Category: Article

Press: Leverage Revival Adds Charmed Alum as Hardison’s Hacker Sister

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020

TVLINE-IMDb TV‘s Leverage revival has added to the mix a second hacker who shares the same particular set of skills as her brother.

TVLine has learned that Aleyse Shannon (formerly of The CW’s Charmed) has joined the revival’s cast in the series regular role of Hardison’s sister, Breanna Casey.

Described as “sarcastic and intelligent,” Breanna’s skills include being a genius mechanical engineer and making social hacking and social media manipulation look like child’s play. Having landed in the foster system following her parents’ tragic car accident, Breanna got lucky by finding a home with Nana, where as a “bonus” she acquired big brother Alec (played by Aldis Hodge, who will only recur in the revival).

Hardison at the time reached out to the scared 10-year old by teaching her computers and hacking. Now, as Breanne trains in new skills with the other Leverage team members, she will need to learn to embrace and trust her new family.

The synopsis for the new Leverage, which started production this month in New Orleans, reads: “The rich and powerful take what they want… and the Leverage team is back to take them down! Sophie Devereaux/The Grifter (played by Gina Bellman), Parker/The Thief (Beth Riesgraf), Eliot Spencer/The Hitter (Christian Kane) and Alec Hardison/The Hacker have watched the world change over the last eight years. It’s become easier – and sometimes legal — for the rich to become richer and the powerful to squash anyone who gets in their way. Sadly down one team member (Timothy Hutton will not be back as Nate), they find new blood in Harry Sullivan (Falling Skies‘ Noah Wyle), a corporate lawyer who is looking for redemption after realizing he’d been sitting on the wrong side of the table for his entire career.

In this new world, the team will use their collective skills to take down a new kind of villain. “From the man who created an opioid crisis from the comfort of his boardroom, to the woman who prefers to deport workers instead of paying them, to the shadowy security firm that helps hide dangerous secrets for a price, when someone needs help, we provide… Leverage.”

IMDb TV is Amazon’s free streaming service, on which you can currently watch the original Leverage series.

Press: ‘Leverage’: Production Underway On IMDb TV Series Reboot In Louisiana

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020

 

DEADLINE – Independent production companies continue to lead the way back into production amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Leverage, a new incarnation of the 2008 crime drama for IMDb TV, is entering its second week of filming in New Orleans, Louisiana. The series is produced by Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment. It has joined fellow indie productions, Tyler Perry Studios’ Sistas and The Oval, which recently finished their shoots, and Tom Werner’s Werner Entertainment’s The Conners, which just started production.

As documented in detail on social media by Devlin and the Leverage cast, the series’ in-person table read was on Aug. 4, with actors sitting 6 feet apart and wearing face shields. Cameras started rolling on Aug. 10, and the first week of shooting went well, sources said.

Like with Perry’s casts, the Leverage actors flew in on a private jet a couple days before the table read for a round of testing.

Leverage, the first major original series for Amazon’s IMDb TV, was initially tentatively slated to begin production in late June-early July in Louisiana following safety protocols. The tentative day was subsequently pushed to July 20 and then to Aug. 4 as producers across the industry try to adjust to the ever changing COVID conditions.

The Leverage reimagining will include new characters, including one played by new lead Noah Wyle, along with returning original cast members Beth Riesgraf, reprising her character as “Parker”, Gina Bellman as “Sophie Devereaux”; Christian Kane as “Eliot Spencer” as well as Aldis Hodge as “Alec Hardison.”

Hodge is recurring because of his duties on his Showtime series City on a Hill but the early start of Leverage could make him available for most of the season. The one original Leverage cast member not returning for the reboot is embattled former star Timothy Hutton.

The Leverage sequel is a fresh update of the original concept, about reformed crooks using their unique skills to right corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on common citizens.

Devlin is executive producing the revival, with Leverage John Rogers and Chris Downey serving as consulting producers. Additional EPs include Marc Roskin, Rachel Olschan-Wilson and Kate Rorick.

Press/Video: Magic Camp Trailer Starring Adam Devine in Disney+’s Heartwarming Comedy **Available August 14!

Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

COMING SOON – Magic Camp Trailer Starring Adam Devine in Disney+’s Heartwarming Comedy

Walt Disney Studios has released the official Magic Camp trailer starring Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect) as a down-on-his-luck magician who receives help from a group of misfit campers to rediscover his love of magic. You can check out the trailer now in the player below!

In Magic Camp, a straight-laced banker Andy Tuckerman (Devine) returns to magic camp, which he attended years ago as a boy, to work as a compassionate and fun-loving counselor while also keeping his eye on winning first place in the upcoming Golden Wand competition.

The movie also stars Gillian Jacobs (Community), Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Nathaniel McIntyre (David Makes Man), Cole Sand (3Below: Tales of Arcadia), Josie Totah (Champions), and Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures).

