June 17, 2010 by BethAnne
Aldis Hodge plays Alec Hardison on the TNT hit series Leverage. He’s the Hacker in a group of ex-criminals who have turned their “work” into something that serves victims of large, greedy corporations. “If there is a computer to be decoded, a bug to be planted, a car to be traced or an identity to be created, Hardison is the man.” (TNT)
In real life, Aldis Hodge proudly boasts of being a cool nerd. “I’m a nerd in real life and I like think that I’m sort of cool.” He’s able to bring that nerdiness to his role on the show, but with a little spice. “When your hear computers or geek or whatever you just automatically think pocket protector, glasses, not very social, always kind of clumsy.You think that kind of a -that kind of model.
When it came to the pilot and when it came down to me and Dean Devlin, and John Rogers trying figure this character out, you know, we kind of wanted to throw a different spin on it because nowadays I mean computer nerds, we’re coming off kind of the shape of society but we’re not just one thing. And I don’t want the audience to get what they’re already used to having and wanted to give them something different and something fresh.
And it’s funny people say there’s a cool vibe there. I’m like I feel like I’m kind of dorky and corny sometimes but that’s just me. But if you all think it’s cool hey I’m thinking I’m going to keep giving it to you.” I found myself wondering if Hardison and Chuck Bartowski would hit it off.
Hardison seems to be a comfortable role for Aldis to play, largely due to the fact that he considers them very similar. “I add a lot of my own personality to the character as far as his humor, as far as how he plays in jokes. So I would say we definitely have a kinship there. We’re definitely very, very close. And our lightheartedness as far as our way of thinking, you know, I’m not a thief but I would say that he has a good heart that I try to model after what I would like to be.”
Acting is not Hodge’s only talent and love. He has an obsession with watches. “There’s kinetic watches.There’s watches that are powered by light.There’s watches, you know, with computer chips in them -all that kind of stuff.So I keep up to date on watches and that technology.I go pretty deep into that.” He is also an artist. “I’m a painter. I’ve had a little bit of time to paint. I finished one painting since I’ve been here (Portland, OR). It took me about two months to finish. And I’m trying to work on it but I just haven’t had the time to be diligent like I would prefer.”
Leverage returns for its third season, this Sunday. Its first season came on so strong because it was new and fresh, and people were looking for just that. “In years past, you know, 20 years or ten years past our plan when we’re all done , I believe somebody’s going to look back and say ‘yes that new show out, it’s like that show Leverage’.”
I believe that’s true and Aldis Hodge helped make that happen. He is as unforgettable as his character.
Watch Leverage Sunday, June 20, at 9/8 central, on TNT.
Interview: Aldis Hodge from ‘Leverage’ by FanBolt
We had a chance to talk to Aldis Hodge, who plays Alec Hardison on TNT’s hit drama “Leverage”. He reveals his favorite episodes, and talks about his fascination with technology and the camaraderie on set.
What was your favorite episode in season 2?
Aldis Hodge: My favorite episode had to have been the “Ice Man” job and then also the “Three Days of Monica Hunter” job. They’re the most fun to do because I got to play different types of characters and got to play a crazy person with the “Three Days of Monica Hunter” job. So I really got to just explore and enjoy my imagination. That was the most fun of it all because I got to push it to the limits in the first new episode.
How similar is the personality of the character you portray, Alec Hardison, from your own? How similar are you guys in real life?
Aldis Hodge: Well I – I’d say we’re pretty similar. I add a lot of my own personality to the character as far as his humor, as far as how he plays in jokes. So I would say we definitely have a kinship there. We’re definitely very, very close. And our lightheartedness as far as our way of thinking, you know, I’m not a thief but I would say that he has a good heart that I try to model after what I would like to be. So yes we’re pretty close. The only thing that he does different that I don’t do is probably the hacking and stealing thing.
With your love for watches does that help you in your role, because Alec is a gadget technological wizard?
Aldis Hodge: Oh it does help me to understand how someone could be so into his craft. Watches, you know, it’s all gears and everything. But I have to know a little something about computers. I have to be a little savvy. It does help me to understand how somebody could be so into- I mean, I want to say it’s a dorky thing but, you know, some people would call me a geek, with my watch and gears and things like that. So we have that mutual understanding, Alec and I.
