Leverage‘s Aldis Hodge Previews “The Double Blind Job”
by Aldis Hodge
Hey, TV Guide. Leverage is back with another heater for you guys.
In this week’s episode, “The Double Blind Job”, the Leverage team works against a crooked pharmaceutical company on the verge of releasing a lethal concoction in the form of a new wonder drug all for the pursuit of money.
This mission was brought to our table by a girl (Katie Lowes) whose sister was a victim of the drug. We take her case and, unbeknownst to him, Hardison takes her heart which puts Parker in a very odd position – it’s the first time she realizes that she may actually have feelings for Hardison. Wonder what this means for the two of them…
We had a great time filming this episode. Katie Lowes was a great guest star and her character got up close and personal with the team – we’ve never let a client get this involved. This will be a very fun episode for you guys.
Catch you later.
Source: Aldis Hodge@
‘Leverage’ Star: Hardison and Parker Soon Will Steal a Moment
If there’s one thing that TNT’s highly enjoyable ‘Leverage‘ (Sundays at 9/8c) has over the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ movies that precede it, it’s the sexually charged hints of somethin’-somethin’ between team members, be they Nate and Sophie or Hardison and Parker.
Will the hacker ever boot up actual romance with the thief? As part of this Fancast feature Q&A, Aldis Hodge shares a peek at a heist that might prove heavenly in that regard.
I have to wonder, how much violin did you need to learn for the last episode, “The Scheherazade Job”?
I know that whole solo. I only had to practice it to time it right with the prerecorded music. I play it terribly, but I play it!
Will the show revisit Nate and his new “hypnotism” skill, or was that a one-off?
There’s the possibility it might happen again. Nate is a different person this season, and we’re all still trying to figure out who he is since prison. I mean, the fact that he did it in the first place was pretty ballsy! You don’t con your own team. You don’t use your own team as a pawn.
Do your family and friends assume you’re savvy with a computer? Everyone thinks I’m computer-savvy! They’re just lines on a show, and I’m an actor, so I act like I know what I’m talking about. I’m very basic with computers…
Hardison is of course the team’s hacker. But what would you say his second-best skill set is?
He’s definitely had his moments as a grifter. As far as this team goes, that’s his next-best asset. And you know, he just might be a good planner, too.
I was watching video on Facebook of you with kali fighting sticks. Hardison could be a hitter!
I’ve been a martial artist since I was six years old. That’s my sport, man. I grew up fighting. Its weird now, people now assume I can’t move! That I can’t take a hit! Yo, I’m an actor. What I really do is get down now and then with the bare knuckles. I love fighting – as a sport. Not street fighting. I stay away from that at all costs.
That’s good for the writers to know, that in a pinch they could hand Hardison a broken pool cue and have him fend off a baddie.
Sadly I don’t think Hardison is very smooth with the fighting. He might break out a stick, but he might hurt himself in the process.
I get a lot of reader mail asking if things will ever “spark” between Hardison and Parker (played by Beth Riesgraf). Is anything coming up?
There’s definitely something coming up, in the episode on July 11, “The Double Blind Job.” You get to see a bit of a crack in Parker’s feelings for Hardison. She gets to understand more about who he is. But we can’t give the fans too much too soon. We’ve got to give them bit-by-bit, or there’d be nothing interesting about it.
Which of the upcoming guest stars do you get to work with?
Of course in the very first episode [of the season] we had my brother, Edwin Hodge. Coming up we have Malese Jow, who a lot of fans know from ‘The Vampire Diaries.’ We’re also shooting an episode with Wil Wheaton, who is reprising his role of Chaos….
Before we go, give us one last tease about what’s coming up for Hardison.
I’ll say this: I know a lot of fans dig the Eliot (Christian Kane)-Hardison relationship, and we have a couple episodes where were stuck together. In one, he and Eliot are stuck running through the woods all day… It’s a lot of fun.
SPOTLIGHT ON … SUPERNATURAL CONVENTION
The “Salute to ‘Supernatural’ Convention” gives fans of the TV show a place to come together this weekend.
THE SHOW: “Supernatural” follows two demon-hunting brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles), as they struggle with the paranormal. More than mystical activity, “Supernatural” focuses on connections between characters.
“It’s about the relationship of the characters and how they look out for each other,” says Gary Berman, co-founder of Creation Entertainment. “We’ve been running conventions for 40 years, and ‘Supernatural’ is one of those shows that really captured the passion of its audience.”
