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.”



Gallery/Video: “The Today Show” Appearance

Friday, Dec 13, 2019



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Gallery: Event Updates

Friday, Dec 13, 2019




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Gallery: HEPA and THR Golden Globe Party and AFI Fest for “Clemency” Premiere

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019



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Press/Video: FIRST LOOK: Aldis Hodge and Storm Reid in ‘The Invisible Man’

Saturday, Nov 9, 2019

THE GRIO – Get ready for some heart-stopping suspense in the upcoming thriller The Invisible Man starring Aldis Hodge and Storm Reid.

The film that also stars Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Us) just dropped its first official trailer and it’s clear that the latest flick from Jason Blum will be quite the mind bender.

Storm Reid speaks on taking on more mature roles in ‘Euphoria’ and ‘When They See Us’: ‘This is what I do this for”

Check out the official description:

Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister, their childhood friend and his teenage daughter. But when Cecilia’s abusive ex commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turn lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.

The Invisible Man hits theaters on February 28, 2020.


Press: 2019 SCAD Savannah Film Festival: ‘Clemency’ star Aldis Hodge talks return to Savannah, finding empathy in his character

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019

DO SAVANNAH: Aldis Hodge is all about the craft and he wants to impart that on the SCAD students at this year’s festival.

One of the 13 honorees at this year’s festival, Hodge is ready to speak with the next generation and start a dialogue that could lead them to great things. He has found great things on his own. He is currently starring alongside Alfre Woodard in the critically-acclaimed “Clemency,” which follows a prison warden who must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

Do Savannah spoke with Hodge about his new role and what research went into crafting it, but also about what he hopes to impart on the students as he plans a masterclass during the festival.


Q: Aldis, first congratulations on the recognition for the festival. What did you make of the honor?

Hodge: I was surprised. I remember my first time getting introduced to SCAD. I think was like 2016 when I was there (in Savannah filming) ‘Underground.’ We had a panel there (at SCAD). But getting to experience the full magnitude of what SCAD is and what they’ve done and accomplished over the years. So for me to be a part of that, I very humbled. And, you know, this is new for me to be, you know, acknowledged so I’m like, all right. Absolutely.

I’m really excited to see what some of the programs (at the festival are). I’m hopefully (going to) get to see some of the other folks down there. I just worked with Elisabeth Moss so hopefully we get to cross paths down there and then Camila Morrone, we were just having some fun together. I know she’s going to be down there so it’d be cool to just, you know, cross that and be able to catch up. Also, I’ve been given the opportunity to give a masterclass while I’m down there, so I’m pretty excited about that. I’ve never taught a class. I’ve worked individually when it comes to acting as well, I’m excited to see what that turns out to be.

Q: That’s great, What kind of knowledge are you looking to impart on the students?

Hodge: I think the best way to be a teacher is to understand you’re still a student. I’m still learning a lot. You can learn a lot from the people that you’re trying to teach, but the best way to work with people is to figure out who they are. I can’t go at them with the assumption I know so much more than them regardless of the experience, but it does matter. I know that every person there has something that makes them great. So what I’m searching for is that thing that makes them great and seeing if I can help them identify more and define it more so that they can always call on it and know exactly how to how to pull it out when they need to execute it because the beautiful thing about our craft is that we’re all individuals and that’s what makes it interesting. So I just want to see I want to experience you know what these students actually have to teach me honestly.

Q: Real quickly on Savannah, you were here extensively for ‘Underground,’ is there anything about re-visiting the city that you’re looking forward to most?

Hodge: Definitely want to go check out some of the food. I do remember Savannah was a very beautiful place — really relaxing. Nice little place to walk around and just chill for a minute. So I enjoy the flow down there and I’m definitely trying to get some good food, man.