How much are you guys or how much are you allowed to improvise in the show from the script?
Aldis Hodge: Allowed is a very casual term. Our writers trust us enough to take these characters where we feel they need to go. We respect what’s written. We honor the idea and we respect the theory of the idea. And when it comes to improv we usually improv what we feel is best for the situation or what’s most respectful and relevant to the character and the situation at the time.
I have a rule. I say “give them one straight and give them hell” which means as long as we’ve gota good clean original take on there which is what’s written, then I’m good. After that I play with the scene and we see how I can dress it up, make it colorful and I guess throw a little something, something on there, you know? To flesh out the potential of the scene and the characters in it.
How did you avoid being the nerd on the show?
Aldis Hodge: Because I’m a nerd in real life and I like think that I’m sort of cool. Especially when it comes to TV, there’s a lot of assumption that goes with playing a specific character. When your hear computers or geek or whatever you just automatically think pocket protector, glasses, not very social, always kind of clumsy. You think that kind of a model.
When it came to the pilot and when it came down to me and Dean Devlin, and John Rogers trying figure this character out, we kind of wanted to throw a different spin on it because nowadays computer nerds are coming off as the kind of shape of society, but we’re not just one thing.
And I don’t want the audience to get what they’re already used to having. I wanted to give them something different and something fresh. It’s funny people say there’s a cool vibe there. I feel like I’m kind of dorky and corny sometimes, but that’s just me. But if you all think it’s cool, hey I’m thinking I’m going to keep giving it to you.
I’m trying to figure out a way to really to describe Leverage to folks who haven’t seen it. What’s your quick definition of what this show was really all about?
Aldis Hodge: My quick definition is, you know, a group of criminals who take down corporate bad guys in order to give back to those that they take advantage of. Now, it may take a little figuring out but usually people end up saying “Robin Hood”. They usually say Robin Hood on the very first shot. But you know, a lot of people said that of Oceans 11, with a little “Robin Hood” in there, a little “A Team” in there.
In 20 years, ten years past after the show is done, I believe somebody’s going to look back and say “Yes, that new show out, it’s like that show ‘Leverage’…” So I believe were setting that up a little bit. We have our own identity going, which is a blessing. And, you know, it gets easier to explain this show year by year. But I just say it’s kind of like a modern day Robin Hood.
You have been acting since you were a child. How did you avoid the pitfalls that a lot of the child actors fall into?
Aldis Hodge: Because my mama whipped my behind when she needed to. No my mama was always good. I attribute my career to my mother. She’s always been great. She’s always been very supportive. She was never a stage mom. She never pushed me into doing it. She allowed it to be my choice and she allowed me to find my own way.
But every time there was something that threatened my childhood, you know, she stopped it immediately because the one hard thing about this business was to remain a child. You’re on set, people treat you like an adult. My brother and I did a Broadway show for 2 1/2 years and I was l 8 when we started doing that show. Out of a cast of 100 people, there’s only five children so you’re running around and there’s a lot of people that don’t really notice and they don’t care.
You hear people talking about things and doing things or whatever and it’s not necessarily a horrible environment, it’s a professional environment but it’s also an adult environment. So my mama was always very much a big presence in there. And everybody knew my mother so they always knew to respect us in order to respect her. So she made us aware of our priorities very early on in our lives.
I want to talk about costars. How familiar were you with your fellow actors and actresses before you signed up? I know Timothy Hutton obviously won an Oscar and he’s a big name, but no one else was really too big of a name before this show. Were you familiar with their work and did you go back and study it or anything like that?
Aldis Hodge: I actually wasn’t familiar with anyone.
Did it take a while to form the kind of chemistry you seem to have?
Aldis Hodge: No actually I think there were no barriers, there was no preset notions around anything. So when we got into Chicago to film the pilot we all kind of meshed and gelled. And we were forced to be aliens because we didn’t know Chicago, we didn’t know the city. All we knew was us.