THE FANS: “Supernatural” attracts “a good core solid group of fans,” says Berman. “The audience is very loyal to the show.”
THE CONVENTION: Super-fans compete in costume contests, test their trivia knowledge and can bid in auctions for collectibles. There will also be some sneak peeks of new sci-fi television shows and motion pictures.
ON THE BILL: On Friday: Richard Speight Jr. (Trickster) and Alona Tal (Jo Harvelle). On Saturday: Misha Collins (Castiel), Travis Wester (Harry Spangler) and Aldis Hodge (Jake Talley). On Sunday: Collins, Rob Benedict (Chuck Shurley), Samantha Smith (Mary Winchester) and Katherine Boecher (Lillith).
ANYTHING SPOOKY PLANNED? “It gets pretty weird at the costume contest, that’s a little supernatural,” laughs Berman.
UNCONVENTIONAL WEEKEND: “It’s a break from the reality of your normal workweek,” says Berman, who began as a convention attendee and science fiction fan. “These memories don’t go away, and hopefully we’ve created a lot of nice memories for a lot of nice people.”
MUSICAL INTERLUDE: Steve Carlson performs 9 p.m. Saturday. Carlson, who has recorded in the past with Ackles, “has developed a nice following among the ‘Supernatural’ fans,” says Berman. Separate tickets required.
DETAILS: Noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Hilton Parsippany Hotel, 1 Hilton Court, Parsippany. Friday $20, Saturday and Sunday $30; Steve Carlson concert $20, children 12 and under $15. 818-409-0960 or creationent.com.
Done by my co-admin @xayian
‘Leverage’ goes classical with ‘The Scheherazade Job’
Aldis Hodge as Hardison in “Leverage.”
While I blog about a lot of TV shows, there are even more shows that I watch and don’t write about, whether for scheduling reasons or because, while I like them, there isn’t necessarily enough meat there to merit episode-by-episode analysis. (This is known in my corner of the TV blogging game as “The ‘NCIS’ Factor.”)
One of those shows is TNT’s “Leverage,” which is a fun caper series I always mean to write about on occasion but usually get so far behind in my viewing that it doesn’t seem worth the bother just to talk about how sweet it was when Eliot beat up 17 guys with one arm dislocated behind his back.
I did, however, get to see the second of Sunday’s two episodes (TNT is running double-headers at 9 & 10 for at least the first few weeks of this season), and it’s a pretty cool one, about which I’ll have a few thoughts after the jump.
Not only does it guest star Giancarlo Esposito from “Breaking Bad” as an aspiring African dictator in need of some Nate Ford humbling, but the episode takes advantage of one of Aldis Hodge’s many hidden talents(*) by putting Hardison in a situation where he has to play a violin solo at a concert to help the crew pull off a heist.
(*) The summer that “Leverage” launched, Fienberg and I approached Hodge at Turner’s press tour party, mainly so we could gab about his stint as Ray “Voodoo” Tatum on “Friday Night Lights.” (And so we could use the phrase “Ray ‘Voodoo’ Tatum” as often as possible in a 10-minute conversation.) Instead, we mainly wound up talking about Hodge’s many, many, many outside talents and projects. Among the ones we can remember him listing are a black belt in some martial art (he said he hoped there would be a Hardison/Eliot fight scene one day so he can Christian Kane could see who was really the baddest), watch repair, screenwriting and, we think, aircraft design. Even if he could really only do half the things he claimed, he’d be in serious renaissance man territory, and “Leverage” co-creator Chris Downey says he wrote this episode to pay off a promise he made in season one to find a way to work Hodge’s violin skills into an episode.
There are the usual fake identities and fight scenes and double-reverses, but what makes “The Scheherazade Job” more notable than your average “Leverage” is that a good chunk of the heist sequence (including one of the better Eliot fight scenes they’ve done) is filmed largely without dialogue, and is instead accompanied by the classical piece Hardison is playing. I complain sometimes about shows (particularly those on ABC) that lean too heavily on their musical scores to tell you how to feel about certain scenes, but this is a more traditional, very effective use of score to make this particular job stand out from the many others we’ve seen Nate pull off in episodes past.
Alan says check it out if you’re around on Sunday at 10 (or if you have one of those newfangled DVR thingees).