Continue reading Press: 2019 SCAD Savannah Film Festival: ‘Clemency’ star Aldis Hodge talks return to Savannah, finding empathy in his character

Press/Gallery: ‘If I’m going to do this, it’s going to be mine’: Aldis Hodge gets Discovery Award

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019

SCAD Savannah Film Festival honoree opens up about his career



CONNECT SAVANNAH – CRITICALLY-acclaimed actor Aldis Hodge is one of a group of esteemed actors and film industry heavyweights set to the Discovery Award honor at this year’s SCAD Savannah Film Festival, which is taking place from October 26 through November 2.

Hodge, a lifelong actor who started as a child hoping to follow in the footsteps of his brother Edwin, has had a pretty big year. Not only does he star alongside Kevin Bacon in the series City On A Hill, he’s also had some pretty major film roles in Tom Shadyac’s powerful Brian Banks and Chinonye Chukwu’s upcoming Clemency.

Clemency is notably inspired by the story of Troy Davis, who was convicted of the 1989 murder of Savannah police offer Mark MacPhail despite decades of doubt surrounding the case. Davis was executed in 2011, following a widespread effort to be granted clemency that garnered support from the likes of President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI.

Hodge’s award will be presented during a Q&A following a screening of Clemency at the Lucas Theatre on Mon., Oct. 28 at 9:30 P.M.

Ahead of the screening and Q&A, we spoke to Hodge about his incredible career trajectory and what being an actor really means to him.

What made you get into this line of work?

I got into this line of work following my brother, Edwin Hodge. He’s actually in Atlanta right now working on his upcoming film Ghost Draft, starring alongside Chris Pratt. He started when he was 3, and I came up behind him. My mom said that if I was going to do it, I had to be serious about it and earn it.

When I was 12 years old, I was fired from a job for performing too well. They thought that my character and two other characters on the show performed a little bit better than their primary lead, and they didn’t want us to distract so they fired us.

Oh, wow!

Yeah, it was a little weird. How do you do your job too well? [laughs]. But I said, all right, if I’m going to do this, I don’t want to be in a position of being expendable or being something somebody takes off a shelf every now and then when they feel like it.

That’s when I really started writing and decided that if I’m going to do this, it’s going to be mine. I don’t want to just be an actor—I’m going to be a full-on artist.

It’s not really about acting, for me. It has to do with my passion for being able to contribute to the craft, to the art. I have an ambition for how I see acting, and the issues that I see in the industry that I’d hope to be a part of fixing. So I’m not sure that for me it was every really about acting.

I don’t think as a kid I ever said that I wanted to be an actor. I was just in it, and then I had ambitions that grew out if it. Because I wasn’t satisfied. I wasn’t seeing the stories written that were necessary, which I knew to be true.

That’s what pushed me to writing. So my ambition comes out of necessity.

That’s an interesting perspective. It seems like that mentality is on full display with movies like Brian Banks, where you tell the true story of a man falsely convicted of rape, and Clemency, in which your character was inspired by Troy Davis and his fight for clemency. Why is it important for you to take roles like that?

I take those roles because they’re substantive. There are challenges creatively and artistically, and it allows me to have a conversation with my audience about being progressive and hopefully inspiring somebody to get out there and be active and do the work.

Granted, not every job I take is going to be in the same vein of cultural responsibility or advocacy, but when those opportunities are there I love to jump on them.

Look, I’m a black man. I am not absolved of any of these issues that go on today. It’s frustrating, tiring, and exhausting. Any part that I can play in terms of using my platform to hopefully defeat some of this, I’m going to take it.

I do extracurricular work outside of acting, but when it comes to that specifically—I love to take all kinds of roles, whether it’s the main protagonist, antagonist, it doesn’t matter.

But what is the point? What story are we telling? Am I playing a thug for the purpose of playing a thug that doesn’t move the needle? Or am I playing a conflicted villain who actually has a reason for why he is the way he is?

You mentioned writing; is that something you’re always working on? What do you foresee for the future in terms of those endeavors?

Right now, I’m getting ready to executive-produce two films. I’m also producing and directing my first short next year, and always writing new projects to pitch.

