MAN OF ACTION. Edwin Hodge talks about what to expect from season two of “Six,” getting into the shoes of a Navy SEAL and his approach to acting
For most people, Edwin Hodge is best known for his portrayal of Dante in “The Purge,” especially since he’s the only actor to appear in all three films in the franchise, except for the prequel, “The First Purge.” Others, however, might know him better as Robert Chase in History Channel’s “Six,” a military drama series that follows a group from the legendary Navy SEAL Team Six which also features Walton Goggins and has just added Olivia Munn to its cast.
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DA MAN: Hey, Edwin; great to have you with us. So, season two of “Six” has started. How was your experience shooting the series the second time around?
Edwin Hodge: The experience of working on season two was what I expected it to be. We have a team that is dedicated to making a show that stands out on its own. We went deeper and darker this time around, which was discussed at the end of last season. I expected us to hit the ground running this season and I believe we have done so. We truly have a solid team, from the writers and producers, directors, teamsters, hair and makeup, visual effects and the prodigiously talented actors who do their best to bring their characters to life in a way that we can all sit back and really engage with the storylines.
DA MAN: Can you give use a hint or two about what to expect from season two as it goes along?
Edwin Hodge: What you can expect from this season is a closer look into the cost of war. The loss of Rip [Walton Goggins’ character] sets everyone on edge and it’s not just the brotherhood. Death affects all of us in different ways and how we use that energy is very important and very much a life and death situation for the men and women who serve along with their families back home.
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DA MAN: Considering that there’s already quite a lot of military-themed drama series out there, how do you think does “Six” stand out from the rest?
Edwin Hodge: The storytelling definitely stands out on our show. It’s all about execution. How we present the show to the audience is the key. The production team was able to figure out ways to film our battle scenes so that you actually feel more engaged. From the camera angles and movement to the filters on our cameras, they have taken steps to bring to life the intensity of the fight. You almost feel like you’re a part of it in my opinion.
Each character stands out on their own as well thanks to the writers. They’ve allowed us to take what’s written down on paper and explore the true nature of what the military lifestyle is like. And in turn, we are able to bring out raw emotions even if we are hearing “action” and “cut” throughout the day. An idea catches on and many want to jump in the same boat, but we’re going to make it hard for them to live up to our standards.
DA MAN: In the show, you play as Robert Chase. Can you tell us what the most challenging part of playing him is?
Edwin Hodge: Playing Robert Chase is more fun than challenging. There is a lot of who I naturally am in the character and I’ve enjoyed his evolution and welcome challenges as they come. I guess the biggest challenge is making sure he’s relatable to those who serve our country and live his life everyday they wake up. The military world is a tough critic when watching people portray their lives and I just need to make sure I’m truthful with my performance. It’s respectful to say the least and I feel they need respect more within their community and abroad.
DA MAN: Speaking of which, how do you put yourself into the shoes or mindset of these warriors?
Edwin Hodge: We have tech advisors on our show who’ve experienced everything we as a cast are representing. It’s our duty to listen to them and try to gain some understanding. It is our duty to put in the hours of training to make sure our movement, weapon manipulation and dialogue are on point. Prior to both seasons, we were put through some rigorous exercises to understand what it’s like to not sleep for two days, pick someone else up in a moment of their weakness when we are feeling weak ourselves and overcome fears we’ve had. We’ve experienced each other’s highs and lows. The bond of the brotherhood you see on the show is organic. It was created during our training, exists while we are filming and continues when we wrap. Truly love working with this group of actors.
DA MAN: Seeing that the series deals with a lot of social issues, is there a particular message that the series wants to communicate to its viewers?
Edwin Hodge: I think everyone will pick out whatever message they want to hear. We don’t tell these stories with a singular viewpoint. The world doesn’t work that way and neither can our show if we plan to be successful. I don’t know a human being that isn’t flawed in some way. We pick and choose what we believe is right or wrong and our belief, the majority of the time, might not line up with other people’s opinion. We want you to enjoy the show for what it is. It’s a show that is brutally honest and in your face. It’s a show that forces you to make a decision about how you feel about yourself and the choices you make while staying lock into our story. Some people are going to like and dislike some of the characters and that’s what makes the show great.
DA MAN: What made you want to join the series in the first place?
Edwin Hodge: Most people know by now that my parents are vets. They both served in the United States Marine Corps. This was an opportunity to dig a little deeper into their backstory in a way. We can’t know or understand certain aspects of life unless we put ourselves in a position to learn and explore a world outside of our own. It’s the biggest problem with America and the world abroad. I wanted to educate myself in a way as well as pushing myself into a role where I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable all of the time. I connected with the character immediately when I read the script. I understood that there was a lot a growth and potential to do something special with Chase and I was the lucky guy to get picked for that opportunity.
DA MAN: Looking through your past roles aside from “Six,” such as Dwayne in three of “The Purge” film series, Rick at “Chicago Fire” and Danny at “Red Dawn,” you seem to play a lot of heroic figures. Is this something that you’ve always wanted to do? What other character types do you also enjoy exploring?
Edwin Hodge: It’s funny because I never think of the idea of doing “heroic” roles until someone brings it up. I’m an actor who simply wants to do great work. I’ve been the troubled teen, the boy next door, the not so cool dude running around a college campus, a slave, the dad and also a homosexual doctor. I’ve taken on roles that I deem fun and/or thought provoking. My job is to entertain people and grow as an artist while doing so. I can’t do that if I stick to one specific image or allow people to only accept me as such.
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DA MAN: Other than “Six,” are there any other films you’re currently involved in?
Edwin Hodge: I currently have a recurring gig on “Mayans MC” which should be out this fall I believe. And I am filming a movie right now as I answer these questions. I have to keep my mouth shut about it, though.
DA MAN: Looking to the future, what would your dream project look like?
Edwin Hodge: I don’t have a dream project per se. I’m looking forward to stepping into the next chapter of my career and that is writing and directing.
DA MAN: Final question: Where do you see yourself, say, in ten years from now?
Edwin Hodge: In ten years, I see myself married with a couple of kids, dogs, investments in various businesses and a blossoming production company with my brother Aldis Hodge.
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