Sunday, December 5, 2021

“Insecure” star Alexander Hodge wants his youngest to be proud of himself

Prior to becoming Andrew, Alexander Hodge was, he says, a “complete drama school graduate” who skimped on his friend’s HBO subscription. After being introduced to ‘Insecure’ in 2016, he immediately became a fan of his, eventually auditioning for a casting in season three.

“I’ve never been able to study the character as deeply as I could with Andrew,” Hodge said. “Before that, I was struggling to get roles because no one was looking for someone like Andrew. Nobody wanted to give someone like Andrew screen time and a commitment to developing the plot. “

That is, before the “jump”. This is how Hodge and the cast of Uncertainty feel about the Emmy-winning series, a launching pad for countless careers. Far From Home in Down Under Country, Chinese Australian actor is making a name for himself in Hollywood; he has appeared in Modern Family, Black Lightning and the Netflix rom-com Love Resort. He will soon star in upcoming feature film Directed by Adel Lim.

“Before that, I was struggling to get the roles because nobody was looking for someone like Andrew,” Hodge said.

A former rugby player in Sydney, after a career-ending knee injury, Hodge flew to New York to play. In just five years of playing, his experience in Uncertainty taught him that his personality, once perceived as a weakness, is in fact his strong point.

“I myself had to deal with a lot of things while playing Andrew while on this journey,” Hodge said. “I used to say that I really struggled with people’s perceptions before playing Andrew, and even after. Growing up in a white society, I was never made to feel whole, wanted, or romantically attractive. This show really made me look at it inside myself. “

The meaning of Uncertainty, his first regular role in the series, is not lost for Hodge. The star-turned viewer said that now when he auditions for any project headed by a person of color, they immediately express how much they love the show and its character. Hodge is also grateful for being part of a project that details and faithfully portrays the joy and confusion that results from being “a young man who turns out to be Black.”

With "Unreliable" As his first regular on the series, Hodge is grateful to be part of a project that portrays nuanced, authentic black lifestyles.
Since Insecure was his first regular role on the series, Hodge is grateful to be part of a project that portrays nuanced, authentic black lifestyles.

“For black women in my life, it really means that a world for black women in my life should have a place for joy, have space for recognition and recognition, be able to look at a cultural artifact and see themselves, see a space for them to flourish. and it’s not about injury, ”Hodge said. “In truth, it kind of set me up, because now I look for it in every other project, and it’s difficult because not every other project can do it.”

Andrew makes his “unprotected” performance as Nathan’s friend (Kendrick Sampson) in season three, episode 5: “High-Like.” In the episode, Issa and the crew are present at Coachella, some of them indulge in ecstasy, and the filthy “Molly Squared” appears. Andrew takes an immediate interest in Issa’s workaholic best friend, Molly (Yvonne Orji), and despite her attempts to dodge his advances, Andrew becomes a boyfriend in season 4.

Lovers Andrew (Hodge) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) sit across from each other at dinner in Season 4, Episode 4.
Lovers Andrew (Hodge) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) sit across from each other at dinner in Season 4, Episode 4.

And it is right. His sleek, sexy male bun, laid-back confidence and seemingly endless patience for Molly captivated fans of the show, earning him the nickname “Asian Bae” and his own name. GQ Australia function… Wrestling stereotypes of “asexual” or “emasculated” Asian men and dubious data that attribute black women and Asian men as “least desirable” In online dating, Hodge’s character has overcome countless obstacles.

Hodge is aware of his role as an Asian character in predominantly black actors; he said he was aware that “Unsafe” was primarily intended for black women. Anyway, he said, what he was given is a small part of the cultural imprint – and what he does with that part is most important.

“You don’t want a person who has received this kind of appreciation from a community that doesn’t inherently belong to them to continue to disrespect that community or, the next day, do something that undermines that community,” Hodge said. … “There is a definite responsibility to show concern and respect, which is to give and contribute to the community that gave you the platform in the first place.”

Alexander Hodge (far left) with actors Yvonne Orji and Issa Rae, showrunner Prentice Penny, journalist and TV host Elaine Welterot, and actor Jay Ellis at Lowkey. "Unreliable" Dinner.
Alexander Hodge, far left, is shown with co-stars Yvonne Orji and Issa Rae, showrunner Prentice Penny, journalist and TV host Elaine Welterot, and actor Jay Ellis at the Insecure Dinner.

