“I was buying clothes or something for my daughter and we were having a conversation about him. And in the midst of having that conversation, the phone rang and it was a 917 number,” recalls Hardwick. “And I assumed it was production or whatever because I was the only one cast at that point. It happened to be him. And I was probably talking about him five seconds before that. He said, ‘I feel like you don’t know why I wanted you to do it and before we develop a relationship, I think you need to know — man-to-man, from my mouth — the reason why I chose you.’ We conversed for almost two hours.
“To this day, the conversations that we have are always about the same amount of time. They’re never 10 minutes or every single day, but when we get on the phone, it usually extends to the better part of three hours. It’s amazing. Courtney Kemp Agboh had been asked by him to create [this show]. When I put it all together, it made sense that he asked her to do it. It’s been amazing to watch and learn from him. Maybe he can say he’s learned from me, too. I’m humbled if he can say that.”