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Djimon Hounsou Is ‘Still Struggling to Make a Dollar’ in Hollywood: ‘I Feel Tremendously Cheated'

Djimon Hounsou’s acting career spans 33 years and includes two Academy Award nominations (“In America” and “Blood Diamond”), action blockbusters like “Furious 7,” superhero movies such as “Shazam!” and collaborations with Steven Spielberg (“Amistad”) and Ridley Scott (“Gladiator”), yet he told The Guardian that he still feels “tremendously cheated” when it comes to Hollywood pay.

“I’m still struggling to try to make a dollar!” Hounsou said. “I’ve come up in the business with some people who are absolutely well off and have very little of my accolades. So I feel cheated, tremendously cheated, in terms of finances and in terms of the workload as well.”

“I’ve gone to studios for meetings and they’re like: ‘Wow, we felt like you just got off the boat and then went back [after ‘Amistad’]. We didn’t know you were here as a true actor,’” Hounsou continued. “When you hear things like that, you can see that some people’s vision of you, or what you represent, is very limiting. But it is what it is. It’s up to me to redeem that.”

“I still have to prove why I need to get paid,” he added. “They always come at me with a complete low ball: ‘We only have this much for the role, but we love you so much and we really think you can bring so much’… Film after film, it’s a struggle. I have yet to meet the film that paid me fairly.”

Hounsou said Hollywood has overlooked him from the beginning, starting with his breakthrough role as a rebellious enslaved person in Spielberg’s “Amistad.” Despite earning universal acclaim, it was his co-star Anthony Hopkins who got the film’s sole Oscar nomination. With 2016’s “Blood Diamond,” the Academy nominated Hounsou for supporting actor and his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio for lead actor, despite the film equally focusing on Hounsou’s character.

“I felt seriously cheated,” Hounsou told The Guardian. “Today, we talk so much about the Oscars being so white, but I remember there was a time where I had no support at all: no support from my own people, no support from the media, from the industry itself. It felt like: ‘You should be happy that you’ve got nominated,’ and that’s that.”

Hounsou is now back in theaters as a wizard in Warner Bros.’ “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” It’s a supporting role that has been greatly expanded compared to the limited screen time he got in the first “Shazam!” movie.

“Out of them all, the DC universe has a level of respect,” Hounsou said. “There wasn’t much to the role at first, and I did it and it was fun. But the second time around it was a little more respectful.”

“From time to time, [Hollywood] themselves make the point of saying: ‘We should give him more, he’s a little under-appreciated.’ I think they recognize that themselves,” Hounsou concluded. “Hey, it’s the struggle I have to overcome!”

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by Anonymousreply 75March 24, 2023 10:09 PM

He can get all of Lance Reddick‘s roles now.

by Anonymousreply 1March 17, 2023 9:21 PM

While it is likely true, this interview won’t help

by Anonymousreply 2March 17, 2023 9:21 PM


Cry me a fucking river.

by Anonymousreply 3March 17, 2023 9:22 PM

I don't know what he's talking about.

by Anonymousreply 4March 17, 2023 9:22 PM

Sucks for you.

by Anonymousreply 5March 17, 2023 9:23 PM

Go Fund Me?

by Anonymousreply 6March 17, 2023 9:32 PM

He really just needs to work harder.

Work doesn't come easy.

by Anonymousreply 7March 17, 2023 9:33 PM

Only two Oscar nominations? Most working Hollywood actors have at least 15 or 20. I can see why he feels cheated! And such a charming fella, too. I bet he's a joy to work with. I'm surprised directors aren't having bare-knuckle cage matches over who gets to hire him.

by Anonymousreply 8March 17, 2023 9:37 PM

Shoulda made Kimora pay him off.

by Anonymousreply 9March 17, 2023 9:41 PM

At least he's not a punchline.

by Anonymousreply 10March 17, 2023 9:46 PM

Well if he enjoys yachting, there's a lid for every pot.

