Hounsou at Final DipCon Opening Reception in 2013.
Djimon Gaston Hounsou|
April 24, 1964
|Partner(s)||Kimora Lee Simmons (2007–2012)|
Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Bénin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He emigrated to Lyon in France at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond. Soon after arriving in France, Hounsou dropped out of school and became homeless for a time. A chance meeting with a photographer led to Hounsou being introduced to fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who encouraged Hounsou to pursue a modeling career. In 1987, Hounsou became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the United States in 1990.
Hounsou's film debut was in the 1990 Sandra Bernhard film Without You I'm Nothing. He had television parts on Beverly Hills, 90210 and ER and a guest starring role on Alias. Hounsou captured a larger role in the science fiction film Stargate.
Hounsou received wide critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role as Cinqué in the 1997 Steven Spielberg film Amistad. He gained further notice as Juba in the 2000 film Gladiator. In 2004, Hounsou was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for In America, making him the fourth African male to be nominated for an Oscar. That same year, Charlize Theron, a South African actress, was nominated for Best Actress and won for her work in Monster, and was the first time that one African man and one African woman were nominated for an Oscar in the same year. In 2006, he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond; he received Broadcast Film Critics Association, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Academy Award nominations for this performance.
Director Tim Story told IGN that if he were to do a third Fantastic Four movie, he would like to have Hounsou as the Black Panther. In November 2008, it was announced that Hounsou would be providing the voice of the Black Panther in the upcoming animated series of the same name. Hounsou had signed on to play Abdiel in the film version of John Milton's Paradise Lost with Benjamin Walker and Bradley Cooper. The film however was scrapped in early February 2012.
In 2013, he appeared in the comedy film Baggage Claim alongside Paula Patton. He also voiced Drago Bludvist in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and is set to appear in Fast & Furious 7, the seventh installment of the Fast and the Furious film series. Hounsou portrayed Korath the Pursuer in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy.
In 2010, Hounsou was featured as the narrator in ESPN's running series of "32 teams, 1 dream" commercials for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Hounsou spoke at the Summit on Climate Change at the United Nations on Tuesday, September 22, 2009. On Tuesday, December 1, 2009, Hounsou told French media that developed countries “need to be held accountable” for their contribution to climate change.
In 2007, Hounsou began dating model Kimora Lee Simmons. On May 30, 2009, Simmons gave birth to their son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, reportedly named because "Kenzo" means "three" (Kimora's third child). Hounsou and Simmons visited Hounsou's family in his native Benin in the summer of 2008, where the two participated in a traditional commitment ceremony. The couple were adorned in traditional clothing and used the ceremony, in the presence of Hounsou's family, to solidify that they are "dedicated to each other 100%." The two, however, emphasized that the ceremony was not a wedding. In the début of Kimora Lee Simmons' show, Life in the Fab Lane, he was billed as her husband. Hounsou and Simmons, who were never legally married in the United States, announced their separation in November 2012.
|1990||Beverly Hills, 90210||Doorman||Episode: "Class of Beverly Hills"|
|1999||ER||Mobalage Ikabo||6 episodes|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys||Villager (voice)||Episode: "Luck Be an Aye-Aye"|
|2001||Soul Food||Victor Onuka||Episode: "Games People Play"|
|2003–2004||Alias||Kazari Bomani||3 episodes|
|2010||Black Panther||Black Panther (voice)||6 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2004||Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actor||In America||Nominated|
|2007||Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Blood Diamond||Nominated|
|2004||Black Reel Awards||Best Supporting Actor||In America||Won|
|2007||Black Reel Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Blood Diamond||Won|
|2007||Broadcast Film Critics||Best Supporting Actor||Blood Diamond||Nominated|
|1998||Golden Globes Awards||Best Actor-Drama||Amistad||Nominated|
|2004||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Supporting Male||In America||Won|
|1998||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture||Amistad||Won|
|2004||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor||In America||Nominated|
|2007||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor||Blood Diamond||Won|
|2006||National Board of Review||Best Supporting Actor||Blood Diamond||Won|
|2001||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture||Gladiator||Nominated|
|2004||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture||In America||Nominated|
|2007||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||Blood Diamond||Nominated|
- "Djimon Hounsou pronunciation". Forvo.com. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- See co-star's pronunciation at approximately 7:32 and 7:47. "Never Back Down - Interviews...". YouTube. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- See the interviewer and DiCaprio's pronunciations at approximately 3:57 and 4:04. "Blood Diamond Leonardo DiCaprio interview". YouTube. 29 September 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- "Djimon Hounsou: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Djimon Hounsou: The Push Interview Kam Williams. KamWilliams.com. 2009-01-30
- "Djimon Hounsou Biography (1964-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Djimon Hounsou Biography - Yahoo! Movies
- "Straight Up". Paula-Abdul.net. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Love Will Never Do Without You". songfacts.com. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
- "Djimon Hounsou Awards". imdb. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Push Djimon Hounsou Interview". About.com. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Djimon Hounsou and Diane Kruger’s SPECIAL FORCES Explodes onto Blu-ray & DVD in February". January 17, 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Djimon Hounsou Roars as the Black Panther".
- "Djimon Hounsou Joins Fast & Furious 7". empireonline.com. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Alan Taylor Offers New ‘Thor 2′ Details; Djimon Hounsou on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’". screenrant.com. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Calvin Klein's New Brief Boy". ashionweekdaily.com. February 23, 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- [dead link]
- "Developed countries need to be held accountable". Rfi.fr. 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Slonim, Jeffrey. "People.com". People.com. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- March 9, 2009 AT 3:06PM (2009-03-09). "Kimora Lee Simmons, Djimon Hounsou Had Commitment Ceremony". Usmagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Jordan, Julie (2012-11-21). "Kimora Lee Simmons and Djimon Hounsou Separate". People. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Marvel Studios Begins Production on Guardians of the Galaxy". Marvel.com. July 20, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Djimon Hounsou.|
- Djimon Hounsou at the Internet Movie Database
- Punching Up His Career Courant.com (March 10, 2008)
- Djimon Hounsou: The Push Interview with Kam Williams