The fourth season of Leverage is coming soon, returning everybody’s favorite Robin Hoods to our screens for the summer. Leverage‘s own Alec Hardison — in real life actor Aldis Hodge — took the time to chat to BuddyTV about the upcoming season, his character and what he’s been doing when not acting on Leverage. Since Hodge is well into season 4 at this point (working on the tenth episode of 18), he had plenty to share.

BuddyTV: What can we expect from Leverage in season 4?
Aldis Hodge: More heart.

BTV: What have you actually been doing over the past several months? Do you have any projects?

I’ve been writing a lot. I’ve been working on building my watch company. I managed to knock down a State Farm commercial with LeBron James that a lot of people are enjoying this playoff season. So that was pretty cool. But, yeah, I’m just really focusing on, on my own time I focus on my watches, and I get back to writing scripts — that’s my passion. That’s what I want to be, someday soon in my career. You know, just kind of trying to keep it going.

BTV: What sort of scripts are you working on?

AH: Right now, I’m working on a pilot, three different films, and I’ve just got to pace myself to see which one I want to pop out first.

BTV: When you’re playing Hardison, you have to have a lot of computer know-how. So how much of a computer geek are you in reality?

AH: (Laughing) I’m very much a very simple person when it comes to computers. I turn it on, and I do what I’ve got to do, and I get off. I barely even use a computer program to design watches, I’m still old-school. I like a pen and pencil and a piece of paper. Now, granted, I know how to work a computer, but my technical savvy comes in the gears, I know how to put something together and make it work. We could have a conversation about that!

BTV: You’d be going over my head there. Getting back to the show, can you tell us anything about the season 4 guest stars?

AH: Sure. Everybody knows by now we’ve got the great Danny Glover in episode 4 and 5. We have Eric Stolz in episode 1, the premiere. We have Mark Sheppard coming back to revisit Sterling, and that’s going to be pretty awesome. We also have … another guest star coming back… We actually have two guest stars coming back. I don’t know if I can talk about those guys. They’re actually from the first season. They’re coming back in episode 11 or 12, possibly. So for the audiences who like to go back and check the history, that’s going to be really fun for them.

BTV: From the past several seasons, do you have any favorite moments or episodes?

AH: My favorite episode right now is 405, “The Van Gogh Job.” And trickling down from that, it’s “The Scheherazade Job,” “The Breakout Job” — that’s starring my brother, Edwin Hodge. The pilot is definitely up there, because it started it, and I actually miss that feeling, the excitement that we had on the pilot. You know, it’s now or never. So that was such a magnanimous time. But yeah, let’s see. Yeah, that’s where I’m at. Those are my favorites!

BTV: Do you think your character has evolved in any particular ways over the several seasons, and are we going to see any new changes in that as the new season comes in?

AH: The character has definitely evolved. He’s of course matured into his role. Like I said, he’s challenging the feelings that he has for Parker. In that I mean he’s maturing into what he actually feels and how comfortable he’s actually getting with that. I think he’s consistently grown, but he’s growing at a very nice and steady pace. Nothing too fast.

BTV: What has been the hardest part about working on a show like Leverage?

AH: I haven’t had anything too difficult. I mean, up to this point, the hardest part that I actually had to face with this show is moving to Portland, which I acclimated to quite easily. But you know, being away from family and friends, that was probably the hardest thing about it, But as far as working at the job, it’s really nothing that I struggle with.

BTV: So then what would be the most fun part about working on a show like Leverage?

AH: Well, I think the fact that I still don’t consider it a job is something great, because I feel like I just come to play every day, and I’m excited to come to do this every day. So I think I just have a really good hobby, and I’m fortunate enough to do something I love.

The best part about working on this show in particular is that the characters are allowed to stretch and be different people every episode. You know, different accents, different languages, different personalities — because the stinging of being on a show for too long is you get complacent, you get comfortable at being the same person. It’s a little stale and you kind of lose imagination after a bit. But we’re allowed to keep fresh by being so many different people on a consistent basis. We’re forced to figure out a different type of acting every day. So that’s the best thing about being on the show. I love it.

BTV: Going to the future, are there any plots, any ideas you have about where you’d like to see your character go?

AH: I’d like to see who this character is outside of the Leverage team. It would be nice to see a little bit of their personal lives — I think that’s kind of cool. But as far as priority-wise, you know, I would like to see him capitalize on his ambition last year of, you know, starting his own team if this team was to disband, to take a more authoritative stance with that.

And also, I’m excited to see where he goes with Parker.

BTV: If you were able to steal the kind of money that the Leverage team routinely gets their hands on, what do you think you’d really do with it?

AH: (Laughing) I wish I could.

Well, one, I would love to set up a couple of homeless shelters with kind of an intern program to it, so homeless shelters that provide jobs for people. So they can get their lives back on track, so they can educate themselves and get diplomas and degrees and go out and, I guess, contribute. And also I’d like to go to Africa. And I would love to be a part of stabilizing in some kind of way, helping to stabilize economies over in Africa and to stabilize the way of life a little bit more for the people over there. You know, just building up better housing and having these people actually build these houses, own their land, and live a normal, genocide-free life.

I’m not saying all of Africa is like that, but it’s a great tragedy that some of it is. And I don’t think it makes any sense, because Africa’s such a mineral-rich country — I mean continent — that it should be one of the forefathers of the economy in this day and age.

BTV: In your opinion, the Leverage team: are they good guys or bad guys?

AH: Oh, they’re great guys!

They’re great guys. Some people say they do bad things, but I mean, what are they doing? They’re knocking down the bad guy to give back to the good guy. An eye for an eye, right?

Stealing’s not stealing if you’re giving it back, right?

Are you looking forward to season 4 of Leverage? Do you think Hardison and Parker will actually, somehow, get together this season? And what about the rest of the Leverage team? Leave a comment below!

(Image courtesy of TNT)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.