When you land your first role at age three and garner more than 70 credits before the age of 35, you can afford to be a little picky.

“I don’t want to play a thug for the 50,000th time, not necessarily because those roles are not great roles. They can be. But I got to a point in my career where I was playing a stereotype,” says the Black American actor Aldis Hodge, 34, from New York, where he is currently filming City on a Hill for Showtime. “I wasn’t playing a person or a human being; I was playing somebody’s idea that the only thing Black people can do is you play a thug.”