I spoke with one of the stars of Red Dawn, the incredibly charming, Edwin Hodge. Edwin plays Danny. It was great to be able to learn more about the film, Edwin’s background, his experience on the set with Chris Hemsworth and the rest of the cast, and what it’s like working with his brother, the equally talented and handsome, Aldis Hodge. Red Dawn opens in theaters everywhere today. What could be better than spending some time with Edwin Hodge and Chris Hemsworth? Nothing! Go and see Red Dawn right now. It was an absolute pleasure speaking with Edwin. Follow him on Twitter @EdwinHodge.
Lena: I spoke with your brother, Aldis, on a Leverage press call a while ago, and even though Hardison is my favorite character on that show, I had to bust on him for killing Sam (Jared Padalecki) on Supernatural.
Edwin Hodge: He’s been doing great work and continuing to do great work.
Lena: He seems like a great guy.
Edwin Hodge: He is. As his older brother, it’s nice to realize where he’s come from and where he’s gone and he’s where he’s going to continue to grow with his life as far as his professional career and his personal lifestyle. I’m definitely a proud big brother.
Lena: Any sibling rivalry?
Edwin Hodge: No. When it comes to sibling rivalry, we really don’t have any because we are two very different people. He’s more artistic and he’s great with a pen and paints. He’s a horologist. He’s a very creative person. I was more athletic. I grew up playing sports and things like that. I’m very, very proud of his work, as he is of mine, so when it comes to sibling rivalry, there is none.
Lena: That is so nice to hear. I know that you did an episode of Leverage, not too long ago, so are you guys going to work together again?
Edwin Hodge: I hope we do. It’s always fun to work with my brother. We did a show on Broadway for about a year and a half, Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, Big Momma’s House, and Die Hard: With a Vengeance together. Die Hard: With a Vengeance was kind of our first big thing together. It’s always great when you work with someone that is really familiar with who you are. It makes the job a little bit easier as far as the on camera chemistry. If we ever get that opportunity again I would love to do it.
Lena: Red Dawn has been in the works for a bit now, so it’s great that it is finally coming out.
Edwin Hodge: Yes. I didn’t think it was going to see the light of day. It’s been a long time coming. The studio worked very hard on getting it to a point where it will be 100% presentable to the audience. I feel like we’ve done a great job to maintain the originality of the first film but also give you a little bit of something different. Some of the actors like Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Isabel Kucas, Adrianne Palicki, and Josh Peck; they came in and did a great job with their roles. We have to leave it up to the editors to do everything else. It’s been three years in the making. I think we definitely have a solid plot.
Lena: Were you a fan of the original film?
Edwin Hodge: I was actually. I had to go ahead and watch it prior to our film because I had no idea what Red Dawn was, and after watching it I understood why it was a classic in a lot of people’s minds, and why people were afraid for anybody to touch that film again. For that time, it was something big. You had the top actors in that film. You had the top action in that film. To go ahead and try to do a remake of it, you definitely didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes. At the same time, we wanted to do the original film some justice.
Lena: They obviously updated it to go with our time.
Edwin Hodge: Of course. When it comes to the U.S. status, in the overall in the world, we definitely updated it.
Lena: Your character, Danny, is he based on the one played by Brad Savage?
Edwin Hodge: Yes. He’s a little bit different [laughing] 1) he’s black 2) he’s the all star wide receiver and definitely the best friend to Josh Peck’s character in the film. He’s a little more gung ho about getting into this fight. In the original, the character was a little more off set by everything that was going on.
Lena: Did you get to film a lot of action scenes?
Edwin Hodge: Yes, practically 90% of the film is action. I did some wirework, which was fun. The football scenes were definitely fun. I spent a lot of days running through the wilderness shooting guns, shooting cannons, blowing up building in the end. It’s going to be big. It was a lot of fun and an experience that, as a child actor, that you want to experience that as an adult. I’m at that stage in my life and it was a wild ride. I will definitely say that.
Lena: And what a cast.
Edwin Hodge: The cast was absolutely brilliant. As well as having a lot of fun on set, we definitely had a lot of fun off set. Alyssa Diaz, who is also in the film, I can’t tell you how many times we would just go to our favorite restaurant. We had two favorite restaurants and we would eat there every other day. That was our thing. Josh Hutcherson and I, we went golfing a lot. We golfed a lot while we were out in Detroit. It was fun and it was a great cast.
Lena: Did you get to hang out with Chris at all?
Edwin Hodge: I did. I hung out with Chris in the gym, that’s what I basically did. I saw how small I was compared to Chris and that massive body that he has [laughing]. I figured that I should probably use his workout regime. Of course he was training for Thor and putting on some weight for Thor. We spent a lot of time just in the gym and boxing, just getting that cardio in and protein shakes afterwards. That was my time with Chris.
Lena: I’m looking forward to the film.
Edwin Hodge: It’s good. I’m not going to hype it up for anybody but I enjoyed the film, and I am the most critical on the films that I worked on. It’s a roller coaster ride and once it gets started it doesn’t stop until the end so it will definitely have people engrossed within the action and the storyline.