I met everybody in Chicago. I wasn’t aware of anybody else’s work. But as the show went on, you know, we’re running constantly. One of the best compliments we got as far as the pilot goes is a lot of people said it doesn’t look like a pilot, because it seems like you guys have been working together forever.
Was there one moment when you knew that you had a hit show on your hands?
Aldis Hodge: Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t know if I’ve really never had that moment. I knew that we had a good show on our hands. I knew that we had a great product going.
But, you know, this business not all the time does the good stuff get through. So I’ve always been on my toes about saying “Okay, look, don’t get lazy.” So you just keep pressing on and don’t ever think about that. I don’t take it like that. Every new season we get picked up is a blessing. Every new show that we’re able to do is a blessing. But I never get comfortable in that yes, you know we’ve got it, we’re good.
You have some earlier print experience. Does that help you in this role? Sometimes it’s like where you guys are standing, it’s choreographed. It reminds me of print ads. It’s like everybody has a choreographed place to stand and I’m just wondering if that helped and is everything choreographed like that?
Aldis Hodge: Well everything is usually set because we have to work off of our camera operator, who is amazing at his job. But you have to know where to go with your person, to find our mark. So yes, we organize it, but it’s not too rehearsed. We just kind of shoot from the hip and see what happens. We never really rehearse the scenes, on average, more than twice. We rehearse to get the words and then after that we let the acting happen as soon as they say “Action”. It feels better that way. It feels more organic for us as actors.
The new season of Leverage premieres on Sunday, June 20 at 9 p.m., 8 p.m. Central on TNT.
Source: Fan Bolt
The Pulse of Entertainment: Actor Aldis Hodge has ‘Leverage’ on TNT
*Actor Aldis Hodge starts a third season on the TNT hit series “Leverage” as one in a team of thieves, drifters and con-artists that are highly skilled and out to settle scores against those who use power and wealth to victimize others. Hodge plays Alec Hardison, a gadget and technology wizard who keeps the team informed.
Aldis, like his character, has a love for gadgets, but one type gadget, watches. When asked if that love for watches helped him be the “gadget” man on the team he said, “It does help me understand how someone can be so into his craft. I know a little bit about a computer…some people would call me a geek. I’m a nerd in real life, but people like to think I’m cool. When people think of nerds they think of glasses…that type thing. I wanted to give the audience something else.”
Aldis admitted that the writers on the series trust the actors enough where they can improv where they think it’s best for the character.
“After the original take on what’s written…I play with the character,” Aldis Hodge confined.
Starring with Hodge on TNT’s “Leverage” are team leader Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton (Original People) who plays Nate Ford, a former insurance investigator; Gina Bellman (Coupling) who plays Sophie Devereaux ,a drifter that uses her acting skills to corner her mark; Christian Kane (“Into the West”) who plays Eliot Spencer, a “retrieval specialist” with bone-crushing fighting skills, and Beth Riesgraf (Alvin and the Chipmunks) who plays Parker, a slightly off-centered thief adept at rappelling off buildings or squeezing into tight places.
Last season 4.5 million viewers watched and it ended where the “Leverage” team had scammed a hedge-fund manager who happened to be in the custody of U.S. Marshals; they had used Eliot’s martial arts skills to corner a corrupt fight promoter; took over a private school to recover millions of dollars lost in a Ponzi scheme; went head-to-head with an almost identical team of drifters to recover a painting; took down an oppressive sweat-shop owner; cornered a fake psychic; freed Nate’s ex-wife from a Ukrainian jail; thwarted a gun-running scheme by a corrupt mayor, and left Sophie conflicted about her relationship with Nate and questioning if she wanted to continue working with the team.
“Everything is set. We work off the camera operator to find out mark,” Aldis said when asked about their almost artistic camera positioning of the characters in scenes. “He is great…not too much rehearsal. We don’t table read, we shoot from the hip…let the acting happen…I like it.”
Hodge started acting at age nine, appearing in the Tony Award winning revival “Showboat” on Broadway for 2 ½ years. Through the years to follow he appeared in movies such as Die Hard with a Vengeance, Bed of Roses and Big Momma’s House, and television shows such as “Friday Night Lights,” “Supernatural,” “Girlfriends,” “Bones,” “CSI,” and “Cold Case.”