I don’t have as much time as I’d like to sit and write full films and full scripts; between my shooting schedule and my other work; it kind of takes away my flow. So I spend as much time as I can developing stories, and then putting a writing team together to help finish it.

I have an animated [project] that I’m working on, that I’m working with a team to develop. And outside of that, two different TV series that I’m working on as well. So, you know, I try to fit it in when I can. Time is very much a rare luxury, which is a good problem to have. But when I get it, I try and get to work.




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Photoshoots > Session 71

Public Appearances > 2019 > Oct 28: 2019 SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Public Appearances > 2019 > Oct 28: 2019 SCAD Savannah Film Festival – Reception


Press: Aldis Hodge: Actor, Inventor, Bona Fide Watch Junkie

Saturday, Oct 26, 2019

You’ve already seen Aldis Hodge’s name in lights. It’s only a matter of time before you see it on your wrist.



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 Photoshoots > Session 70



OVATION MAGAZINE – It’s 8:45 am on a breezy june day when Aldis Hodge arrives at Midtown Manhattan’s Quin Hotel, sans entourage and dressed like he’s just hopped off the back of a Ducati. His low-slung graphic tank, leather jacket, and ripped jeans are certainly appropriate for the weather, but this summer hasn’t exactly been a casual one for the 33-year-old actor.

Hodge has just wrapped the first season of his new Showtime series, City on a Hill, costarring Kevin Bacon and produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and he’s preparing for a full-blown press tour for Brian Banks, a movie in which he plays a high school football player whose life is upended after he’s wrongly accused of a violent crime. After that, it’s three months in Australia to shoot Universal Pictures’ The Invisible Man, based on the H.G. Wells science-fiction classic. And in typical form, Hodge is in a hurry this morning, too. He has just a few hours to spare for Ovation’s fall casual fashion shoot before he’s off again, this time to record voiceovers.

As a guy with so little time on his hands, Hodge, not surprisingly, likes to keep a close eye on his watch. What is surprising, however, is how serious he is about what he puts on his wrist. He’s a bona fide watch junkie who says he’s lost count of how many timepieces he owns. But he doesn’t just collect watches—he actually knows how to make them.

A self-taught horologist, he even uses his own guilloche machine, a tool developed in the 18th century by Abraham-Louis Breguet, to create intricate designs on a watch face. And when he walks into the Quin’s palatial three-story penthouse, he’s like a kid in a candy store, gushing over a trio of Breguet watches selected for the day’s shoot.

“Let’s see…we’ve got the 5395, the 7337, and the 5527,” says Hodge, rattling off the reference numbers for each watch by memory. It’s the kind of obsessive knowledge you’d expect from any well-heeled collector, but it was a long road to connoisseurship for the North Carolina native. Raised along with his two siblings by a single mother, he knows what it means to struggle to get by. Even in those early days, however, he always had an affinity for the finer details. “I was always scientifically and mechanically inclined,” he says. “As a child, I wanted to be an engineer and a designer. When I was 19, I got into watch design because it was something that I could take with me while I was pursuing my acting career, which I’d already been in for quite some time. I chose watches because it encompasses all of my loves—art, architecture, engineering, and balance.”


When Hodge whips out his portfolio of hand-sketched watch designs, it’s not hyperbole to say they rival concepts you’d see from some of the greatest watchmakers of Switzerland. And the actor knows it—he’s already begun laying the groundwork for his own eponymous watch company. The dials will be branded A. Hodge and engraved with various personal mottos, such as “The wealth of every nation is found in the heart of its foundation.” Of course, unlike every other watchmaker in the centuries-long history of horology, Hodge will have plenty of name recognition before he even sells his first piece. But that’s beside the point. “I honestly don’t care if I don’t sell a watch,” he says. “I just need to make it.” Still, when he takes out his laptop to show off the artificial-reality technology he has developed to help his future customers virtually try on his watches, it’s obvious he’s committed to bringing his project to fruition.