Lena: It definitely looks exciting and you can’t go wrong with an action flick. You can’t go wrong with it because you even have Jeffrey Dean Morgan from Supernatural in it.
Edwin Hodge: Yes we have Jeffrey Dean Morgan in it. I didn’t see him too much. I had two dinners with him and Adrianne because she knows him from, I believe, Supernatural as well. He’s definitely a nice guy and you can understand why the ladies love him and the guys want to be him. He’s that guy. He’s middle-aged with gray hair but he’s still sexy and we always want to be that when we get his age [laughing].
Lena: Yes [laughing]. He’s got a certain charm about him.
Edwin Hodge: Exactly [laughing]!
Lena: What was it like on the set? Do you have any favorite scenes or moments that you can share?
Edwin Hodge: There was a moment that was actually kind of crazy. We were blowing up this building downtown, in the middle of Detroit, and we were supposed to be on the third floor of this building that was off set to the one that we were blowing up and I think that they rigged a little too much explosives. The explosion ended up being twice as big as it was supposed to be. It knocked out the windows of the building and as it rose I feared for my life because all I could see was orange. I wasn’t sure if the fire was coming into the building so I ducked and went to the floor. That may not be a proud moment in my life but I was scared. I was really scared. That was probably one of the craziest moments besides getting hit by a steel beam in a cave and dying. That was crazy.
Lena: Wow! It sounds like you had a great time.
Edwin Hodge: Yeah!
Lena: Can you talk about working with the director, Dan Bradley?
Edwin Hodge: Dan was an interesting character. He didn’t say much but he got his point across. He’s definitely more of a stunt director so when it came to all of the action, he was on top of his game, a consummate professional. He literally made sure that whatever rigs or whatever stunts needed to happen that people were safe because a lot of what we were doing was dangerous. For his first directorial debut, I think he took on the task with ease. It was a little chaotic at certain points but he definitely got the job done.
Lena: So he had a great vision of where he wanted to see it go.
Edwin Hodge: As actors and performers we were able to help him along with the vision because like I said, he’s a stunt director, but the combination of everybody just needing to do what they needed to do, at the right times and the right places, we got done what we needed to do.
Lena: As a fan of the films, how would you compare the two?
Edwin Hodge: All I can say is that this one is bigger. If you take the two films within the times that they were made there are a lot of differences as far as color, storytelling, and things in that nature. You can’t discredit the first film at all. It is a cult classic and will forever be a cult classic. It is a film that basically paved the way for action films like Quantum of Solace and Bourne Identity that film, along with other action films of that time, paved the way for us to be able to create great stories today. All I can say is that they are both great for what they are for the times that they were made. I would feel, in my humble opinion, that people would appreciate both equally.
Lena: What are you watching on television right now?
Edwin Hodge: My T.V. stays on the Cartoon Network. I watch a lot of Family Guy. I love The Newsroom. I think that is one of the greatest shows on the air right now. It’s just absolutely brilliant writing, and I think the cast is brilliant. I’m just in love with that show. Modern Family is another show that I just love to watch. That is the make you feel good type of show. It’s hilariously funny and Sofia (Vergara) is awesomely sexy and that is a great reason to watch the show. Other than that, I don’t watch a lot of T.V. I’m a big gold enthusiast so I watch the Golf Channel. I spend most of my time either writing, cooking, or golfing. I don’t like to sit in front of my T.V. too much. I’m also a big fan of Bill Maher. I think he’s hilarious.
Lena: Do you watch Sons of Anarchy?
Edwin Hodge: I do actually. I have a friend on there, Theo Rossi. He’s a great friend of mine. That show is as heavy as it gets. They have a remarkable cast as well. I have a lot of things on my DVR I just have to get around to watching them.
Lena: What else do you have coming up?
Edwin Hodge: I’m also doing Cougar Town. Working on that show is hilariously fun. I just finished The Purge (Vigilandia) with Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. That’s going to be a sweet thriller. It’s fast, dark, and crazy with a lot of killing. I just signed on to do another film called One Heart with Marc Blucas. I’m doing a video game in Paris in December. That’s going to be a new experience in my life because I’ve never done any type of motion capture project at any point in my career.
Lena: That’s fantastic. You are definitely keeping yourself busy.
Edwin Hodge: Thank you. I’m trying to. It takes a lot to stay on top of your game and make sure that your name is one of the first names to look at to be considered for a role. It’s trying at times but I’m having a good time. I’m enjoying my career. I’ve enjoyed it ever since I started it. I’ve gotten to experience and do a lot of things that not most children would be able to experience at that point in their life. I’m doing things now, in my adult life, that most adults wouldn’t be able to experience. I’m just going to take it with a grain of salt and keep on pushing.
Lena: Yes, you started really young.
Edwin Hodge: I started when I was three. I didn’t really get my first gig until I was five. We were in New York at the time and we pretty much did everything that we could do – model, commercials, Broadway, television. I moved to L.A. about sixteen years ago and it was rocky out here for the first year. The two styles between New York and L.A. are completely different. I got mostly acclimated to the nature of the business out here. It became easier and things started to pick up. I was fortunate to have a series on WB, and to do films and continue to do the things that I love doing.