When we spoke to Cory Hardrict, he just wrapped an audition for the upcoming franchise-starter, Ninja Turtles. It’s a sign that after 15 steady years in show business, the 33-year-old actor is turning a corner. Fresh of the Sundance buzz of his latest performance, as the flashy DJ Frankie “Hollywood” Crocker in the biopic Lovelace, Hardrict was celebrating his turn as a zombie-hunting soldier in the nation’s number one movie, Warm Bodies. Here we talk to Hardict, who is married to Sister, Sister star Tia Mowry, about his start in the movie industry, his flamboyant turn in Lovelace, and his quest to overtake Will Smith.
How did your audition go?
Nailed it. That was quick, right? I just got right to it and knocked it out the park.
What movie was it for?
I went out for a nice franchise film and it’s involving some turtles and we’ll see what happens. You probably know the rest.
Congratulations on Lovelace being bought by The Weinstein Company. Did you go to Sundance?
Yeah. I was there. It was really, really cool. First of all I love the snow. So I got a chance to see some snow. Other than that, it was nice out there. The people were nice. The gifting suites were nice.
Tell me about playing Frankie “Hollywood” Crocker.
Oh man. Frankie. Hollywood. Crocker. His name says it all. He is Hollywood. He’s flashy. He’s really smooth. He’s a ladies man. It was cool playing him, because he’s on the radio in NY, the tri-state area, and he always interviews porn stars and Linda Lovelace and her manager. So I promote them, and they come to the radio stations. And we go back and forth with them about the porn industry and how it’s turned into this phenomenon that’s made over 600 million dollars at this point, and I even talk about getting into the damn porn industry myself. I do it all baby.
Did the role require a lot of prep?
I looked up a lot of his YouTube footage. I went online and researched him a lot. I tried to get him down and stay as true to character as I could be, but also bring some of my own organic-ness, as well. I didn’t want to mimic him all the way, but I wanted to add bits and pieces of what I could bring to the table as well. So I did that and I read clips about him and everything, and I just went on and gave it a shot. It was fun.
I know Hollywood was known for his style. What’s the best outfit you got to wear?
I had the flyaway collars and the tight bell bottoms that cut away all the circulation you can imagine. That was it. I wore a lot of gold jewelry—watches, rings. They dressed him up for this. He was a very smooth, slick kind of guy.
What was the first job you had in LA?
The first job I had, I had visited LA for 3 days, and I crashed an audition for Smart Guy. This was in ’98, but I didn’t move out here yet. I crashed and got the part as a guest star and then I went back to Chicago for a few years, sitting around doing absolutely nothing, because I got out of high school and I was in community college. So I had to make my way back. And then I got Felicity and that was my first real job that I got. It was recurring, couple episodes. Then I got a role in Never Been Kissed, and Crazy/Beautiful and started doing a bunch of TV and that was that.
You’re married to Tia Mowry. Did you grow up watching her show?
Hell yeah, just like you did. Everybody did I think. It’s crazy, we’ve been together basically since I’ve been here. She has full support of me. She’s my rock. She love’s me to death and I love her the same. We make a strong strong team.
Do Tia and Tamera ever recreate Sister, Sister. Do the whole theme song?
No. They don’t do that. If they did it, they didn’t let me see it. They might just do it behind closed doors, because I haven’t seen it. And if they did it, I’d say, “Hey, cut that shit out.” [Laughs]. I wouldn’t say that. Yeah, I might.
Tell me about working on Warm Bodies and your character Kevin.
It should be the biggest movie of the first quarter hopefully. Hopefully I can get a ten picture deal off of this, so if you’re listening, every studio, Warner Brothers, Paramount, come on. I’m ready. I’m ready. I play Kevin. I play a soldier for John Malkovich. I’m his right hand man. I go out and report to duty every day and try to find his daughter and we go through little obstacles as far as fighting the zombies and trying to get the mission accomplished. I can’t tell you what happens, but that’s my thing. Like I said, Will Smith I’m coming for you buddy. Get ready. [Laughs]
How was it working with John Malkovich?
He’s awesome. He’s probably one of the greatest actors I’ve ever worked with. He’s the most humble and down to earth and simple. He loves to work. He loves his job, and that’s about it. Great guy. Nicholas Hoult same thing. These guys are very simple. No entourages. They’re just good people and they do their job very well. I see why they’re so far at this point in their career. That’s what I’m trying to get to, keep building up a body of work and getting up to that point to. I can’t wait to see the film, and hopefully the world will respond to it.
Next, I’m working on movie with Scott Eastwood called Boulevard H. I’ve got a TV show I produce called Angel City, South LA, that I’m shopping right now to different networks. I don’t know if I’m going to star in it now, but I was in the pilot that I produced. Other than that, I’m just pounding the pavement, taking scripts and doing auditions like the one today, and trying to take it to the next level, taking it one day at a time, and hey, I’m happy and grateful to be doing what I love. That’s it.
Do you see yourself transitioning into production?
Yeah. I’ve got to do both. I’ve got to produce. I want to put out good content and good material, because it’s limiting, trying to be an actor. You can only go out for what you audition for, but I want to create things as well, and get people in jobs, and explore other avenues in this town. If I’m in the entertainment business, I want to do it all, and create great things, not just create stuff for money, but create things I’m passionate about that I feel will touch peoples lives.
Warm Bodies is now in theatres. For more on Hardrict see his twitter here.
Photography by Bobby Quillard