With his career in full swing, Hodge has already proven that he can bring any project he cares about to life—even today’s shoot. Dressed in a Brunello Cucinelli sweater and checkered PT01 pants, he steps in front of the camera and instantly becomes another person, like a shape-shifter who moves seamlessly through many worlds, lighting up the second the lens is pointed in his direction. It’s that mix of charisma and intellect that has carried him to the top. His initial casting conversations with City on a Hill creator Chuck McClean, for instance, didn’t even happen face-to-face but rather over Skype while he was filming Brian Banks in Memphis.

“We talked about the character and the tones and the responsibility I felt needed to be had with handling this subject matter,” Hodge says of those early exchanges. “We’re dealing with racism heavily, and it’s real. I grew up in New York and New Jersey. I have family in Boston. It’s real—the KKK is in New Jersey. The show is set in 1992, but we still live this. That’s what makes Chuck brilliant. There are a lot of great writers, but Chuck will listen. He understood me, and he respected my opinion.”


Brian Banks is a film not only about wrongful imprisonment but also the failures of the American justice system. It’s a theme Hodge will explore again in Clemency, a film due to be released in December that’s based on the true story of Anthony Woods, a man on death row who maintains his innocence while his prison warden (played by Alfre Woodard) struggles to come to terms with the morality of capital punishment. “I’ve been blessed to have opportunities that might start a little bit of a conversation,” Hodge says.

For his next film, however, he’ll have a bit more in common with the lead character (even though he’ll play a supporting role in the movie). The Invisible Man tells the story of a mad inventor with an obsession for optics who develops a way to make himself invisible—a superpower from which he is ultimately unable to recover. Like the protagonist, Hodge clearly has a penchant for creation, but unlike H.G. Wells’s Dr. Griffin, this inventor is hell-bent on making himself anything but invisible.

“This Jaeger-LeCoultre was one of my first nice watches. I was just amazed to be able to have a Reverso in my stable. They are not the only ones that do this mechanism on a case, but they are the ones that glorified and perfected it. I buy watches to teach me about a whole new way of thinking, and this piece taught me about casework.”

“Here we have a different level of craftsmanship—skeleton movements are by far not an easy feat. I love that they took the time to really accentuate the movement, and the tourbillon is, of course, a classic. But to me, the most impressive thing is the peripheral rotor on the back. It’s not an easy thing to make, and it’s made expressly for the effort to glorify the movement on the caseback.”

“This watch has been my love for a long time. It’s simplicity and complexity married together in the most perfect form, and the guilloche work is exceptional. It’s just beautiful—a slice of heaven.”

“This is from Bulgari after they acquired Daniel Roth, and I bought it specifically because of him. I bought it because I was studying primarily depth and composition, as well as legibility and because it has jumping hours with two time zones. Most people see the first one but don’t realize there is a second one right there in the middle. It taught me about spacing.”

Aldis Hodge Online Is Back With A New Look

Saturday, Oct 26, 2019

Sorry it took so long but moving to another host and restoring the backup wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. But it’s online now and I think it’s all caught up. I need to see if I missed anything since Aldis is so busy this year. Thanks so much to my amazing friend, Kaci, at Kaci Elizabeth Designs for her help restoring the site and her beautiful header! If perhaps you find part of the site that is glitch or albums in the gallery that are missing, let me know. I think I checked and caught everything.

~Ali Kat


Gallery: Emmy Weekend Events

Monday, Sep 23, 2019



Gallery Links:

Photoshoots > Session 69
Public Appearances > 2019 > Sep 19: Audi Celebrates the 71st Emmys
Public Appearances > 2019 >  Sep 20: The Hollywood Reporter and SAG-AFTRA Celebrate Emmy Award Contenders
Public Appearances > 2019 >  Sep 21: BAFTA/LA BBC America TV Tea Party
Public Appearances > 2019 >  Sep 21: Showtime Emmy Eve Nominees Celebrations