Published On: Thu, Feb 22nd, 2024

‘Parallel’ Exclusive Interview: Aldis Hodge

‘Parallel’ Exclusive Interview: Aldis Hodge
‘Parallel’ Exclusive Interview: Aldis Hodge


Aldis Hodge in 'Parallel.'

Aldis Hodge in ‘Parallel.’ Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

Opening in theaters and On Demand February 27th is the new sci-fi thriller ‘Parallel,’ which was written, produced and stars Aldis Hodge (‘Black Adam’) and his brother Edwin Hodge (‘Bumblebee’). The film also stars Danielle Deadwyler (‘Till’) and was directed by Kourosh Ahari (‘The Night’).

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Aldis Hodge about his work on ‘Parallel,’ developing the screenplay, creating a realistic multiverse, playing multiple versions of his character, working with his brother, and Danielle Deadwyler’s strong performance.

The actor also discussed his possible future in James Gunn’s new DC Universe, confirmed that he is not in talks to play Green Lantern John Stewart, and looks back at playing Hawkman in ‘Black Adam.’

Aldis Hodge talks 'Parallel.'

Aldis Hodge talks ‘Parallel.’

Moviefone: To begin with, can you talk about developing the screenplay, the themes you wanted to explore, and creating a realistic multiverse?

Aldis Hodge: It’s weird, we didn’t even think about the term multiverse, and now, it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that that’s exactly what we were doing. We were just working based off the original film ‘Parallel Forest,’ the Chinese version that we saw, that we were inspired by, and it really came down to the complexities of the relationships. The way they approached it in the original film, I think that they had a genius approach to the emotional depth and subtleties there. We just wanted to do our version of that, but in a way, something that paid homage, or honored the original film, and how it inspired us. The film was brought to my brother and I by Jaylen Moore, from Rumble Riot. Jaylen is a good buddy of ours, and he brought us a really great opportunity, then introduced us to Jonathon Keasey, who was another writer on the project. My brother and I, we got up and we talked to John, and the process between my brother and I, going back and forth, was easy. We know how we work; we just want to get the job done. We had the same goal, the same intention moving forward with this project. Anytime you’re working on anything with anybody, if it’s your family, your partner, your business partners, if everybody has the same goal in mind, everybody has a different route to get there, but if you have the same goal in mind, you’re going to get there. Where my brother had a different approach to certain things, that opened my mind to being able to see different options, and where I had a different approach to certain things, that opened his mind, and we just complimented each other on the journey. I call this a great education. This was school for us, and it was wonderful.

Aldis Hodge and Edwin Hodge in 'Parallel.'

(L to R) Aldis Hodge and Edwin Hodge in ‘Parallel.’ Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

MF: What was it like for you to get write, produce and act in this project with your brother and really share this experience with him?

AH: This was our first time as writers and producers, but we’ve acted together in many projects before, from ‘Sesame Street,’ when we were kids, to ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance,’ to ‘Big Momma’s House.’ We’ve done ‘Showboat,’ we did a run of ‘Showboat’ on Broadway for a long time together. We’re used to working with each other, and we’ve always been looking forward to getting an opportunity to work together again. Here, we just learned a lot on the producing side, how to manage a team, how to really stay in your lane, and figure out how to get people to understand how to approach you, and how to see you. For us, that was the new experience, where we were learning together, and we would go home and just talk about it. We’d talk about the day, and figure out, “All right, this didn’t go so well over here. How do we want to attack that tomorrow? This went right, and how do we keep it going well?” It was constant check-ins, and making sure that we were up to date on everything that we needed to get done.

Aldis Hodge in 'Parallel.'

Aldis Hodge in ‘Parallel.’ Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

MF: Can you talk about the first version of Alex that we see in this movie, his relationship with his wife Vanessa, and how he is dealing with her grief?

AH: Alex number one? I don’t want to give away the cookies, but he is a grieving husband. Him and his wife are dealing with a situation they can’t control. He doesn’t really know how to deal with her, or handle her on it, so he’s just trying to figure it out. He’s at a loss as well, and he is hurting in a way where he needs somebody to be there for him, but he needs to be there for somebody else, and he must figure out what that balance is. He’s going through it, but the relationship between him and Vanessa is very much layered. It’s not easy, because there’s a lot of doubt, a lot of blame, a lot of guilt that they’re dealing with as husband and wife, and they don’t know how to get back to being husband and wife. They’re lost in their grief, and it becomes suffocating.

Danielle Deadwyler in 'Parallel.'

Danielle Deadwyler in ‘Parallel.’ Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

MF: What was it like working with Danielle Deadwyler and building that relationship with her?

AH: She’s amazing, man. I keep repeating myself, but she was a gift, and she blessed us with her gifts, and I’m just so grateful. For my brother and I’s first time out, venturing into this space, rookies, we couldn’t have gotten luckier having somebody with this talent of this magnitude, and being able to come with so much humility, grace, poise, and just kindness. She’s a sweet person, a sweetheart, and she just also happens to be very brilliant at what she does, so we were very lucky. She’s a rockstar, you know what I mean? Again, we got lucky.

