Admittedly, Aldis Hodge didn’t realize he had much of a platform to use to raise awareness for any sort of cause until recently. But thanks to to a starring role on WGN America’s Underground and appearances in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures, the actor wants to make good use of his rising profile to support campaigns like World Cancer Day on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The #WeCanICan campaign, in partnership with the Movember Foundation and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), will see celebrity ambassadors like Hodge, professional athletes and individuals from around the world posting images and messages of support on social media while encouraging fans to join Movember in its fight against testicular and prostate cancer.
For his part, Hodge plans to share a photo of his mom. “My mother is a multiple-time cancer survivor,” the actor reveals to ET about why she’ll be the face of his contribution to the campaign.
While she is cancer-free now, Hodge’s mother has dealt with cancer since the actor was born, beating it every time it came back. “Growing up, that was the battle in the house. It was almost normal to a degree, because it’s what I’ve always known,” he says.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful women who brought us into this world. I don't have enough space to say what I need to about my mom and how awesome she is, but what I will say is that she's done a phenomenal job raising my siblings and I and I hope that I honor her with how I carry myself today. Love you mom!
And that’s what he largely wants to combat: the normalness of cancer. Hodge doesn't believe any child should have to grow up with the constant fear of losing somebody. “It should not be a normal thing for anybody to be like, ‘Any day now…’” Hodge says, while also adding that it’s important to raise money and awareness for the cancer patients. “The hardest strain is on them.”
While he has a personal connection to this particular cause, Hodge says growing up poor taught him the appreciation of giving back, and for him, this is one of the many ways he hopes to continue using his newfound fame. As Hidden Figures continues to earn accolades, including the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Hodge sees it as an affirmation of good work but also as an opportunity to do more for the community.
“Any time a movement where people are putting more awareness toward a solution to a problem, I can dig it,” Hodge says.