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Category: Article about Aldis

John Legend Breaks Silence Over ‘Underground’ Cancellation

ET – John Legend isn’t giving up on Underground.

 

The 38-year-old singer, who serves as an executive producer on the Civil War drama about the Underground Railroad, broke his silence Tuesday after WGN America canceled the series after two seasons.

 

In the second season, Legend appeared as abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

 

“Content wins,” Legend tweeted. “We’re not reliant on a particular network to make great content. We’re so proud of our show and the audience that supported!”

 

“Feel free to drop some hints to the networks/streaming services you want to pick up #Underground,” he continued. “Show them who will be watching!”

 

#RenewUnderground #Underground

A post shared by John Legend (@johnlegend) on

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Aldis Hodge On His ‘Honest,’ Protective Role In ‘Hidden Figures’

HUFFINGTON POST – The “Underground” star says the civil rights and feminist movements played an integral part in his role.

 

Aldis Hodge was determined to present an honest portrayal of the 1960s in “Hidden Figures.”

 

During a visit to AOL’s Build series on Thursday, the actor discussed his role as Levi Jackson, the husband of pioneering mathematician and former NASA aerospace engineer Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe).

 

The film highlights the untold true story of three African-American women mathematicians who provided NASA with integral data during astronaut John Glenn’s historical orbit in 1962. Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer star alongside Monáe as Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn, respectively.

 

Hodge’s character, a civil rights activist, juggles between his apprehension of supporting Mary’s efforts to pursue a career as a black engineer in addition to criticizing her work-life balance for her absence in their family’s household.

 

During the interview, Hodge explained how he drew upon Margot Lee Shetterly’s book of the same title to prepare for the role.

 

“I tried to play up the honesty of his legacy just off the fact that he was a very kind natured soul, as a family man,” he said. “He supported his wife – supported her in a very avant-garde way given the time frame. This is the 60s, so I loved what he represented and what they represented. So I was just trying to give some truth to that and made sure I did him some justice.”

 

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‘Underground’ Season 2 teaser: First look!

 

SCREENER TV – The last time we checked in with WGN America’s “Underground,” Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) found a small taste of freedom and came face-to-face with a historical legend: Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds). It wasn’t easy making it as far as she did, and with Noah (Aldis Hodge) captured and Cato presumed dead, Season 1 set the events that will eventually unfold when the series returns.

 

And boy will those stakes be raised! Not only do we get a clearer picture of this iteration of Harriet Tubman, the above Season 2 teaser gives a mere glimpse of notorious slave catcher Patty Cannon (Sadie Stratton). The redhead in question led a gang of men who captured and sold free blacks into slavery. Needless to say, she is one of the most violent and amoral women from American history.

 

Another detail worth surmising here is that Cato (Alano Miller) is very much alive and it looks like he’s involved in some sort of fight ring. While Quentin Tarantino made up Mandingo fighting in “Django Unchained,” and the notion has been proven to be 100% fictional, we can’t help but wonder if something along those lines is what is going on here.

 

Heading back to rescue the remaining Macon 7, including her beau Noah, Rosalee will have a renewed sense of strength and purpose heading into the new season, for sure. But with the country divided and threats around every corner, something tells us the ongoing mission for freedom will pack a punch more dangerous than she previously faced — if that’s even possible. With Harriet Tubman on her side, though, chances of success look pretty good.

 

“Underground” Season 2 premieres Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on WGN America.

 

‘Underground’ Star Aldis Hodge Talks Time, Watches and the New Basil Time Piece

FORBES – If you haven’t been watching the WGN America television series Underground (with season 2 starting in March 2017), you may be missing something. The drama focuses on the lives of slaves and the Underground Railroad in Antebellum, GA. It does so with dignity and poise.

 

One of the key roles is that of Noah, played by actor Aldis Hodge. Born in North Carolina as Aldis Alexander Basil Hodge, the 30-year-old actor says the role has given him a new view of history. Hodge is also an avid watch lover, as well as an artist and soon-to-be creator of an all-new watch brand under the Basil Time Piece name.

