From ASU Campus to TV and Beyond, Charlie Hudson III is Making His Hometown Proud
By Hazel Scott/ASU
Hornets who love watching CBS’s “NCSI: Hawaii” may have spotted a familiar face.
Charlie Hudson III, who grew up in Montgomery and graduated 18 years ago from Alabama State University, appeared on this year’s Season 2, Episode 8, titled “Curtain Call.”
Hudson plays Duggy Atwater, a safe-house architect, who finds himself in danger along with Officer Kenny Wells (played by Aleks Pevec) in this nail-biter. Duggy was being chased by mercenaries who wanted to know all the information about the safe houses.
Despite the best efforts of the episode’s villains, Hudson said Duggy makes it through the ordeal fairly unscathed.
“There are some similarities between me and my character Duggy. I like to know everything that I’m getting into and my character … is also meticulous,” Hudson said.
Hudson, who is based in New York but lives in New Jersey, said he was notified that he was to play Duggy on his birthday. “There was a quick turnaround in playing the part of Duggy…I had to fly out the next morning to Hawaii.”
Ask Hudson about his successes and he points to his experiences in ASU’s Theatre Arts program as a turning point.
“I’m a product of training at ASU Theater. It gave me an artistic home where I was free to be myself,” he said. “I was safe to make mistakes, grow and learn and start to figure out who I was as an artist. There was always space for individuality and growth. I think that’s what’s so powerful about (Theatre Arts) – it has given so many young artists the space to figure out who they are and where their own power lies.”
He also credits his parents for his success. “When I was little, I fell in love with the ‘Cosby Show.’ I didn’t know they were pretending. My parents explained to me that it was a show and the people were acting. I said I could do it. So, at the age of 5, my parents enrolled me in ASU’s summer camp, TAPS. Every summer thereafter, I attended TAPS. They have always encouraged me and they still support me now.”
Hudson, who is a former Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets Drum Major and ASU’s first KC/ACTF Irene Ryan Best Actor Award winner, noted that his mom, Belinda Jeter Hudson, also is a Bama State graduate. “We finished 30 years apart.”
The actor, singer, writer and teacher has a respectable list of credits in some shows that fans will no doubt recognize. His work can be seen on NBC, CBS, ABC and Netflix, as well as stage and the big screen.
Last year he starred as Steven Turner in Netflix’s mystery-horror show “Archive 81.” Hudson is the first actor to perform the complete “Raisin Cycle” (“A Raisin in the Sun,” “Clybourne Park” and “Beneatha’s Place”). He was a member of the Connecticut Critics Award – Best Production cast of “The Piano Lesson,” the 2014 Tony Award Winning – Best Revival production of “A Raisin in the Sun, with Denzel Washington,” and the Emmy-nominated HBO TV series “The Night Of.” Hudson also performed in the Off-Broadway world premiere production of “Little Rock,” and was in the Two River Theater’s production of “King Hedley II.”
“I did my first movie with Angela Bassett at Alabama State. It was called ‘The Rosa Parks Story,’” Hudson said.
With all these successful TV, stage and film parts under his belt, Hudson said there are still parts he would love to play.
“I would love to do the character Red Carter in ‘Seven Guitars,’ and Boy Willy in ‘Piano Lesson’ again.”
In terms of the future, Hudson is working on a third audiobook and looking forward to the possibility of reprising his role as Duggy Atwater on the popular “NCIS: Hawaii.”
“Since my character has a name and he wasn’t killed (in the episode), I might be back for future episodes,” he said. “So, stay tuned.”