Conference Call with Leverage’s Aldis Hodge

Ready to get your con on? Well, Sunday, it’s time. That’s right, Leverage is back with a brand-new season — and I’m sure you all want to know what’s going to happen with Nate and Sophie after that last moment last season.

But what about the rest of the gang? I was able to participate in a conference call with Aldis Hodge, who plays Hardison on the show (one of my favorite characters, of course). He’s the man with the cyber plan, and he’s right on his game in the season opener, which you can see this Sunday at 9/8c on TNT.

Check out the Q&A below with Aldis, where he chats all about the upcoming season, growing up acting, and a certain on-screen relationship that many fans out there might be curious about. A certain blonde, perhaps?

*****

Hey, one of the things that struck me when reading a little bit about your bio is that you actually played the violin, and I did see you doing that in one of your episodes. Right? – Eagle Herald Newspaper

Oh yeah.

Any plans to hear — now was that actually you playing during that?

While we filmed it, I actually played to a track. It’s much easier for editing when I can play to the track without mistakes, but I did learn the song, and I played it terribly but I did play it. It’s a beautiful song, though.

Oh cool. Any other opportunities coming up to hear your music in future episodes do you think?

I’m not sure, but this is actually a pretty common and familiar question, so I’m thinking we might have to revisit that if that’s what the people want.

Oh cool. And the other question I have and I don’t want to take a lot of your time because I know there’s going to be a lot of people waiting for you but you got started pretty young; about 11 – 12 years old with — between Brothers and NYPD Blue. How did you — how did your talents get discovered and, you know, how did you pursue them to greater things.

Let’s see. Well, I started when I was 3 years old in New York. My brother and I, we were on Sesame Street for about two years and then, you know, we did a few things here and there. I did a film called Die Hard with a Vengeance and then after that we ended up on Broadway for about two and a half years.

Really, I was watching my brother because he’s — my brother, Edwin Hodge, he’s the one who started first, and I followed suit, and I just kind of learned from and was inspired by him doing it at first. And my mom just, you know, she supported me and allowed me to do — to pursue my dreams.

But I think because my mother made it a privilege and not necessarily a priority, at a young age was why we were forced to make sure that we wanted this because she said look, education always comes first. If you don’t have those As, there will be no acting. No As and Bs, no acting, no auditioning, no nothing.

So we had to really — she made us earn this acting thing. So, you know, it were forced us to actually learn the world we were in, immerse ourselves in the craft of it and try to be our best at it because we wanted it and we had to earn it. It wasn’t given to us.

Well, having Marines as parents, I guess, can be a little tough but rewarding at the same time.

She was definitely strict, but my mother’s a sweet lady. She’s one of the sweetest ladies I know. She’s the best lady I know. So yeah. She was very much a discipline enforcer though and all about the education.

[Read more after the break!]

*****

I’m a huge fan of the show. My husband and I watched it from the beginning and it’s been great to see all of the characters kind of have grown since the beginning. 

One thing we saw last season was the relationship between Hardison and Parker start to grow; especially in the second half of the season. And then in the season premiere, you know, we see them kind of apart. I mean we don’t really see much between the two of them specifically until the end I guess when it’s a thank God you’re okay type of situation. What can we see from the season this year? — tvismypacifier.com

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Parker and Hardison- – they definitely take major steps as far as, you know, realizing their affection for one another and how they feel. And they’re growing. They definitely grow emotionally. They — their bond of friendship grows and gets a lot stronger this season.

Now as far as romantically, it’s still something that they’re figuring out and trying to test the waters. They don’t know if they should or shouldn’t. You know, it can ruin a lot.

You know, it’s very scary and very new and very exciting but we see them play with that idea more and more throughout the season and it gets juicy. That’s all I can say.

Well excellent. We’re routing for it because I think you just — you guys make just the cutest pair. So.

Oh, thank you.

And then I had one other quick question. Nate’s drinking. How is that going to affect at all — is it going to affect at all this season?

You know, I think at this point the team is used to having a drunk and I think they just let him go his way. You know, we’ll see how it plays out. I can’t say anything on it because I want the audience to see. But it does play out a little bit early this season but as far as Hardison’s character, specifically, you know, I think he understands who Nate is and who Nate has been for the past few years.

So he’s, you know, just — he’s always just about look, you do what you want to do as long as we get the job done.

*****

So the season opener obviously started with the Big Bang. I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about what’s coming up for Hardison and what — in terms of what was the most fun for you to shoot; maybe a scene or a moment from a future season four episode. – LA Examiner

Well, my favorite episode to shoot… I basically got to play young Danny Glover because he comes in. He’s narrating his story and the characters go back in time and we met. We are seen as the character that he’s telling the story about so, you know, I get to basically be the younger version of him which is an honor to because it Danny Glover. It’s like acting royalty right there.

