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18 Nov

Aldis Hodge Is Devoted To Transforming The Image Of

Aldis Hodge Is Devoted To Transforming The Image Of

With a profession that spans three many years, Aldis Hodge has been a pillar of Black representation in Hollywood for years. The actor got his start within the ’90s and hasn’t taken his foot off the gas since. After smaller parts throughout his childhood and teenage years, Hodge got a breakout role in Leverage at age 21. Since then, he’s captivated us in projects like Underground, Hidden Figures, The Invisible Man and City on a Hill. A real leading man, he has a capability to reinvent himself and take up space in Hollywood that may’t be understated.  

“For me, the ambition is to repeatedly change the angle [on] and the approach to the identity of Black men and Black people fully,” says Hodge, 36. “That’s something that we, the community, need—in order that we will maintain and control the skilled narrative and affirm our worth in Hollywood. We’re not sitting here waiting on a call. We’re creating that avenue of opportunity for ourselves.” 

Aldis Hodge Is Devoted To Transforming The Image Of Black Men On-Screen

For the One Night in Miami actor, this implies taking over roles that may have an impact well beyond the screen. “I wish to do projects with substance—anything that has real value outside of entertainment and moves the needle forward, by way of equitable job acquisition on the subject of us. I like any and all the pieces creative and nontraditional.” 

In Black Adam, based on the DC Comics character and due for release this October, Hodge’s turn as Hawkman, aka Carter Hall, alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson means ushering in a latest era for Black superheroes after they are still few and much between.

Aldis Hodge Is Devoted To Transforming The Image Of Black Men On-Screen
Hodge wearing Reese Cooper x Levi’s jacket and pants, levi.com, Alexander McQueen shoes, alexandermcqueen.com, and David Yurman jewelry, davidyurman.com.  

“I used to be very honored to be an element of it, simply because it’s not something I’d ever have seen for myself,” he admits. “Introducing the Justice Society and giving latest life to the DC [Extended] Universe with these story lines, it’s going to be insane. Director Jaume Collet-Serra has a terrific eye and a terrific understanding of storytelling. People are usually not yet ready for what that is going to do.” 

Hawkman is an archaeologist—and a modern-day reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince who has lived many lives. Putting on that incredible gravity-defying Nth metal suit for the primary time was exhilarating for Hodge. “It’s hard to elucidate in words,” he says. “It’s the culmination of childhood dreams, verified right there within the flesh—and also you get to a spot where you’re saying, This is occurring. This is admittedly taking place.” 

Aldis Hodge Is Devoted To Transforming The Image Of Black Men On-Screen

Recognizing the importance of the role for longtime Black Adam fans, in addition to curious newcomers, Hodge dove into the comics for research— and leaned on Johnson for support. “Now we have a grand responsibility to represent, which goes to be amazing for teenagers watching this,” he says. “It’s telling them, ‘You belong ready of success. You belong ready of creative freedom.’ There’s a terrific deal of value that comes from that message. It’s why I loved playing this role—and why I hope to proceed playing this role for years to return.” 

This text appears within the September/October 2022 issue of ESSENCE magazine on newsstands now.

Photographer: Texas Isaiah

Stylist: Marquise Miller and Aaron Christmon.

Groomer: Alexa Hernandez at The Wall Group.

Barber: Art Williams.

Photography Assistant: Sebastian Johnson.

Styling Assistant: Josia Dayoub and Raf Tallat

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