Aldis Hodge and Danielle Deadwyler in 'Parallel.'

(L to R) Aldis Hodge and Danielle Deadwyler in ‘Parallel.’ Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

MF: Can you talk about the challenges of playing multiple versions of the same character, and was there one version that you really enjoyed playing?

AH: That is the challenge, and that’s the thing that drew me to it. That’s the biggest opportunity presented as an actor, from just that isolated lane, being able to figure out how to, in the same space, in the same film, make these several different people, and make them as obviously different as possible. That’s really where the fun lies, because for me, I just chose different emotional groups, and applied them to different versions, to say, “You represent this, and you represent that.” It was the easiest way, because I’m not going to lie, there were some days where I’ll be on set, and I’d get confused. I’m like, “Which version am I playing now?” Someone is like, “Didn’t you write it?” I’m like, “Yeah, I wrote it, but don’t worry about it. Help me figure it out.” I wanted to make sure that I got that right, because just in my career, that’s always been something that I aim for. To play a bunch of different roles as varied and vast as possible and have such a body of work that is just so diverse it cannot be compared or quantified in any similar space, and this is as obvious of an opportunity, and a challenge to do so. I was happy about that. I didn’t have a favorite, but the idea of Alex is just my favorite because the thing that I loved about this was playing the differences, being able to challenge myself with having to be as familiar and equally unique in the same space as possible. I look at films as opportunities to go to the gym, flex my muscles a little bit, and to work out. For this film, what I was trying to work out, or work on was, how sharp and distinct can I be when it comes to really trying to build out this whole person? Usually, you’re on set, you only must worry about playing one person. Even if they’re pretending to be somebody else, it’s still the same person. You only must worry about one perspective. This one, you have a few very different versions, with very different perspectives, and I just wanted to make sure I hit that as much as possible. It’s really the whole idea of Alex that is my favorite.

'Green Lantern: Beware My Power.'

‘Green Lantern: Beware My Power.’ Photo: Warner Bros. Animation.

MF: Recently there was an online rumor that you might play Green Lantern John Stewart in the new DCU. Is that true? Have you had any talks with James Gunn or DC Studios about it, and would that mean that you won’t return as Hawkman?

AH: I want to set the record straight. I was doing an interview, and someone asked me about my future in DC. I told them, I don’t know, because that’s above my pay grade. They asked me if I wasn’t coming back to reprise my role as Hawkman, is there anybody else I’d want to be? “What about John Stewart?” I said, well, I’ve been voicing John Stewart in the animated space for a few years now. I always had an affinity for that character, and I think that would be cool, but I’m not having conversations about it. Someone asked me, and I just said, yeah, that would be a cool idea. If that was on their mind, and they picked up the phone, I’d be open to it. Again, that’s above my pay grade. You’re going to have to go talk to DC about that. Ain’t nobody called me about nothing, so we can calm that chatter right there.

Related Article: Dwayne Johnson Talks ‘Black Adam’ and Why He Wanted to Play the Character

Aldis Hodge as Hawkman in New Line Cinema’s action adventure 'Black Adam.'

Aldis Hodge as Hawkman in New Line Cinema’s action adventure ‘Black Adam,’ a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures. Copyright: © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MF: Finally, looking back at your role as Hawkman in ‘Black Adam’ and making that movie, was it a positive experience for you personally?

AH: Honestly, it was one of the best sets I’ve ever worked on. The cast was incredible. I have so many great memories from that film, from that film family. Shout outs to everybody. Honestly, we had a great time. DJ (Dwayne Johnson) is great, him and his whole camp are great. I miss my people, from Noah (Centineo) to Quintessa (Swindell) to Mr. Pierce Brosnan, the coolest brother in the room, Mo (Mohammed Amer), and Sarah Shahi. Everybody was dope on that set. I’m happy that we got a chance to get at it, because it was one of the best experiences of my career.

Parallel

“Question your reality.”

Not Yet Rated1 hr 17 minFeb 23rd, 2024

Grief-stricken after the loss of her child, Vanessa takes refuge at a lake house only to be met with an aberration of herself from a parallel universe and realizes… Read the Plot

What is the Plot of ‘Parallel’?

Parallel follows the story of Vanessa (Danielle Deadwyler) who takes refuge at her family’s lake house to grieve after suffering the loss of her child. Accompanied by her husband, Alex (Aldis Hodge), and his brother, Martel (Edwin Hodge), Vanessa attempts to regain her sense of normalcy after the tragedy. But soon after their arrival, she experiences an aberration when she is attacked by a parallel universe’s version of herself. Faced with the reality that multiverses exist, she must reconcile the fact that these parallel gates will either hold the key to releasing her grief or trapping her forever.

Who is in the Cast of ‘Parallel’?

  • Danielle Deadwyler as Vanessa
  • Aldis Hodge as Alex
  • Edwin Hodge as Martel
Aldis Hodge, Danielle Deadwyler and Edwin Hodge in 'Parallel.'

(L to R) Aldis Hodge, Danielle Deadwyler and Edwin Hodge in ‘Parallel.’ Photo: Vertical Entertainment.

Other Movies Similar to ‘Parallel’:

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