 

Underground star, actor Aldis Hodge, is a watch collector, self-taught watchmaker, and head of Basil Time Piece. (Photo by Renwick Scott)

 

According to Hodge, Basil Time Piece is a boutique brand that will focus on haute horology. “We are going into production now of our first flagship model, but we will only be making small limited collections and special bespoke pieces,” explains Hodge, who is a collector of watches.

 
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Aldis Hodge on Working with Tom Cruise and His Love for Watchmaking

LA CONFIDENTIALThe mega-hot, multi-multi-hyphenated Aldis Hodge is grabbing the H’wood spotlight… one role at a time.

 

He’s an actor, painter, and… watchmaker? LA-based Aldis Hodge, 29, is gearing up for his biggest year yet. Starting at age three, Hodge first began as a model, and has built up his portfolio with a slate of primo roles—from Straight Outta Compton to the John Legend–produced TV series Underground. “Some call it luck, but, really, a lot of it is just hard work,” he says. And the A-list-ready actor is gaining momentum—up next he’s playing opposite Tom Cruise in October’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. “Tom knows how to pull the best out of people,” says Hodge, who is currently filming Hidden Figures with an all-star cast including Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner.

 

The self-proclaimed “gypsy” was homeless for a period of time and lived in several states before settling in LA. “When I tell people I was homeless, it’s to inspire them,” Hodge says. “Even in the worst situations, you smile because that means you have more strength to push forward.” And push forward he did. Through a college course, Hodge discovered his passion for watchmaking. “Art has always been there for me,” says the “actor-preneur,” who is currently working with a luxury Swiss watchmaker to manufacture his hand-designed timepieces. “[All my work] is a step to whatever the big picture is,” he says. “I’m just excited to see what lies ahead.”

‘Underground’ Featured at The NAACP’s 107th Annual Convention

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks and “Underground” Stars Aldis Hodge, Alano Miller and Amirah Vann and Creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski to Co-Host the President’s Reception, Monday, July 18

 

Underground Railroad Escape Series Set for First-Ever Screening at the Renowned National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in the Harriet Tubman Theater

 

“Underground” Stars to Host the NAACP ACT-SO Awards, Sunday, July 17

 

BROADCASTING CABLE – Los Angeles, July 12, 2016 — WGN America’s acclaimed series “Underground,” which follows a courageous group of American heroes who attempt a daring flight to freedom from slavery, has teamed with the 107th NAACP Annual Convention, July 17-18 in Cincinnati, Ohio. “Underground” creators, writers and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, and stars Aldis Hodge, Alano Miller and Amirah Vann, will co-host NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks’ reception for more than 1,500 NAACP convention delegates, where the cast will be featured speakers at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on Monday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. Preceding the reception at 4:30 p.m., the cast and creators will participate in a red carpet screening of the Underground Railroad escape series for the first time at the Freedom Center’s Harriet Tubman Theater, and reunite with Freedom Center President Dr. Clarence G. Newsome for a moderated discussion, a follow up to their joint panel at The White House earlier this year.

 

The “Underground” stars will also host the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) Awards Ceremony highlighting more than 1,000 best and brightest students from around the nation who have risen to become finalists after competing against thousands of other high school students in a year-long achievement program. “Underground” cast members Hodge, Vann and Miller, a previous ACT-SO award winner, will present the awards to be streamed live on ACT-SO’s YouTube Channel on Sunday, July 17 at 12:30 p.m. at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

 

Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios, “Underground” took the country by storm this year, sparking a nationwide conversation and igniting Twitter as the #1 most social cable drama each week it aired. The series trended worldwide on the same day the U.S. Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, a move applauded by the cast and creative team who have traveled the country speaking about the Underground Railroad’s relevance to today.

 

From executive producer John Legend and creators and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, “Underground” tells the unflinching story of some of America’s most heroic freedom fighters—slaves who risked their lives to reach freedom. The first season of “Underground” delivered 3 million Total Viewers weekly, and made history as WGN America’s most-watched original program ever. Season two will begin production this summer for a 2017 debut.

 

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Janelle Monae says film on black women at NASA key part of history

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CTVNEWS – NEW ORLEANS — Janelle Monae says she’s honoured to be part of an upcoming film that tells the little known-story of three black women who were crucial part of NASA’s history, including one who helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit earth.

