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Interview with Aldis Hodge of "Leverage"
on TNT 1/10/09
Today I was fortunate to interview Aldis Hodge, who
plays Hardison on TNT's great show "Leverage". It was early morning, and
I think we were both a little drowsy!
When asked about this season's episodes of "Leverage", he said that he
was really excited about the seventh episode, which is their
summer season finale (like many cable shows, they show half their season
in the summer and half in the winter). He said that they're "back to being
in trouble". We chatted quite a bit about the characters on the show. He
said they have formed a sort of "strange bond". "The first season was
all about not wanting the relationships, but the second season is about
hanging onto the relationships," he mused. They have been thrown a lot
of curveballs, but they rise to meet the challenge.
Specifically, we discussed his character's relationship with Parker.
They seem to be heading down a romantic path. He enjoys that chemistry
between them and hopes to see more of it. He said "They have a little
somethin' somethin' going on".
I marveled to him about how great the characters were, and how distinct they
are in their little ensemble, and he agreed. We talked about how the
show is a drama but also very light-hearted. He thinks that it's good to
have that balance, to keep things "fun" so that people can forget about
their problems and enjoy the show.
Being a big scifi fan (okay, nerd), I asked him if he had gotten a lot of
good responses from scifi fans, since he plays a computer geek and makes
lots of scifi references, and he admitted that he has. He also admitted
that he is a big geek himself. We talked about how Star Trek and other
scifi has always had a big influence on the show. Former "Star Trek:
Voyager" star Jeri Ryan is joining the show later in the season.
Jonathan Frakes (Riker from "Star Trek: The Next Generation") has
directed some of the show's episodes. Brent Spiner (Data) and Wil
Wheaton (Wesley) have been guest-stars. There are many scifi references
in the show's dialogue.
I made sure to tell him that the show has many scifi fans, and I asked
him to pass it on to the other cast members as well. I have to admit
that I did gush quite a lot about how much I love "Leverage", and he
said that it really made his morning. He seems like a very nice, humble
Since we were talking about scifi fandom, I asked if he had gone to
Comic-Con last month. He said he had wanted to, but they were filming.
They film up in Portland. Last year they filmed in L.A., but this season
they moved to Portland. He says the city is great about letting them shoot there
and helping them out. He commented that the people who run the city are "gracious and very
I asked Aldis what his favorite thing was about playing the character of
Hardison on the show. He said that Hardison has "all this crazy
knowledge and loves doing what he does. He's so intelligent and very
comfortable doing it." Hardison knows who he is and is very
enthusiastic. I noted that he is the only one of gang that is not crazy
or has issues, and he laughed. I guessed that it must be fun as an actor
to do this show because every week he not only gets to play Hardison,
but Hardison pretends to be all sorts of different people. He heartily
agreed with that notion.
I also asked Aldis about what it was like being on the show, since he has
done a lot of acting, but never on a successful show before. He talked
about some of the experiences he'd had with being on shows that get
canceled a lot. He is just very glad to have any job, but he says that
"coming in this show, not knowing anyone", but getting to be a part of
it all, has been "very exciting and refreshing".
When asked about what he hopes for Hardison in the future, Aldis replied
that he hopes he "stays on a steady path and grows a little". We all
hope for the same thing!
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