After appearing in some of the most acclaimed films and TV series of the past few years, Aldis Hodge is quickly becoming one of the most sought after talents in Hollywood. To that, all I have to say is, “It is about time,” considering the actor, one of the four main protagonists of One Night in Miami, has been in the game longer than many of his biggest fans may even be realize.
In fact, I would be willing to bet that very few audiences are aware of the true number of times they have seen the 34-year-old, North Carolina-born and New York-raised artist on screen. Perhaps they recall his role as a cop struggling to understand what he cannot see in The Invisible Man, but do they remember that he played MC Ren in Straight Outta Compton? Not to mention, for everybody who enjoyed him as tech wizard Alec Hardison on Leverage, how many of them also remember when he appeared on six episodes of Friday Night Lights as Ray “Voodoo” Tatum?
There is plenty more than what meets the eye with Aldis Hodge, which I am more than happy to reveal below. The following are six lesser-known facts, hidden talents, and other fascinating bits of trivia that every fan of the One Night in Miami star should know, beginning with a glimpse at his childhood
Aldis Hodge Was Raised By US Marine Corps Veterans
He has been a natural fit in the role of an Army member in several projects (including the 2005 satire American Dreamz, as real-life World War II veteran Edward Carter on the docuseries Medal of Honor, and Captain Anthony Espin in the 2016 sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back). Thus, it is no surprise that Aldis Hodge actually does comes from a military family.
In 2019, Hodge spoke to NPR about how his parents met each other in the Marine Corps and that he was born while they were still in the service. He added that his mother's disciplinary parenting, as a result, had a profound effect on his approach to education and in his acting career. It goes without saying that his brother can relate.
Aldis Hodge And His Brother, Edwin, Made Their Film Debuts Together In Die Hard With A Vengeance
Acting is a passion that Aldis Hodge shares with his older brother Edwin Hodge, who has also played military personnel (such as in 2018's Bumblebee and on the History Channel series Six) and is part of the Blumhouse family after appearing in two installments of The Purge franchise. The siblings, who are just one year apart, can even share the same movie as each other's big screen debut - and big one, it certainly was.
When he was 9, Aldis played young Harlemite Raymond, whose uncle Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson) becomes the reluctant aid to John McClane (Bruce Willis) against a vengeful bomber (Jeremy Irons) in Die Hard with a Vengeance. Edwin has a smaller role in the 1995 sequel as a student whose school is suspected to be under attack from said terrorist. However, it was Aldis who appeared in the action franchise again as a different character, supposedly, in A Good Day to Die Hard from 2013.
Aldis Hodge Was Committed To Match Jim Brown’s Voice For One Night In Miami
With an acting career as as extensive as his, one might think that nailing any performance just comes naturally to Aldis Hodge. However, the actor is never one take shortcuts with a role and his portrayal of Jim Brown in Oscar-winner Regina King's feature-length directorial debut One Night in Miami is certainly no exception.
When promoting the dramatized Civil Rights era period piece, based on screenwriter Kemp Powers' original play, Hodge spoke to Entertainment Tonight about his research on the Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, emphasizing on attention to nailing his voice. He would play recordings of Jim Brown speaking over and over to make sure he incorporate the same "['60s-style] sort of energy" into his performance as authentically as possible.
Aldis Hodge Dove Right Into The Comics To Research His Hawkman Role
Aldis Hodge's devotion to authenticity still applies to characters who are not even real people. Of course, for this particular role, the man has plenty of source material to take note of.
You should probably know by now that Hodge was recently cast in Black Adam, opposite Dwayne Johnson, as fellow founding member of the Justice Society of America Carter Hall, better known as the mystical, flying warrior Hawkman. The actor followed up the news by posting a photo to his Instagram of many comic books featuring his upcoming DC movie character with the caption "Weekend homework."
Outside Of Acting, Aldis Hodge Is A Self-Taught Watchmaker
While others might balk at the thought of "weekend homework," Aldis Hodge seems like the kind of person who always likes to stay busy. Thankfully, he has plenty of other handy skills to keep himself occupied when he is not in front of the camera, such as painting and another vastly different form of art.
If you thought Hodge's technical skills on Leverage was just part of his character, think again. Since his youth, the man has been an active, self-taught engineer and horologist - which in layman's terms, is one who designs and constructs watches. In fact, he even launched his own brand of luxury timepieces aptly named "A. Hodge."
He Has Been Reevaluating His Relationship With The Industry
Aldis Hodge has gone on record about how society's expectations of him as a person of color would influence his self-made transformation into a jack-of-all-trades. He also commented on how deeply it has influenced the roles he chooses, especially in recent years. During an interview with NPR while promoting the 2019 Showtime miniseries City on a Hill Hodge explained this even further in the following excerpt:
When I was a teenager, all I was getting was, like, thug role auditions and athlete role auditions. And I remember, I was always a science nerd. I was like: Black people are more than this. Like, that's cool and all, but it has to have a purpose. It can't just be for the sake of 'this is all we see you as.' Now, 30 years in the game, I've spent this entire time trying to figure out ... what I'm doing here, and demanding more of this career for me. So I've made sacrifices. There are jobs I didn't take, auditions I didn't go on. It all amounts to where I am now.
With all the stories black actors have told of their early struggles in Hollywood, forced to portray a stereotype on a repeated basis, it truly is inspiring to see Hodge refuse such a career and go on to achieve the success is he is known for today. With a DC movie on the way, scripts of his own invention in the works, and watchmaking business, he has nowhere else to go but up.
What do you think? Is Aldis Hodge the sole reason you are most excited for Black Adam, or had you already grown tired of waiting for that DC flick even after the actor was cast as Hawkman? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the multi-talented artist, as well as even further insight into the lives of your favorite celebrities, here on CinemaBlend.