 

The Grammy-nominated singer is making her big screen debut in “Hidden Figures,” which tells the story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — three women who worked at NASA in the 1960s.
“It is so important, that we as women, African-American women, tell our stories,” Monae said. “These three women opened doors for us and literally helped change the world.”

 

“Hidden Figures,” stars Taraji P. Henson as Johnson; Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as Vaughan and Monae as Jackson. The women were mathematicians and Johnson helped calculate the trajectory for Glenn’s orbit around earth, among other accomplishments. The cast also includes Aldis Hodge, Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst. Segments of the film were shown to fans Friday at the Essence Festival, the annual four-day music festival geared toward black women.

 

Monae and Hodge, who plays Noah on WGN America’s hit series “Underground,” spoke afterward.
Monae said she cried when she received the script.

 

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Underground – Sony’s Press Release Announces ‘Season 1’ of the WGN Drama

From TVShowsOnDVD:

Underground_S1“…a prestige drama…action-adventure

tale…” – Stuart Miller, Newsweek

WGN America’s Captivating
Scripted Series

UNDERGROUND:
SEASON ONE

Arrives on DVD June 14

Includes Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes,
Commentaries and Gag Reel and more!

 

Culver City, CA (April. 18, 2016) – WGN America’s critically acclaimed new drama UNDERGROUND: SEASON ONE arrives on DVD June 14 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) and Tribune Studios. The suspenseful UNDERGROUND series – executive produced by Academy Award and GRAMMY Award winner John Legend (2014, Best Original Song, Selma) – is a compelling story of bravery, ingenuity and power. Legend, with executive producers and Get Lifted Film Co. partners Mike Jackson (Southside with You) and Ty Stiklorius (Breaking Through), oversees all music aspects of the gripping 10-episode journey, which follows a group of slaves striving for their freedom from the Macon plantation in 1857 Antebellum, Georgia. As they plan to escape, the immense sacrifices and uncertainty of where to go and who to trust will test those who have the courage to leave and decide who has the endurance to survive.

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Hollywood on the Potomac: John Legend’s ‘Underground’

John Legend’s WGN series starring Aldis Hodge explores the Underground Railroad

 

WASHINGTON LIFE – Music superstar John Legend has a lot on his plate these days: The White House just held a special screening for his new WGN “Underground” series; he’s carrying on heated Twitter exchanges with Donald Trump Jr. on racism; and he’s expecting his first child with his wife, model Chrissy Teigen. We focused on “Underground.”

 

According to producers, the film centers on a group of slaves planning a daring 600-mile escape from a Georgia plantation. Along the way, they are aided by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad during their attempt to evade the people charged with bringing them back, dead or alive.

 

Legend and his production company were in charge of the score and soundtrack for the series and Legend served as executive producer. “I believe the story of people brave enough to risk everything for freedom will be inspirational,” he says.

 

We spoke to cast members prior to the White House screening, a smart, introspective, engaged group who gave us their take on the relevance of the series in today’s world as well as the significance of this underreported sequence of events during the revolt against slavery.

 

We focused on Aldis Hodge … think “Straight Outta Compton”… who brilliantly portrays Noah as he leads his fellow slaves in a daring escape on the Underground Railroad.

 

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‘Underground’ Blazes WGN Ratings Record In Debut

DEADLINE – Underground set a record as WGN’s highest performing original series ever in its launch last night. The 10 PM airing drew 1.4M total viewers to rank No. 5 among all scripted series premieres on cable this broadcast TV season. The premiere’s 585K adults 25-54 ranks No. 7 in the TV season that started last September.

 

Across its four Wednesday night plays, the launch cumed 2.5M viewers, to stand as the best total-viewer opening ever for an original on WGN in same day viewing. The drama, created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, outpaced premieres of the network’s Outsiders by 27% and Salem by 6%. Across those four plays, Underground delivered 983K adults 25-54, surpassing Outsiders by 21%.

 

Picked up for a full 10-episode first season in February 2015, the TV project from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios focuses on a group of slaves at a Georgia plantation who begin a 600 mile pre-Civil War trek to freedom via the Underground Railroad. It was the second highest trending topic on Twitter last night, behind only the Democratic debate on CNN and Univision, starring Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.