by Anonymousreply 11March 17, 2023 10:00 PM

He must’ve wasted a lot of money if he’s still “struggling” or is he whining that he’s only a millionaire not a multimillionaire?

by Anonymousreply 12March 17, 2023 10:03 PM

[quote] “I felt seriously cheated,” Hounsou told The Guardian. “

'The Guardian' loves self-righteous whining.

by Anonymousreply 13March 17, 2023 10:04 PM

[quote] Djimon Hounsou Is ‘Still Struggling

Djimon Hounsou is going to the wrong synagogues.

by Anonymousreply 14March 17, 2023 10:09 PM

What's a dollar?

by Anonymousreply 15March 17, 2023 10:11 PM

Ah, yes. The humility.

Because American show business should be all about equal opportunity based on self-rated worth.

by Anonymousreply 16March 17, 2023 10:13 PM

SO Beninese.

Except in Benin when people talk like this they are rolling their eyes to signal the joke while their listeners laugh.

by Anonymousreply 17March 17, 2023 10:15 PM

[quote]Because American show business should be all about equal opportunity based on self-rated worth.

More than that, Hounsou apparently believes it should be about equal outcomes.

by Anonymousreply 18March 17, 2023 10:17 PM

Bitch, I paid you for being in my music video!

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by Anonymousreply 19March 17, 2023 10:18 PM

Every time I say this man's name in my head...

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by Anonymousreply 20March 17, 2023 10:30 PM

isn't it called getting good representation so you don't have to humiliate yourself on the pages of Variety?

by Anonymousreply 21March 17, 2023 10:45 PM

I think almost every actor has the same complaint. They all feel undervalued because no matter the money or acclaim there's always someone doing better.

by Anonymousreply 22March 17, 2023 11:00 PM

He should work with Viola Davis

by Anonymousreply 23March 17, 2023 11:03 PM

who would want to hire this guy now?? .nuts.

by Anonymousreply 24March 17, 2023 11:05 PM

I think David Geffen is hiring !!..... oh, wait, the position has been filled.

by Anonymousreply 25March 17, 2023 11:07 PM

He's playing Lori Lightfoot in the new biopic, "The Sorceress Of Chi-town". Maybe he'll get a Best Actor nom?

by Anonymousreply 26March 17, 2023 11:29 PM

One decent LA real estate purchase in his heyday 16 years ago would have set him up for life.

by Anonymousreply 27March 18, 2023 12:10 AM

[quote] One decent LA real estate purchase in his heyday 16 years ago would have set him up for life.


Don't blame Hollywood because you're a big spender.

Lots of Disney actors are comfortable now because they saved their money.

He was in Gladiator and other big movies.

Any actor knows that work is inconsistent, unless you're A-list.

Save your money, bitches!

by Anonymousreply 28March 18, 2023 12:14 AM

He didn’t say he was broke. He’s just saying he’s underpaid and undervalued. I’m sure he’s still a multi-millionaire.

by Anonymousreply 29March 18, 2023 12:21 AM

If OnlyFans had been around twenty years ago, he'd be a millionaire by now.

by Anonymousreply 30March 18, 2023 12:33 AM

Sounds like he needs a better agent.

by Anonymousreply 31March 18, 2023 12:34 AM

For some reason I've always wanted to ask Djimon Hounsou if he had any Grey Poupon.

by Anonymousreply 32March 18, 2023 12:36 AM

Actors would kill for the high profile roles and Oscar noms he’s gotten. He’s a working actor. Be thankful.

by Anonymousreply 33March 18, 2023 12:56 AM

What name would Henry Willson have given Djimon Hounsou?

by Anonymousreply 34March 18, 2023 1:02 AM

Of course no explanation of not getting paid fairly. Is he making $7.25 an hour or making so much for a few weeks work and paid more than most make in a year?

by Anonymousreply 35March 18, 2023 1:06 AM

He can go back to being in Madonna's music videos

by Anonymousreply 36March 18, 2023 1:24 AM

He should be grateful he's not Geoffrey Owens.

