HIP HOLLYWOOD – The new WGN America show Underground is a dramatic thriller following the lives of slaves in Georgia plotting to run to freedom. HipHollywood exclusively hit the set of the highly anticipated show to see first-hand the plantation they were shooting on and to talk to the show’s star Aldis Hodge and creator, Misha Green.
Aldis plays Noah, the ring-leader among his fellow slaves and the one who orchestrates the escape to freedom. The role was one that not only intrigued Hodge, but also challenged him as an actor. Going into a scene where he has to beg “massa” for his life and is subsequently beat, Aldis says it was the most difficult scenes he’s ever had to portray. “That was a hard day because it was my first day. And I knew when I read the script that was going to be my hardest, hardest challenge to really go there because I’m not good with submitting to defamation and submitting to humiliation and being made to feel lesser than.”
In addition to Aldis, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Alano Miller, Christopher Meloni and more also bring stellar performances to the small screen as part of the underground cast. Be sure to check back to HipHollywood to see more of our Underground coverage and watch the show when it premieres March 9th on WGN America.
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GLOBALGRIND – It may turn out to be the most interesting time of my life. I was just offered a guest spot on MTV2’s Uncommon Sense on the same day I was scheduled to visit the set of one of the most interesting shows coming to television, Underground, a program about a group of runaway slaves being filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
There was no way in hell I was going to cancel anything; I was determined to make it work. Because in a world filled with so much racial tension, I had to see how this TV series based on the slave narratives in the Library of Congress was being made.
I pushed my flight back, did MTV, and finished with exactly 60 minutes to get from the middle of Times Square to JFK airport in rush hour traffic. By the time I got to the airport, there were exactly 10 minutes to get through the terminal to TSA and then to the gate. Needless to say, I missed my original flight. But luckily, I caught another and arrived in Baton Rouge by the morning. It all worked out.