TNT’s “Leverage,” executively produced by Dean Devlin of Electric Entertainment (Independence Day), returns for a third season beginning with two weeks of back-to-back episodes on Sunday, June 20, 2010 and Sunday, June 27 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).
Actor Aldis Hodge talks to IGN about his character’s new Season 3 attitude, his favorite videogames and a groovy new con!
June 17, 2010
by Matt Fowler
Sunday, June 20th, at 9/8c marks Leverage‘s Season 3 premiere on TNT. Yes, Nate and the his crooked team of crazy thieves are back, but this time there’s a big problem. If you saw the excellent Season 2 finale, “The Maltese Falcon Job,” then you know Nate’s behind bars!!
In our quest to eventually speak to all of Team Leverage (you’re next Gina Bellman!), IGN TV had a chance to chat with the team’s hacker supreme, Hardison. Yes, actor Aldis Hodge told us that Hardison is apparently going to be more aggressive in his pursuit of Parker this season, but don’t let us spoil everything for you here. Check out what actor Aldis Hodge had to say about that, his character’s new attitude, his favorite videogames and his new favorite con!
IGN TV: What can we expect from Hardison this season?
Aldis Hodge: Hardison’s kind of got a bit of a new attitude this season. He’s still really fun and like to keep things light with his joking and laughing, but he’s got a bit more of a “take charge” attitude this time around. He still loves life, but his relationship with Nate has been strained because, as you saw in the Season 2 finale, Nate did a very brave thing for his team, but he also let them down a little bit and so they’ve lost some of the trust they once had in him.
IGN: How does Hardison treat Nate then afterwards?
Hodge: Hardison’s got more of a take charge ballsy attitude with Nate and trying to get him back in shape and he’s also got more of a ballsy attitude with his crush on Parker. It’s not all lovey-dovey puppy eyes anymore. It’s more like “hey, the ball’s in your court so if you want me come and get me.” He’s been given a little bit more direction this season and he’s being a little bit more firm about who he is and who he is to the team.
IGN: Would you consider yourself to be pretty computer-literate, like Hardison?
Hodge: I’m becoming computer savvy. More video game savvy and gear savvy really than anything. I design things and I watch architect stuff so I’m into that element, which then brings me to computers, but I’m still learning. Learning along the way. After three years you’d think I’d picked up something by now.
IGN: You mentioned videogames. What games are you playing right now?
Hodge: I just picked up Red Dead Redemption. It’s kind of an addicting game. It’s actually pretty dope. I picked up Prince of Persia. My only complaint with that game is that I, like, finished it in two days. I’m still working on Final Fantasy. I love that. I’m a big fan of that series. I got Infamous which is actually a really fun game to play and I got the new UFC game and me and my brother do the online thing – with Call of Duty too. We’re big time into that series. We’re always going back and forth online. I’m up here, he’s in LA – because we shoot in Portland, Oregon – so we go back and forth and it’s pretty cool, man.
IGN: Tease us a little. What’s been your favorite new con this season?
Hodge: Well, I have to watch my back because I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but there’s this one new con so far where Hardison has to go back into his history of music and re-visit that part of his life because he has some musical talent. And so that was a really fun time and I had to actually practice in real life but they forced me to step my game up a little bit because the music I had to play was very difficult. I had to get myself in shape and play like a master for two weeks. Yeah, that was a great con. I love the way that episode is structured too because we do one entire act without saying any words. It’s just music. It’s awesome the way it turns out. It’s pretty dope. I think it’s the second episode this season, but that might change.
IGN: There are a lot of new “Robin Hood”-type series in development right now. What is it about these types of shows that people latch onto?
Hodge: A lot of us kind of feel like an underdog most of the time and we want to think there’s someone out there who’s looking out for us. We want to look out for ourselves too in many ways and there are a lot of things that our team does on the show that people would like to do in real life. As far as these other shows go, all I have to say is, hey, when you’re successful and you do it right and you’ve got all the right ingredients and you put up the right blueprint, a lot of people follow suit. It’s just like how there are a lot of vampire shows coming out right now, because there were certain vampire series that were successful. So for all the shows coming out now that might be influenced or modeled after our show, I thank you for the compliment.