So I was really honored to have that experience and that opportunity but as far as like where — what’s going on with Hardison for this season. I think he’s been forced more than, you know, more than a couple of times to challenge his romantic feelings for Parker and that’s something he’s trying to figure out. I think that, out of all things, is his biggest adversary.

So and not necessarily in a negative way; it’s just something that he’s trying to figure out, you know, whether he should or shouldn’t. So he’s going to keep testing those waters. But as far as him personally, I think he’s gotten himself together and he’s back on track. You know, he’s back doing the same thing. He (doing it) and he’s doing it well.

And this is a quick follow-up. In the Danny Glover homage episode, do you get to do any stunts or any fight scenes?

I can’t tell you that.

I know. I’ve got to try.

There’s a lot of running. I can tell you that.

All right. Awesome. Thank you.

You’re welcome. You’ve gotta watch… There’s a lot of exciting stuff. A lot of exciting stuff.

*****

Can you share any funny stories from the set with us? – lenalamoray.com

Oh yeah. [Shooting the premiere] was — it was an amazing time because we actually went to Mount Hood — we were shooting on the mountain, and it just so happened that during our shooting time, they had the warning for the biggest blizzard that they’ve had in their history, and we actually did — it was going on as we were shooting.

So we had that to deal with. But we had scenes where we were supposed to be coming in out of the snow all, you know, snowed up and all cold and all that kind of stuff and whenever they told us to go get snowed up, you know, like the director and production, they really — when they said that, they meant okay. Have makeup come around, toss some snow on us – a little fake snow and have us go do our thing.

The cast- – our interpretation of it was go outside, go jump into the big pile of snow that was like ten feet down on set — you know, the first floor. So we were stuck on the second or third story. I don’t know. And we kept jumping into the piles of snow. We kept having snowball fights in between takes and then we would come in and do the scene. But we would do that every single take.

But we got the job done. We got the job done. And then of course we go and make a video of ourselves jumping about ten feet down, and then we show John Rogers, our creator, and he nearly has a heart attack.

So we almost killed somebody but we’re all good.

*****

So now you’ve had four years of the show. What – is there anything major that changed for you that you can think of like are you recognized more or what’s the biggest change? – TV Megasite

The response has definitely been amazing. We’ve been fortunate enough to have very loyal fans. There’s a woman who goes by the moniker (Alley Cat Who) who’s built a fan site for me. I believe it’s Aldis-Hodge.com. And she’s doing that of her own free will and to have somebody like actually put and invest their time to make a fan site around me — to me that blows my mind. I never really — I used to see it happen for like all these like celebrities and stars and you know, those kind of people.

Right.

And to have somebody do that for me is truly mind-blowing. I still don’t really even understand it. It’s great. But she’s done that and it’s really nice when you can walk around town and you know, the people that do recognize, they give respect and they show respect and they, you know, show that they appreciate your work because that’s what this is really all about.

I just want to make sure that I’m doing the right job and that people appreciate the effort that I’m putting in and it shows.

So that kind of an experience I can’t really — it’s very hard to duplicate. It’s very hard to explain but to have that in my life right now is really amazing and I’m truly blessed.

It doesn’t sound like success has changed you much so keep up the good work.

Oh, thank you.

*****

My question was do you have any favorite, you know, Hardison gets all the toys, all the text. Do you have any favorite texting that he’s done or he’s going to be doing at any point this season that really stood out to you? – Small Screen Scoop

Let’s see. Let me see, let me see, let me see, let me see. I think — I’m not certain about this season just yet. I know last season I really had fun with the EMP gun. That was pretty cool.

Yeah.

But this season — I mean we still have so much more to go. We’ve got eight more episodes so I think I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Okay. So sort of a follow-up. Does anyone think like in [real life] that you’re sort of more technically advance maybe than you are just because you know how people assume that people who play doctors are somehow medically qualified to help them. Do people like expect you to have…

Yeah. No, some think that all the time and I disappoint people all the time and I’m like look guys. I read lines. I’m an actor. I — my job is to pretend professionally.

So you’ve got to realize that. But yeah. No, people think that I’m some kind of wiz and you know just I’m not. But you know I’ve learned a little bit along the way. It’s still not enough to be anywhere near the – in competition with my character but I’m getting by.

*****

Don’t forget to watch Aldis Hodge in Leverage this Sunday at 9/8c on TNT!

*images courtesy of TNT

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