Djimon Hounsou was open about his difficulty getting a job in Hollywood. The actor, who was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor—In America and Blood Diamond—told The Guardian that he still feels like he must continuously establish himself as a Black actor.
Hounsou replied, “I still have to show why I deserve to be compensated. ‘We only have this much for the job, but we adore you so much and we genuinely think you can add so much,’ they usually say when they approach me.
He went on, “She has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and she still isn’t paid, as brilliantly put by Viola Davis. It’s a challenge, movie after movie. I still haven’t encountered a movie that treated me fairly.” (Davis became an EGOT after winning a Grammy in February.)
Hounsou expressed his discomfort with Leonardo DiCaprio winning the Best Actor Oscar for Blood Diamond instead of him, despite the fact that the movie was mostly about his character.
Hounsou remarked, “I felt really tricked. “Now, we talk a lot about how white the Oscars are, but I recall a period when I had no support at all—not from my own people, not from the media, not from the business community. You should be pleased that you were nominated, and that’s all there was to it, in my opinion.”
Hounsou added that he feels “tremendously cheated” financially and in terms of workload because some of his professional counterparts are wealthy and haven’t received a fraction of the honors he has.
Luckily, Hounsou’s situation is improving. He plays The Wizard, a starring role in the Shazam! series. He revealed to The Guardian that the Shazam! the sequel gives him more screen time and gives him a funnier, lighter role than what he often does.
Shazam! 2, currently in theatres, stars Hounsou.
Actor Djimon Hounsou has opened up about the difficulties he faces as a Black actor in Hollywood, including unequal pay and lack of recognition.
Despite being nominated for two Academy Awards and having a successful career, he still feels the need to constantly establish himself. However, his situation is improving with his role as The Wizard in the Shazam! series.
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