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).