Interview With Aldis Hodge From Leverage
The third season of Leverage premieres tonight, June 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm on TNT.
What better way to celebrate Leverage than with an interview with ‘The Hacker’, Aldis Hodge. Despite being ill, Aldis made it to a conference call where he talked about his role on Leverage, how he managed to escape the pitfalls of being a child star and much more!! Check out excerpts from the interview below:
Question: How would you describe Leverage to folks who haven’t seen it.
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 yes, you know, we are a lot of people said that of, you know, Oceans 11 with Robin Hood in there, a little A Team in there.
One of the reasons why it may be difficult to describe exactly what we are is because not that our show is hard to understand because it’s not, but I think it’s because our show is on (entity) which is nice.
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 was definitely – I think we have our own model going. But I just say it’s kind of like modern day Robin Hood.
Question: You’ve 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. She was always very – I mean 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 took away that threatened my childhood, you know, she stopped it immediately. One thing about this business was to remain a child. You’re on set as a child, people treat you like an adult. My brother and I did a Broadway show for 2-1/2 years and I was like 8 he was 9 when we started doing that show. And, you know, out of a cast of 100 some odd people there’s only five children so you’re running around there’s a lot of people that don’t really notice and they don’t care.
So 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.
She kept education first because she says there’s going to be no acting without education. There’s no such thing as, you know, not hitting the books.
She made us aware of our priorities very early on in our lives and what was important. This is a job but this is not our life. This is what we like to do. But if you would like to continue doing it if we want to make it there’s a certain you have to go about it, you know, and that’s what she made us realize. You’ve got to respect yourself. You’ve got to respect your life, you’ve got to respect what’s going on around you and you cannot be consumed by what’s going on around you.
You have to create your own way, you have to control it, you have to maintain it and you have to above all respect yourself.
I’m pretty sure she would have killed me if I, I don’t know, not – and lost my mind on drugs and all that. She…
She’s a former Marine so – she was a very sweet lady don’t get me wrong – a very sweet lady. She’s a wonderful woman. I love her to death. But she’s all about that respect you know?
Question: How familiar were you with your fellow actors and actresses before you signed up or once you signed up?
Aldis Hodge: I actually wasn’t familiar with anyone.
No actually I think the attitude, there was 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.
So we hung out all the time every night. We went out. And but most of all we were really invested in making this show work, you know.
And 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.
You know, the chemistry is already set. The first person I met was Christian Kane on the very first well – after the first – the last audition we had for the show I rode up in elevator with Christian Kane. It was just me him and my mom. That’s all that was there in the elevator.
And we were talking about the show and how, you know, we were looking forward to doing it. And it kind of was like yes man, you know, I hope you get it, I hope you get it and we kind of (vibed) then. And that, you know, that was our kind of our defining moment.
The next time I saw him was actually at the fitting. And then when I, you know, we saw each other we’re like dude you got it. Yes, hey man and we were kind of already there. So we’ve been brothers in arms since that moment.