Exclusive Interview: Edwin Hodge Talks NCIS: Red

edwin hodge

Edwin Hodge was in last year’s Red Dawn and currently uses his comedic timing on Cougar Town, but now fans of his can see him guest starring in an upcoming episode of NCIS: LOS ANGELES as part of the NCIS: RED team, which is a planted spinoff pilot. TV Equals was on hand to ask Hodge about the new storyline, his character and what it’s like to be a part of an NCIS team. You will see him in the upcoming NCIS: Los Angeles episodes which will air March 19 and March 26 at 9/8c.

What can you tell me about this iteration of NCIS?

Edwin Hodge: Well, we are a mobile unit. We are a response team out of Atlanta…and we are basically a group of agents who go out and solve crimes throughout the country and internationally. We are basically called in on a case because a ballistics reading on a gun in NCIS: LA matches a ballistic reading from a murder weapon in NCIS: Red and then we do this crossover episode for two shows. So that’s how we’re a little different. We’re a mobile unit; we travel instead of being based in one location.

What can you tell me about your character?

Edwin Hodge: My character, Kai Ashe, is the team’s tech assistant. He makes sure everything’s running smoothly. He watches over these two rigs they have–they call them Laverne and Shirley, and these are two 19-wheelers that basically transform into their office, their sleeping quarters, things of that nature…Kai Ashe…basically makes sure they have all their documents, that they get to where they need to get to…he’s the go-to guy.

What’s it like working with the cast?

Edwin Hodge: The cast–they’re absolutely nuts. I love them, you know? (laughs) John Corbett is the sweetest guy ever, he’s the prankster on set. Kim Raver and Gillian Alexy–absolutely adorable, beautiful women, great personalities. Scott Grimes–I couldn’t have had more fun with another guy on set. I actually just found out that he’s one of my favorite characters on one of my favorite cartoons, so that’s exciting me a little bit more. It’s great because the entire cast [is] happy that we have this opportunity to work on a great show and has a great following as far as the franchise…So, all in all, as far as the cast is concerned, we’re all just taking it in and making sure at the end of the day, we satisfy the appetites of the viewers and the fans of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles

What’s it like to be a part of the NCIS family of shows?

Edwin Hodge: It’s kind of scary, to be honest with you (laughs). You know, I mean, it’s one of those things when you’re thrown in to a situation or an environment where people are specifically familiar with certain characters. When you are trying to introduce new characters, it’s a little nerve-wracking because you don’t know if the audience will catch on as much as they did with the others. But, it’s up to us as…the actors to essentially have that confidence…It’s been a great ride as far as the cast and the crew are concerned because we’re all very excited about this project. So, we’re looking forward to having, hopefully, three, four, five, six seasons and we’ll see where this takes us.

What can fans expect from the show?

Edwin Hodge: I’m hoping they love action (laughs). The stunts we have going on each episode, the storyline, the character development. I think fans are going to love getting to know these characters and their backstories because each of them are from a different part of life. Kai, basically, he had a rough start in his life and he did certain things he needed to do to get away from that and I think people will identify with that idea of who he is…They’re very much characters people can associate themselves with and feel like they can be a part of their lives…We are bringing a different flavor to the franchise

You’re now on this show and Cougar Town. What’s it like to play both ends of the spectrum?

Edwin Hodge: As an actor, as a performer, that’s what you love to do. That’s what you want do to, you want to be able to do project that showcase the different sides of your talent and working on Cougar Town is just fun because, realistically, I don’t think of myself as a comedian, but with that show…it actually allows you to be a normal human being and lets the jokes play out themselves. So, it’s been fun to be able to tap into the comedy world and hopefully they appreciate the work I’ve done there as well as on NCIS. I’m a little bit more serious, but I still carry on that charismatic persona. Any role that’s going to test me in any kind of way is what I live for as an artist…They’re both different projects, but they’re both highly regarded in my career right now.

Photo Credit: Brandon Showers