Magic Camp was directed by Mark Waters (Vampire Academy) and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, Matt Spicer, Max Winkler, Dan Gregor, and Doug Mand from a story by Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah, Spicer, and Winkler. The movie will debut on Friday, August 14, exclusively on Disney+.

Press: ‘Leverage’ Cast Reunites for Table Read Ahead of Revival Series

Thursday, Aug 6, 2020

TV INSIDER – They’ve successfully stolen a revival, and it’s all coming together.
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As was previously announced, IMDb TV is reimagining the TNT crime drama Leverage, with original stars Beth Riesgraf (thief Parker), Gina Bellman (grifter Sophie Deveraux), Christian Kane (hitter Eliot Spencer), and Aldis Hodge (hacker Alec Hardison) all returning as their characters alongside new cast member Noah Wyle. And with the first table read comes a look at the stars reunited and a few teases about what to expect.

Bellman posted a photo of herself with the rest of the returning cast members, all wearing masks. “STAY SAFE,” she wrote alongside it. “Protect others and take care of your gang!”

Kane shared a photo of himself and Hodge on August 1 with the caption, “The boys are back in town… the boys are back in towhowaahahaan. the boys are back. Oh and a couple of girls you may know and love. It’s real people.”

Original series creator John Rogers (back as a consulting producer with co-creator Chris Downey) was the one to note that they’d had the first table read on Twitter. “Completely surreal, everybody’s right back in the voices,” he wrote. “@BethRiesgraf @AldisHodge @ChristianKane01 and our old Librarian pal Noah — but you’re not ready for the heat @Ginabellman brings, people.”

In a follow-up, he added, “She pulled off the ‘I’m not sure this speech works I have to trust Gina’ moment and made the room tear up. So good to be working with actors who started off great 12 years ago and have only gotten better.”

In a subsequent tweet, Rogers answered a fan’s inquiry about Wyle’s new character with one word: “Conflicted.”

The series follows reformed crooks who use their unique skills to right the corporate and governmental injustices done to common citizens.

“While Leverage centered on a crusade to avenge the death of a child, this series is propelled forward as a redemption story of misdeeds that need amends,” returning executive producer Dean Devlin has teased.

Marc Roskin, Rachel Olschan-Wilson, and Kate Rorick will also executive produce.

The original Leverage premiered in 2008 and ran for five seasons.

Press: Aldis Hodge Appointed Trustee Of The Horological Society Of New York

Wednesday, Aug 5, 2020

Hodge joins the decision-making branch of America’s oldest watchmaking guild in the midst of a powerful time of change.

 

 

HODINKEE – The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) announces the appointment of actor and horological designer Aldis Hodge as its newest Trustee. Hodge is an award-winning actor, famous for his roles in movies such as The Invisible Man, Clemency, Hidden Figures, and Straight Outta Compton. In addition, Hodge is an accomplished horologist who serves on the academy of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The Society’s ten Trustees play an important role in the operation of the organization, as they are responsible for ensuring that it continues to uphold the interests of the public.

In addition, Nicholas Manousos (formerly HSNY President) succeeds Edwin Hydeman as Executive Director. Manousos also serves on the Academy of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and is the Technical Editor for HODINKEE. John Teifert, Technical Manager for LVMH Watches & Jewelry, assumes the role of President, and John Davis, Director of Service Operations, Rolex Watch USA, assumes the role of Vice President. Teifert and Davis succeed in their roles as Vice President and Trustee, respectively.

Founded in 1866, HSNY has navigated through world wars, depressions, and pandemics, while always maintaining its mission to advance the art and science of horology. As New York City begins to re-open, HSNY’s team is focused on making a positive contribution to horology through its educational and philanthropic programs. To date in 2020, HSNY has awarded $155,000 in financial assistance to watchmaking students, schools, and professionals.

Continue reading Press: Aldis Hodge Appointed Trustee Of The Horological Society Of New York

Press: Aldis Hodge Takes off in ‘Clemency’

Friday, Jan 10, 2020

HEMISPHERES MAGAZINE – Where You’ve Seen Him: Playing a real-life football player wrongfully convicted of rape in last summer’s Brian Banks, an assistant district attorney fighting police corruption on Showtime’s City on a Hill, and a fiercely independent slave named Noah in the WGN America series Underground.

Origins: The North Carolina–born son of two former Marines got his first big acting break at the age of 5, when he and his brother were cast on Sesame Street. “That was pretty cool, going to work every day to see Big Bird and Elmo and Oscar the Grouch,” says Hodge, now 33. “You’re living in the fantasy of this being your reality every day.”

