Today’s cuppa: diet cola at the Fox Party

Before I hit the sack, I wanted to share some fun stuff I received today from Aldis Hodge, who played high-school quarterback Ray "Voodoo" Tatum on the first season of NBC’s "Friday Night Lights."

Now Hodge is all grown up and starring on the action dramedy "Leverage," airing Tuesdays on TNT. He plays cool computer geek Alec Hardison, who offers high-tech support to the team of former ne’er-do-wells led by a former insurance investigator (Timothy Hutton) that helps people victimized by the powerful and unscrupulous.

I posed some email questions to Hodge, and he fired back some answers. Here we go:

Q: Have you noticed that your "Friday Night Lights" fans are finding you on "Leverage"?

A: I have, and it’s been great. People tell me about how it’s funny to see me go from such a mean and serious character on "FNL" to such a playful and light character on "Leverage" — but they like both characters. People have been very supportive, and I’d like to thank them all for it.

Q: How do the two work experiences compare?

A: It’s hard to compare, because they are so different from one another, but I love both. I enjoy being able to stretch my acting legs and play such a tarnished character like "Voodoo." It’s fun to play the bad guy, I’ll admit. But with "Leverage," I get to tap into my comedic side at times and come out on top — people want to see us win, and that’s a great feeling. Above all, neither of these characters is average or boring — that’s AWESOME!

Q: What’s been the most fun and the most hard work about shooting the show?

A: The work hasn’t been hard. Work does get long sometimes, but I envelope that, because I enjoy those four months out of the year when I don’t have to hunt for next month’s mortgage. The most fun part about the show is that this character is mine to mold.

I get to be this guy for, hopefully, many seasons to come, and, unlike a guest star, where my space to create is limited, I get to play with all kinds of ideas to make him as interesting as possible.

Q: Tell me some of your favorite things.

A: DESIGN — I love to design. I make blueprints for fun (for my future house one day). I design watches; anything that can be designed, I’m doing it. I also love martial arts (yay, southern shaolin kung fu!), painting, and I love writing (scripts, poetry, etc…).

Q:  Books?

A: "The Alchemist," "Angels & Demons," "The Wasp Factory." I’m currently reading "The Road to Wealth" by Suze Orman.

Q: Movies?

A: "Crash," "Seven Pounds," "The Professional," "Tropic Thunder" (Downey Jr. and Jack Black were surprisingly hilarious) and, uh…man, I have to watch more movies.

Q: TV shows (and what’s on your DVR)?

A: "Leverage," "Entourage," "The L Word," "Leverage," "Arrested Development," "Extras," "The Office," "Leverage," "Martin," "Family Guy," "Friday Night Lights" … and did I mention, "Leverage"?

Q: Gadgets?

A: My MacBook Pro — I just converted from HP, and I’m digging it.

Q: Ways to spend your time off?

A: I design in my spare time. I’m building a portfolio on my watches.

Q: Where do you see yourself a decade from now?

A: Sitting in my New York office answering calls about the movie I wrote and am producing that is in post-production, then signing off on a new design on my watch company before I head to casting for the new TV series I just wrote and plan on directing.

Then at the end of the day, I go home to reside in the house I designed and built to discuss the family vacation with my mom, sister and brother about our European tour. Yup, that’s the plan…Actually, I plan on knocking down some of these goals in the next couple of years.

Rockin’ answers, Mr. Hodge! Thanks for sharing, and good luck with all your plans — and, did I mention, "Leverage"?

Posted by:Kate O'Hare