Michael Loccisano via Getty Images

However, the humble Hodge does not think: “I am Asian Bae.” He knows that he is not going to represent all Asian men and does not want to be the only person. However, thanks to the hypervisibility that play brings, Hodge understands the power of the position in which people either see themselves, “or other people can learn about someone who may or may not be like me in their life.”

“I can’t let research or statistics … rule my life and how I’m going to behave,” Hodge said. “I can understand that it definitely affects perception. For me as Andrew, what I can do is make a cultural contribution to something that I think will lift and promote a younger version of me or someone who can see themselves in me. “

In season 4, episode 7, Molly and Andrew travel to Puerto Vallarta, where they meet his brother Victor (Stephen Oyon) and daughter-in-law Lydia (Camilla Chen). The trip reaches its climax when Molly tries to get a towel for Lydia, but the white clerk behaves “selectively racist” towards her, demanding confirmation of the hotel key card. Molly mourns the incident – and an argument ensues when Victor plays the devil’s advocate and Molly claims that Asians choose when they want to be colored.

Hodge recalls reading the script dialogue with showrunner Prentice Penny and thanking him for being the vessel for the conversation.

In season 4, episode 7 of "Unreliable," Molly (Orji) and Andrew (Hodge) travel to Puerto Vallarta, where an argument arises between Molly and Andrew's brother.
In Season 4, Episode 7 “Insecurity,” Molly (Orji) and Andrew (Hodge) travel to Puerto Vallarta, where an argument arises between Molly and Andrew’s brother.

“Molly’s point of view is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. The Asian community will never be as white as some try, but it will never be as black as some try. And we’ve seen Asians do both, ”Hodge said. “What matters to me is that I want to help my community develop their own identity. I want to help my community find unity, camaraderie, but also find my own feet. It is very important to have such conversations and to portray these existences, because they are there. To evade this is to censor him, and I don’t particularly care about that. ”

For Hodge, it is of paramount importance to create, create, and participate in stories that allow for vast Asian roles to be played. He wants to not only maintain the idealism that motivated him to pursue acting, but also do something that glorifies people like those in his family or childhood.

“I was not born in this industry. I was born in a distant world, surrounded by black and swarthy people and people of all shades, experiences and identities that have never been seen in mainstream media, ”he said. “Now that I’ve entered the industry through the back door, it’s important for me to remember the people I came from and act in a way that respects them. I want me to be proud of me, younger. “

In October, it was announced that Hodge had landed a role in Lionsgate’s untitled R-rated comedy directed by Adele Lim. He said that working on the film was special.

"Now that I burst into the industry through the back door" Hodge said: "it is important for me to remember the people where I come from and to move in such a way as to respect them.  I want me to be proud of me, younger.
“Now that I’ve entered the industry through the back door,” Hodge said, “it’s important for me to remember the people where I came from and act in a way that respects them. I want me to be young. proud of me. “

Fred Hayes via Getty Images

“Asian women are getting the same hoarse, dumb, loud and R-rated,” he continued. – This film means the whole world to me. I want young Asian women to have a cultural criterion that they can pay attention to, which will allow them not to be humble in the way that the white society has preferred to perceive Asian women for so long. In our community, I want a women-led project to US outside and forces US look at them through their experience. “

His role in the upcoming film “is very reminiscent of the genre in which Andrew exists,” Hodge said with a laugh. Moving on to the next phase of his acting career, Hodge is looking for opportunities to expand, but he is delighted to be here nonetheless.

“We can go through a lot of Asian characters who were supposed to have extensive beautiful careers – Paolo Montalban in Brandy’s Cinderella, Dante Basco in The Hook – who, for one reason or another, were unable to go beyond what it brought them. first and foremost in the spotlight, ”Hodge said.

“I am grateful that I can exist in this space as long as I have it, for the fact that I can present in a way that we didn’t have the opportunity before,” Hodge said. “But I’m also looking forward to the moment where we don’t have to fight so hard to do this, and I think it’s all over the place.”

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