EXCLUSIVE: Why 'Hidden Figures' Star Aldis Hodge Is Sharing a Photo of His Mother on World Cancer Day

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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
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

MORE: How 'Rogue One' Star Riz Ahmed Is Paying It Forward

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.

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.