Oscar Nominee Djimon Hounsou is ‘Struggling to Make a Dollar’ in Hollywood

Hollywood actor, Djimon Hounsou has been nominated twice for the Academy Awards for his movies In America (2002) and Blood Diamond (2006) in his career of 33 years.

The 58-year-old Beninese-American actor has also worked in Constantine, Shazam! The King’s Man, Gladiator, Amistad, and The Legend of Tarzan.

Speaking to The Guardian in an interview, Hounsou said that after working in the industry for 33 years, he’s still struggling with finances.

“I’m still struggling to try to make a dollar!” he 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 explained. “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.”

The Blood Diamond actor added that he still has to prove why he needs to get paid in the industry.

“I still have to prove why I need to get paid. 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.”

Djimon said that he feels ‘seriously cheated’ by Hollywood despite his hard-earned success.

“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.”

Speaking of his new film, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Hounsou said when he played the supporting role in the first movie, there wasn’t much screen time for him, but this time, it’s a little more respectful.

“Out of them all, the DC universe has a level of respect,” he 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. Hey, it’s the struggle I have to overcome!”

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Source: The Guardian

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