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by Anonymousreply 37March 18, 2023 1:29 AM

To be fair, he has two Oscar nominations and has been in the business a long time and rarely gets lead roles.

Although I thought his comments about being nominated for Supporting vs. Leo in Lead were a bit ridiculous. He was still nominated and no way was Leo going to go Supporting. In that respect, yes, Djimon should have been grateful just for the nomination.

I thought Amistad was a meh film but I am surprised that Djimon was not nominated. But it's not a surprise that Anthony Hopkins was.

by Anonymousreply 38March 18, 2023 1:41 AM

Omg R26,😂😂😂😂

by Anonymousreply 39March 18, 2023 3:31 AM

He's so handsome. A very good Actor too. I wish he'd never gotten involved with Kimora Lee Simmons.

by Anonymousreply 40March 18, 2023 3:33 AM

[quote] I’ve come up in the business with some people who are absolutely well off and have very little of my accolades.

Welcome to the real world.

by Anonymousreply 41March 18, 2023 3:44 AM

Many of the actors he's comparing his wealth to are probably nepotism actors who came from rich families already. His comparison is probably counterproductive and stupid.

by Anonymousreply 42March 18, 2023 3:49 AM

The man is trying to keep you down. Kill whitey.

by Anonymousreply 43March 18, 2023 3:51 AM

He's also in the Marvel world, he's in the Quiet Place movies, he's still a good-looking man who could do promo for a cologne. It sounds like he needs a better agent or manager.

by Anonymousreply 44March 18, 2023 3:52 AM

[quote] What name would Henry Willson have given Djimon Hounsou?

Rod Noir!

by Anonymousreply 45March 18, 2023 5:09 AM

The self-absorbed whining Djimon Hounsou seems similar to the celebrated self-obsessed whining of Daniel Belnavis,

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by Anonymousreply 46March 18, 2023 5:16 AM

R34 Benin Jerri

by Anonymousreply 47March 18, 2023 5:30 AM

What did he do with all his money? I'm sure he made more than I ever did.

by Anonymousreply 48March 18, 2023 5:37 AM

He looks imposing but he can't act much. What does he expect?

by Anonymousreply 49March 18, 2023 6:01 AM

Is he an accomplished thespian? Can he portray a wide variety of characters?

by Anonymousreply 50March 18, 2023 6:28 AM

He sounds UPPITY

How dare he complain when he gets to live the American dream existence? Why doesn’t he go back where he came from?

by Anonymousreply 51March 18, 2023 6:35 AM

Wow, this is a cunty thread, even by Datalounge standards.

by Anonymousreply 52March 18, 2023 7:09 AM

There is a huge black film industry in Hollywood. Films written, produced, directed and starring blacks for black audiences. Has Hounsou approached that industry to supplement his income? Or is his "feeling cheated" solely directed toward whites?

by Anonymousreply 53March 18, 2023 7:17 AM

R11 that position is already filled.

by Anonymousreply 54March 18, 2023 7:17 AM

Most working actors would kill for his career of two Oscar nominations, roles of varying sizes in films directed by Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott, blockbusters.

by Anonymousreply 55March 18, 2023 7:20 AM

He's hardly a household name yet when he's interviewed by a well-known publication, he chooses to bitch about his struggle and how he's been cheated.

He seems bitter and entitled. He's not owed anything. Being aggrieved doesn't land roles. As others have said, maybe he needs a better agent.

by Anonymousreply 56March 18, 2023 7:25 AM

[quote] Being aggrieved doesn't land roles

Exactly. He should take a lesson from Lukas Gage.

He's humble and likable.

[quote] As others have said, maybe he needs a better agent.

Or maybe he's not well-liked because of his entitled attitude.

Once you get a reputation in Hollywood, it's hard to escape from that.