Source: Hit Fix
LEVERAGE: “The Inside Job” and “The Scherezade Job”
By Tyler Weaver, Guest Contributor
Follow him on Twitter.
303: The Inside Job
Parker’s in trouble and it’s up to Nate and co. to bail her out. Taking a side gig from her “father,” Archie Leach (a deft nod towards the true name of Cary Grant), played by the always awesome Richard Chamberlain, she tries to outwit the Steranko (another nod towards LEVERAGE creator John Roger’s comic book writing), a big mean bastard of a security system as she tries to steal a canister of wheat-killing germs, which turns into Nate and co. going after leverage against the head scientist, the evil sexy Dr. Lady, played by Lisa Brenner.
The writing in this show never fails. Each episode is ridiculously clever, with wonderful little nods towards influence, and a perfect mix of drama and comedy in the vein of the best con movies of old, like THE STING and my favorite, PAPER MOON.
While the first season of LEVERAGE was geared towards the “con of the week” and Nate’s arc of revenge, the second did the “con of the week,” with a bigger focus on character, leading to Nate’s ultimate acceptance of who he is (the final lines of season two, “I’m a thief.”) Season three takes the con of the week, adds more individual character moments (this Parker-centric) episode, gives just enough insight into the individual, then leaves you wanting more. Then on top of all of it, they have added the “Crime World” – Damien Moreau storyline, plus a healthy dose of Nate (who has become similar to House in many regards, but more on that in the next episode’s review).
Richard Chamberlain was a fascinating kinda foil for Nate, his struggle with accepting who Parker has become vs. what he made her a great character arc for a character that I hope we see again. Chamberlain always classes up a room – even when the show’s already a classy and fun affair. Must be the scarf.
304: The Scherezade Job
The overly-ambitious, diamond smuggling, arts patron brother of an African leader has designs on being his brother’s successor, and Nate and co. jump in to help a journalist with a story to tell and a country to save. Along the way, Hardison plays a violin, Parker does Parker-y stuff, and Elliot kicks some ass. So simple – and so pleasurable!
If 303 had its nods towards influence, 304 wore them on its sleeve, with the climactic heist taking place at an orchestra performance, the explosion timed at just the right moment in Scherezade so that no one would hear it, echoing a similar device in Hitchcock’s THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. No Bernard Hermann though.
Last episode was Parker’s episode, this episode it’s Hardison’s, as his violin-playing ability was front and center, taking him out of his comfort zone (the van), and onto the orchestra stage. His arc, from fear to confidence (and playing really, really well) was a fun one to watch – even if Nate kicked him in the balls at episode’s end. Aldis Hodge always brings that something something to every episode, his slips in and out of “Con Character” always fun to watch.
While not as much fun (or suspenseful) as 303, this episode definitely had its moments – the aforementioned orchestra heist, Nate’s hypnosis revelation to Hardison (and subsequent House-ification of Nate ending the episode with a notable, “wow, what a dick!” moment), and Nate’s GODFATHER-esque fear of getting Luca Brasi-ied (GODFATHER fans will know what I’m talking about) should he go on a dinner date with “The Italian.”
While Nate is the lead of the show, the glue holding the entire team together is Gina Bellman’s “Sophie Deveraux,” (which isn’t her real name, and apparently we, the audience, like Nate, have to earn the right to know – which I appreciate). Each and every episode, she turns in a fantastic performance as some new identity (the PR-rebrander of dictators in this, and Emily Peel (wink wink) in the previous). Her chemistry with Timothy Hutton is palpable, and she always makes every scene she’s in light up. The void left by her absence in the second half of season two was as much a loss for the viewer as it was for Nate, Parker, Elliot, and Hardison.
For all of you who watch the show (and if you’re reading this, you probably do), I can’t recommend enough LEVERAGE creator John Rogers’ blog, Kung Fu Monkey. Each week, he pens posts filled with wonderful insight into each episode, and paints a deep portrait of how a show works. Well worth the RSS.
Another great back-to-back night of episodes, making for the most pleasurable (and oddly difficult) reviewing experience I’ve had. There’s a break next week for fireworks, then it’s back to business on July 11.
Tyler Weaver is a filmmaker, writer, critic, and the founder and EIC of Multi-Hyphenate. He’s currently making new things and yaks about that and more on Twitter under the creative guise of @tylerweaver.
Source: Pulp Tone