Saturday, Jun 19, 2010
Since he’s his brother as well as a Leverage guest star, we’re posting information about Edwin Hodge as well!
© 2010 TNT Guest star Edwin Hodge in LEVERAGE “The Jailhouse Job”

Exclusive Interview

The actor talks about his brother Aldis, being directed by Dean Devlin, HEROES and the upcoming RED DAWN remake

By ABBIE BERNSTEIN, Contributing Writer
Published 6/19/2010

TNT’s LEVERAGE is about a team of modern-day fixers who get justice for wronged ordinary folks by going after those seemingly too big to be touched.

At the end of second season, the gang suffered a bad setback when leader Nate Ford, played by Timothy Hutton, got arrested for breaking the law numerous times in order to do the right thing. In the first episode of Season Three, airing tomorrow night at 9:00 pm, viewers will see a sort-of familiar face as a guest star. This is Edwin Hodge, older (by one year) brother of Aldis Hodge, who plays LEVERAGE’s techno wizard Alec Hardison. In this exclusive interview, Edwin talks about the show, his brother and what’s coming up next.

iF: You’re in the opening episode of LEVERAGE, “The Jailhouse Job,” this season. Had you gone up for LEVERAGE before, or was this the first time there was a part on the show that was right for you?
EDWIN HODGE: This was definitely the first time there was a right part for me. My brother has been looking through many different roles over the last two seasons, and he and [executive producer] Dean [Devlin] decided that this would be the best episode for me.
iF: What’s your character like?
HODGE: Well, what happens is, at the top of the season, Nate Ford is actually imprisoned. It’s really a weird situation as another criminal tries to kill my character – Nate actually saves my life – and in turn finds out that I’ve been wrongly convicted and sentenced to eight months in prison, and so he decides to make me a case [for the LEVERAGE team].
iF: Does your character have scenes with your brother’s character Hardison ?
HODGE: No, I didn’t get to work with him at all, which was kind of a bummer. Technically we did, because we were in the same scene [laughs], but no, I didn’t get to work hands-on with my brother, which is usually fun for us to do on a regular basis.
iF: Did you and your brother get to hang out together outside of the scene?
HODGE: Oh, yeah, of course. I actually stayed in his apartment. So, yeah. My brother and I, we’re very, very close. We played together and we went out to clubs and dinner and shot pool the whole weekend. We had that brother time that we hadn’t had in awhile because he’s up there [in Portland, Oregon, where LEVERAGE films] and I’m still down here [in Los Angeles] during this season.

iF: When have you and your brother worked on together professionally?

HODGE: We worked on BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE together, DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, we did the SHOWBOAT Broadway musical for about two-and-a-half years together, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, SESAME STREET.
iF: Did you know all of the LEVERAGE people through your brother prior to acting on the show?
HODGE: Over the past few years, I became friends with everybody pretty much, the whole cast and the crew. So when I was there working with them, it was kind of a familiar environment. I felt at ease there and everybody treated me like a friend. It was very, very nice. You can tell when they like you.
iF: How was Dean Devlin as a director?
HODGE: He’s fun. I mean, he definitely likes to let the actors kind of explore the material. I was a little uptight, because I’m more of a dramatic actor, so everything is kind of straitlaced, and he just told me, “Just go for it. Be loose, let yourself be free.” And that’s what I did and I thought it turned out pretty well.

iF: Not long ago, you co-starred on a season of the Fox series MENTAL.

HODGE: I was playing a nurse. I was pretty much the sane person trying to keep everybody else sane. He basically was brought into this program and this psych ward to try and get him off the streets and correct his life.
iF: You also played Charles Devereaux, the young version of Richard Roundtree’s character, in flashbacks on HEROES. Did you study Richard Roundtree at all in order to do that?
HODGE: I’d watched him growing up, I knew who he is and his talent as far as seeing his work in SHAFT and everything, and I also had seen his work previously on HEROES, so I just modeled myself as the cool and sophisticated guy that he is. I like to kind of model myself after Sidney Poitier as well. Those are the types of actors that I like, so it was easy to tap into that character.
iF: You’re also in the remake of the war-on-American-soil movie RED DAWN. What was that like?
HODGE: That was, if you can imagine, pure chaos [laughs]. It was a lot of fun, though. We shot in Detroit for about four months and we had a lot of machine guns, a lot of handguns, a lot of explosions. Anything that you can imagine happening on an action film, it happened.
iF: Do you have a preference for roles where you’re doing a lot of running and gun-firing, or where it’s more cerebral, like LEVERAGE?
HODGE: I like to do both. I like to enjoy whatever I’m doing in the moment. I like to pick projects that I know I will enjoy, and so when it comes to shooting, I know that the character and whatever I’ve gotten into will be gratifying. So whether it’s doing an independent film, or a something larger like RED DAWN, or doing a comedy/action type of a show like LEVERAGE, I’m game for anything, pretty much.
iF: Could your character come back to LEVERAGE?
HODGE: I’m sure there’s an opening for him, and if they allow it, I would love to do that toward the end of the season or whatnot. Hopefully I would actually get the chance to work with my brother, because it’s a riot when we’re both on set and we’re just enjoying each other. I think Aldis is great. My brother is a consummate professional. Anybody who watches his work knows that it stands out. He is definitely a guy who can go from one extreme to another. He can play a vicious killer, as he used to do growing up, doing NYPD BLUE and whatnot, or he can be in the light that most people see him in, which is that comedic genius that he is. He has amazing comedic timing and he has amazing creativity when it comes to diving into Hardison. I think he adds so much to Hardison and I think it was kind of unexpected from being in with all the producers. Watching them watch my brother is almost an experience in itself. He’s very smart, intellectually sound. I don’t think that I could have a better brother talent-wise and just personally. LEVERAGE itself is just a really, really great program on TV right now. They have a great cast, they work well together and I just expect really great things for the new season. What I’ve seen and what I’ve experienced on that set, people are going to really be surprised at what’s going to happen.

Source: IF Magazine