Tia above her natural talent she’s a smart businesswoman.
CH: (laughing) Yes this is true and thank you, very much for saying so.
LAS: You are welcome.
CH: I’ve learned a lot from my wife (laughing), a lot. After a while [of being in the industry] you come up with a lot of good ideas. People start bringing me things [material] and I was encouraged to seriously think about producing. I have the vision. I have some friends, my age or younger who I was working for and it was a wake-up call in a sense. I know that I can do that job—easily—. So now this is something that I want to do!
LAS: I can hear the passion in your voice!
CH: Yes, I am just as passionate about this — building my production company as I am about being an actor. I want to make projects that will touch the world, that will have an impact.
LAS: As a father has your definition of “touching the world” changed because of that? Do you have two children, correct?
CH: I do. I do.
LAS: Father’s Day is coming up. Anything that you might want to share?
CH: Oh wow. It’s a surreal experience and a beautiful experience. Just being a dad and being a real father and raising your kids, living under the same roof there is no visiting dad on the weekend, here. I’m the father that will be there in thick and thin. I’ve got to make these kids the new, the next world leaders. I’ve got to teach them the way so I am a very proud dad. I love them to death and there’s nothing that I won’t do for them to make sure that they have a better life. To make sure that as a parent that I have their foundation in place. So they know that they can do anything that they want in this world. That’s what I and my wife are teaching them.
LAS: You and your wife are both great role models. One thing I find encouraging is that these kids see you both living your passion and not settling into jobs that you hate. That’s important, do you agree?
CH: I agree 100 percent and thank you so much for saying so. You are totally right about [that]. I really appreciate you for acknowledging that. As long as you put a lot of love, honesty, and integrity into anything and keeping it simple. That’s what we are trying to do.
Produced by Momentum Pictures “211’”is in limited release theaters and on VOD and Digital HD.
Follow Cory Hardrict on Twitter @coryhardrict.