Changing Course: At age 14, Hodge, already fed up with typecasting in Hollywood, made a commitment to avoid stereotypical roles. “For a while, all the auditions I was getting were thug this, thug that, and I realized that if we keep supporting that idea, that’s how people will continue to look at us,” he says. On his 21st birthday, he landed his breakout role as a brainy hacker on TNT’s Leverage. “I would have tons of black men, women, and young kids come up to me and say, ‘Thank God someone’s finally showing what we’re capable of.’”

Star Turn: In the drama Clemency (in theaters now), Hodge takes on his most complex role to date: death-row inmate Anthony Woods. The film, which also stars Alfre Woodard as a stoic warden, won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at last year’s Sundance Film Festival—the first time a black female director (Chinonye Chukwu) has received that honor. Hodge admits that Anthony’s journey is an emotional roller-coaster, but he points out that the experience is unsettling by design. “Our director would never tell me whether or not he did it,” Hodge says. “I don’t want the audience to see him through the lens of the death row condition. I want them to see a human being and see if they can empathize with that human being.”

Up Next: A self-taught horologist, Hodge is hoping to start his own watch brand soon. “I’m building a legacy to pass down to my kids,” he says. He is also honing his behind-the-scenes skills as a producer: “I want to put myself in a position where I can start creating jobs for other people.” More selfishly? “I would love to strap on some tights and do the superhero thing!”

Press: Content Mode Interview

Friday, Jan 10, 2020

CONTENT MODEYour first acting credit came at a young age. Tell me what your childhood was like growing up juggling schoolwork and auditions.

My childhood was great. Not always easy, but definitely great. I was being raised by a mom who believed in my dream enough to support it, along with great siblings to share it with. When we experienced troubling times of poverty, we got through it together, and that’s what made it survivable.

School was at the mercy of the dreams we chased. Public school turned into homeschool, which then turned into college for me at the age of 14. My pathway through academia was as nuanced as my career choice.

In past interviews, you’ve mentioned that you were type cast in certain roles as a teenager. Tell me how you broke out of that cycle. Did it affect the direction of your career?

I broke out by simply invoking the power to say “No”. I refused to go on those auditions and, though the sacrifice of the lack of jobs was felt early, it eventually paid off. Without making that decision, I wouldn’t be getting the caliber of work that I’ve been fortunate enough to grab onto over these past few years.

If you could go back and give your younger self any career advice, what would it be?

Believe in your full potential, and don’t be afraid to express yourself to the fullest. As an artist, only worry about satisfying your honest intent when you create. You can’t allow the opinions of others to dictate your passion.

2015-2016 was arguably a pivotal year in your career, appearing in both Straight Outta Compton and Hidden Figures, two films that received both critical acclaim and box office success. What was the experience like for you? How did you keep grounded during this period?

The experiences were simply great educations about how we are able to fully impact people in a huge way with our art. Each film took on a life of its own through our audiences, and it was quite special to observe and be a part of.

Staying grounded comes from having an awareness that it’s not directly about you and never will be. You didn’t accomplish this feat alone. Having a great foundation of family at home helps. And also understanding that when people boast about the supposed “power” you have, what they really mean is the great “responsibility” you have to the audience, to the craft and most importantly, to yourself. As long as you don’t forget the work you have to do, you won’t go astray.

Continue reading Press: Content Mode Interview

Press: ‘Clemency’ Star Really Did Bang His Head in Key Death Row Prison Scene

Friday, Jan 10, 2020

 

THE WRAP – TheWrap Oscar magazine: “I misjudged my distance, but it was worth it,” the actor says

This story about Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever first appeared in the Actors/Directors/Screenwriters issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

Aldis Hodge had a mission in 2019 for his acting career: to find roles that challenged the status quo. As the calendar turns to 2020, it’s safe to say he accomplished that goal.

At the start of the year, Hodge left audiences at Sundance stunned silent in “Clemency,” Chinonye Chukwu’s jury prize-winning drama about how enforcing the death penalty not only dehumanizes and emotionally destroys the condemned but also takes a spiritual toll on those who carry out the execution. Hodge goes to extremes as death row inmate Anthony Woods, from violently attempting to take his death into his own hands to shutting down completely as the prison warden, played by Alfre Woodard, calmly explains how the state will kill him.

“For Anthony Woods, that scene where he tries to kill himself is the most dignity he could possibly give himself,” Hodge said. “I did seriously hit my head, though. I misjudged my distance, but it was worth it because every audience I’ve seen that scene with has the exact same reaction and they can see what it’s really like in there.”

To prepare for the role, Hodge took a tour of San Quentin with prison inmates serving life sentences. He was shown the execution chamber and the machine used to administer lethal injection but was not allowed to speak with any of the death row inmates. Such isolation factored into Hodge’s performances, as he noted that it is just another way that those sentenced to death are dehumanized.

