Hodge enjoys bad guy role

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Aldis Hodge loves playing bad guy Alec Hardison on the TNT drama, “Leverage.”

“I have played the bad guy who has helped people and the whole nine,” explained Hodge, 24, who began his acting career at the age of three. “Now I’m playing a thief who steals back for the good guy in a peculiar way. We always have to play a character inside of a character. That kind of stuff is fun.”

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THE GEEK—Aldis Hodges plays Alex Hardison.

Started at the end of 2008, “Leverage” centers’ around once loyal fraud investigator Nathan Ford, played by Timothy Hutton. Ford became disloyal to the insurance company after it refused to pay for experimental treatment that could have saved his son’s life. Due to his intricate knowledge of scams, Ford is recruited to join a team of talented criminals to steal back aeronautical plans that were supposedly stolen by a competitor.

Once the job is complete, Ford and his team are double crossed and are not paid for their work. Ford and his team members decide to create Leverage Consulting & Associates, fighting for people who were victimized by corporations or individuals with wealth and influence to avoid prosecution from the legal system.

Hodge portrays Alec Hardison, a technology and gadget phenomenon and self-proclaimed “geek” and science fiction fan who has a budding romantic relationship with Parker. Hardison can easily break into most electronics and is hardly ever caught.

In addition to Hodge and Hutton, other members of the team include Gina Bellman who plays con woman Sophie Devereaux, and expert martial artist Eliot Spencer played by Christian Kane.

“It’s nice to be in the company of seasoned actors. I know these actors are going to do their jobs and do them well. I’ve learned to trust and be confident in my fellow actors. I trust their judgment in a scene and that makes me more comfortable,” he said.

The fourth season, which started in June, will find the “Leverage” team facing bigger challenges than they ever have. They will also find out that someone has been spying on their activities.

Season four is also filled with guest stars including Michael Gladis, Mark Sheppard and the iconic Danny Glover who recently portrayed a World War II veteran who allegedly has a very rare Van Gogh painting.

“The episode with Danny Glover was my favorite episode of the season,” said Hodge. “I actually played a younger version of Danny and I had to get Danny’s mannerisms down because you have to make things authentic.”

“Working with Danny Glover was amazing. I felt honored to have him on our set. He was a great person to learn from. I learned set etiquette—how to handle myself on set—and watching him in his craft was surreal. It was like watching Hollywood royalty.”

Hodge’s acting career started when he accompanied his brother on a print job for Essence magazine. Six years later he was cast in the Tony-winning revival of “Showboat” on Broadway. During that time period he also appeared in several movies including “Die Hard with a Vengeance” and “Bed of Roses.”

Soon after he headed to Los Angeles to continue his career and began landing recurring roles in numerous television shows including Voodoo on “Friday Night Lights.” His other television appearances include “Supernatural,” “Girlfriends,” “CSI,” and “Charmed.” His movie credits include “The Lady Killers” and “Big Momma’s House.”

Although he is receiving a pay check for his efforts, Hodge doesn’t feel like he’s working when he arrives on the set of “Leverage.”

“This is unlike anything else I have ever done,” Hodge said. “I don’t act for my audience; I do this acting for me. This is my passion. When you’re on TV, people treat you like you are infallible. I’m not trying to be an idol. I’m just a guy with a job and if people enjoy my work that’s wonderful. I will continue to put out good work.”

When he isn’t making people laugh with his comical character on “Leverage,” Hodge writes film and television scripts and designs watches. He is actively pursuing his own watch company.

“Leverage” airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on TNT.

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