Leverage returns this Sunday, June 20th, with two new back-to-back episodes – “The Jailhouse Job” and “The Reunion Job.”
Source: IGN TV
I had the chance to talk with Aldis Hodge yesterday, star of the hit TNT show Leverage. I was super excited to talk to him, because Leverage films in Portland, Oregon, my hometown! I wanted to ask him a few questions about his experience in Portland as an artist, because besides being an incredibly talented actor – he’s also a painter!
Jocelyn: Hey Aldis; how are you today?
Aldis Hodge: Hey, I’m doing fine. Yourself?
Jocelyn: Not too bad. Well I’m a blogger from Portland, and I kind of wanted to ask you… I know you’re an artist as well as an actor. And I was wondering if you’ve had the chance to check out some of the arts here in Portland?
Aldis Hodge: I have. I have. I’ve been to just about every art gallery here at downtown.
Jocelyn: You’re a painter, correct?
Aldis Hodge: I am. I’m a painter. I’ve had a little bit of time to paint. I finished one painting since I’ve been here. It took me about two months to finish. And I’m trying to work on it but I just haven’t had the time to be diligent like I would prefer. I love some times just walking around checking out the (pics) because I get inspired myself. I get to see what everybody else has going on, and it’s nice to see what everybody’s perception of creativity is visually, you know?
And then of course the first Thursdays here which is the little art wall here every first Thursday of every month you go downtown, people display their art at the (rec).
Jocelyn: Right. That’s actually what I was going to ask you, if you’d had a chance to check out First Thursday?
Aldis Hodge: Every Thursday that I’m off in time to go, I go.
Jocelyn: Awesome! Well thank you for taking my question and I’ll talk to you again soon.
Aldis Hodge: Thank you very much.
Don’t forget to watch Season 2’s premiere of Leverage on TNT, Sunday June 20th at 9/8c!!
SOURCE: In Case You Didn’t Know
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films has announced the nominations for the 36th Annual Saturn Awards.
Congratulations to Aldis for his nomination as Best Supporting Actor on Television in the 2010 Saturn Awards!
Leverage was also nominated as Best Syndicated/Cable TV Series and Gina Bellman was nominated for Best Supporting Actress on Television. Way to go team!
source: Saturn Awards Nominations
In anticipation of this show’s third season premiere on Sunday night, we asked the actor about his character, his interest in watches and whether or not certain past characters would return this summer. His responses follow…
On the return of Rick Overton or Jeri Ryan: I’m not certain on Jeri. She’s actually on a new series now [Body of Proof], so we’d absolutely love to have her back, but it could be difficult. As for Overton, the audience loves Taggert, so we wanna give the audience what they love. I’ll leave it at that.
What were his favorite episodes of season two? “The Ice Man Job” and “The Three Days Of The Hunter Job.” They were the most fun because I got to play different types of characters. I got to explore and enjoy my imagination.
On how his affection for watches relates to his character: Hey, some people would call me a geek because I’m really into cool catches. That helps me understand how someone like Alec could be so into a hobby, like gadgets and stuff. We have a mutual understanding in that regard.
How else is he like character? We have a kinship in our light-heartedness. I’m not a thief [laughs], but Alec has a good heart and in those ways is modeled after what I’d like to be. The hacking and stealing thing is the only thing different than what I do. I’m definitely a loudmouth that talks all the time like he is.
On making his character cool: Hey, nerds rule the world! Look at it this way: there are a lot of supposedly cool players on sports teams, but the nerds own the teams!
What is Leverage really all about? A group of criminals that takes down corporate bad guys to get back at them for the people they take advantage of. People compare it to Ocean’s 11 with a little Robin Hood in there, a little A-Team in there.
On knowing Leverage had made it as a hit show: I’ve never really had that moment. I just don’t let myself look at it that way. I wanna remain grounded and I feel blessed for how well the show has done, but I don’t wanna take any of it for granted, so I just go in everyday and keep working as hard as ever.
Thanks to AudioGeek10 for providing this nice clip from TNT. Check out her many other videos! http://www.youtube.com/user/AudioGeek10