“There’s differences in how the death row inmates are treated all the way down to their dying breath. Anthony was in that process for 15 years by the time we meet him in the film. One can only imagine how you find faith, hope and belief when you’re sitting there, waiting for death.”

“Clemency” is one of three roles Hodge has taken this year that challenges our society’s sense of justice. He also starred in the true-story drama “Brian Banks” about a former football prospect whose life was destroyed by a false rape accusation. He’s also tackled how racism in the criminal justice system affects those who enforce it in the Showtime series “City on a Hill,” in which he plays a Boston district attorney trying to do seek justice in a power structure dominated by white men.

“I just went with the nature of the roles that crossed my path,” he said. “For me as an actor, I hope to be part of a progressive conversation that challenges how we live our daily lives. These roles sort of lined up and I went with the flow of things, but they’re all roles in stories that I’m proud to be a part of.”

 

 

Press: Aldis Hodge Talks ‘City on a Hill,’ His Favorite Boston Spots and More

Friday, Aug 9, 2019

 

BOSTON COMMON – After acclaimed performances in What Men Want and Clemency, actor Aldis Hodge continues his big year with City on a Hill. Debuting June 16 on Showtime, the drama stars Hodge and Kevin Bacon as a pair of law enforcement officers taking on corruption in Boston. “This show is going to be fire,” Hodge promises. We chatted with the actor about the series, working with executive producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and even food.

What made you want to get involved with City on a Hill?

I love the show because it’s gritty and raw. We’re dealing with Boston in the ’90s, crooked cops and robbers, that kind of thing. What really captures me about the show is that regardless of the scenario and what brought us all together, we’re still dealing with the life of Boston. We’re dealing with these people as representations of the life of Boston and how harsh it can be or has been for some.

Did you enjoy filming in Boston? Find any favorite spots around town?

I grew up between New York and New Jersey, and I had family in Boston. We would go up to Boston in the winters. I have no idea why the winters, because they were terribly cold. Boston’s changed a little bit, but I will say my favorite place that I hit was Ostra. The first place that Kevin and I met and had dinner at was Ostra. We had a fantastic conversation and got to know one another, but the food was brilliant. I was there a couple times a week. Their sauces are fantastic.

How involved were Matt and Ben?

This whole idea was really born in Ben Affleck’s head. They were both completely involved. Ben’s actually been on set a couple of times. It would be nice to actually see him direct. That would be really cool. What are your favorite Boston movies? Of course, I love Good Will Hunting [written and starring Damon and Affleck]. I also really like The Town [Affleck starred and directed]. I thought it was done really well. Then again, The Departed [Damon starred in] is damn good, man. It’d be a toss up between those.

Press: Aldis Hodge Is A Real-Life Superhero, So Give This Man What He Wants

Friday, Aug 9, 2019

After years of dramatic roles, the “What Men Want” star wants to make you laugh and fulfill his dreams of being a super-powered badass

 


 
BET – Legend has it that Aldis Hodge worked cheap early in his career. Really cheap. Like, McDonald’s Happy Meal cheap. The pre-schooler was tagging along on a photo shoot for Ebony Magazine, where his older brother, Edwin, was working. The producers had a last-minute need for another cute kid and Aldis’ mother convinced him to take the gig in exchange for a coveted Batman toy. Thanks to mom’s quick thinking, Hollywood has been gifted one of its most intense and versatile acting talents.

Hodge has amassed a colorful acting resume that includes stints on shows like A.T.O.M.: Alpha Teens on Machines, Friday Night Lights, Supernatural and Leverage. But it was his moving portrayal of a restless slave named Noah on WGN’s Underground that made viewers sit up at attention and cheer with their fingers across social media. In the same year his appearance in Black Mirror as a somewhat single father named Jack living with his girlfriend’s voice literally in his head, allowed him to blend his piercing stares with subdued comedic timing. But now Hodge gets to go for the full belly laughs in the R-rated comedy What Men Want as the bartending, romantic, very single father named Will, who gets caught up in Taraji P. Henson’s mind-reading male-strom.

During a stop at BET, Hodge is adorned in gold, beads and denim fabrics that accent flawless skin that has benefited from the sun’s full attention. He walks with squared shoulders inherited from his retired Marine parents. His cape is invisible. If not for the disarming laughs cracking his intense looks, you might think he’s one cartoonish horn blare away from taking off through the ceiling to catch a meteor hurtling toward earth. Between bites of his lunch we talk about the comedy of sex, his fascination with controlling time, engineering the perfect date and being a champion for the people.

 

It was kind of meta for you to have your thoughts read by Ali in What Men Want, because in the “Black Museum” episode of Black Mirror your lover was LITERALLY in Jack’s head. Did you draw on that experience at all for this role?
Continue reading Press: Aldis Hodge Is A Real-Life Superhero, So Give This Man What He Wants