If he's acting like an asshole in interviews, he must be the same way in person.

by Anonymousreply 57March 18, 2023 7:27 AM

"Without You I'm Nothing" is by far the best movie on his resume.

by Anonymousreply 58March 18, 2023 7:28 AM

OnlyFans, bitch.

by Anonymousreply 59March 18, 2023 7:33 AM

At first, I was sympathetic to him, but when he was bitching about his Oscar nomination for Blood Diamond because it was supporting just sounded like entitlement and sour grapes. He is not Leo. Leo was the star of the film. And he was upset about not being nominated for Amistad? How many people land a lead role in a Spielberg film?? Very rare. He got great reviews for Amistad.

The thirst for Oscar is so sad.

by Anonymousreply 60March 18, 2023 7:35 AM

R50 I take it you missed out on the Oscar nominated film Never Back Down starring DL faves Cam Gigandet and Amber Heard.

by Anonymousreply 61March 18, 2023 7:37 AM

I remember a multi-episode ER story arc with him and Akosua Busia (Nettie from Spielberg's The Color Purple) as married Nigerian refugees. He had been a political dissident and had been tortured, and she had been raped. Now they were doing menial jobs at the hospital, and Mark Greene was trying to help them

I don't know how much range he has (I've only seen him playing strong "man of few words" types, usually in support), but Hounsou does have a powerful presence in the right role.

by Anonymousreply 62March 18, 2023 7:47 AM

[quote] strong "man of few words"

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by Anonymousreply 63March 18, 2023 7:50 AM

[quote] Actors would kill for the high profile roles and Oscar noms he’s gotten. He’s a working actor. Be thankful.

It's all relative. I am sure he is doing well by regular people standards but he's probably paid $500k-$800k for a supporting or ensemble role where the lead is getting $10mil. 25 years and two Oscar noms later that has got to hurt. Particularly with movie budgets expanding and talent salaries only getting bigger than 30 years ago.

I was really pissed to learn that a colleague, who is 10 years younger, made $15k more than me (!)

by Anonymousreply 64March 18, 2023 3:34 PM

He should haven taken a CSI or NCIS role back in the day, rather than hold out for movie roles, he'd be rich today.

by Anonymousreply 65March 18, 2023 3:47 PM

He always looks like he just smelled a fart

by Anonymousreply 66March 18, 2023 3:50 PM

Awwww, poor you.

by Anonymousreply 67March 18, 2023 4:02 PM

He does have resting bitch face but he is still handsome and built. Whoever suggested he do cologne or fashion editorial work is spot on.

by Anonymousreply 68March 18, 2023 4:03 PM

I only know him from “In America”, and he was very good. Actually, everyone in it was terrific.

by Anonymousreply 69March 18, 2023 4:17 PM

The vast majority actors, even multi-Oscar nominated ones, are not rolling in as much dough as one would think. Very few people make superstar salaries.

by Anonymousreply 70March 18, 2023 4:26 PM

What a loser.

If only he had OUR body of work, maybe he could be a billionaire, like us!

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by Anonymousreply 71March 18, 2023 5:11 PM

What makes people think they're entitled to more than they have? Acting is a miserable profession only made less miserable when they make a lot of money. If the money's not there, they'll inevitably feel like failures and if they're Narcissistic enough (as most of them are) they end up blaming "the system" instead of looking at the choices they made themselves.

Hounsou is a limited actor that Hollywood and Black Hollywood are not very interested in, as it happens with most foreign actors with an accent and a limited range in addition to his caricaturesque Adonis-type physique. That's what you are, that's all you're gonna get.

by Anonymousreply 72March 18, 2023 5:48 PM

[quote] He can go back to being in Madonna's music videos

Which one r36 ? You mean Janet Jackson videos? Look for former hottie turned MAGat Antonio Sabato Jr.

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by Anonymousreply 73March 24, 2023 9:44 PM

If Jonah Hill's rancid ass can have a prestigious acting career, then there's no reason Hounsou can't.

by Anonymousreply 74March 24, 2023 9:51 PM

[quote] Jonah Hill's rancid ass

Jonah Feldstein's rancid ass

by Anonymousreply 75March 24, 2023 10:09 PM
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