Djimon Gaston Hounsou
April 24, 1964
|Partner(s)||Kimora Lee Simmons (2007–2012)|
Djimon Gaston Hounsou (/ /; French: [dʒimɔ̃ unsu]; born April 24, 1964) is a Beninese-American actor and model. He began his career appearing in music videos. He made his film debut in Without You I'm Nothing (1990) and earned widespread recognition for his role as Cinqué in the Steven Spielberg-directed film Amistad (1997). He gained further recognition for his roles in Gladiator (2000), In America (2003), and Blood Diamond (2006), receiving Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nominations for both the latter films. He also played an antagonist in Furious 7 (2015). He has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. He plays an important role as well in the French film Forces spéciales (2011).
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he portrays Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Captain Marvel (2019) and the second episode of What If...? (2021). In the DC Extended Universe, he appears as the Fisherman King in Aquaman (2018), and as the wizard Shazam in Shazam! (2019) and the upcoming Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023). He plays Papa Midnite in another DC movie, Constantine (2005).
Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He emigrated to Lyon in France at the age of 12 with his brother, Edmond. Soon after arriving there, he dropped out of school and was homeless for a time. A chance meeting with a photographer led to an introduction to fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who encouraged Hounsou to pursue a modeling career. In 1987, he became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the United States in 1990.
Between 1989 and 1991, Hounsou appeared in the music videos for "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul, "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" by Janet Jackson, and Madonna's "Express Yourself". He also appears in En Vogue's music video for "Hold On".
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. He had 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, and gained further notice as Juba in the 2000 film Gladiator. In 2004, he 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. In 2005 he played a mercenary in the movie The Island alongside Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. In 2006 he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond, and 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 film, he would like to have Hounsou as Black Panther. In November 2008, it was announced that Hounsou would provide the voice of Black Panther in the television series of the same name. He had signed on to play Abdiel in the film version of John Milton's Paradise Lost with Benjamin Walker and Bradley Cooper, but the film 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 portrayed Korath the Pursuer in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, both in 2014. He played villains in two 2015 films, Seventh Son and Furious 7, the seventh installment of The Fast and the Furious film series, the latter where he played the role of Mose Jakande, a Nigerian-French mercenary.
In July 2018, Hounsou joined the DC Extended Universe, voicing the Fisherman King Ricou in Aquaman (with the character motion-captured by Andrew Crawford), and replacing Ron Cephas Jones as the Wizard Shazam in Shazam! (2019). Also in 2019, he reprised his role as Korath in the Marvel Studios film Captain Marvel and the animated series What If...?. He will reprise his role as the wizard Shazam in Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
In 2010, Hounsou was featured as the narrator in ESPN's series of "32 Teams, 1 Dream" commercials for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He spoke at the Summit on Climate Change at the United Nations on 22 September 2009. On 1 December 2009, he 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. In 2009, Simmons gave birth to their son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou. 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. They were adorned in traditional clothing and used the ceremony, in the presence of Hounsou's family, to confirm that they were "dedicated to each other 100%", although they emphasized the ceremony was not a wedding. In the début of Kimora Lee Simmons' show Kimora: 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||T'Challa / Black Panther (voice)||6 episodes|
|2016||Wayward Pines||CJ Mitchum||8 episodes|
|2018||DreamWorks Dragons||Drago Bludvist (voice)||Episode: "King of Dragons, Part 2"|
|2019||The Longest Day in Chang'an||Master Ge||Episode: "Time Of Great Waste"|
|2021||Invincible||Martian Emperor (voice)||Episode: "Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out"|
|2021||What If...?||Korath (voice)||Episode: "What If... T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?"|
|2020||NBA 2K21||Coach Henry Bishop||Also motion capture|
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 Globe 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|
- Hounsou, Djimon (May 26, 2016). "Tonight at 9/8c on #foxtv #waywardpines". Instagram.
- "Djimon Hounsou: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
- "Djimon Hounsou Biography (1964-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Daily Show". Comedy Central. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
- Djimon Hounsou Biography - Yahoo! Movies
- "Straight Up". Paula-Abdul.net. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Love Will Never Do Without You". songfacts.com. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
- "Djimon Hounsou Awards". IMDb. Retrieved November 13, 2013.[unreliable source?]
- "Push Djimon Hounsou Interview". About.com. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- "Djimon Hounsou and Diane Kruger's SPECIAL FORCES Explodes onto Blu-ray & DVD in February". January 17, 2013. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- "Story talks black panther". ign.com. May 8, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Djimon Hounsou Roars as the Black Panther".
- "Legendary Pulls Plug on Bradley Cooper's 'Paradise Lost'". The Hollywood Reporter. 9 February 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Alan Taylor Offers New 'Thor 2′ Details; Djimon Hounsou on 'Guardians of the Galaxy'". screenrant.com. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- "Marvel Studios Begins Production on Guardians of the Galaxy". Marvel.com. July 20, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- "Djimon Hounsou Joins Fast & Furious 7". empireonline.com. 12 September 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (February 17, 2016). "Djimon Hounsou cast in 'Wayward Pines' season 2". Variety. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- "Exclusive: DC's 'Shazam!' casts 'Guardians' actor Djimon Hounsou as the Wizard". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
- "Exclusive: 'Aquaman' reveals first look at the exotic Fisherman King". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
- Jirak, Jamie (July 23, 2021). "Shazam! Fury of the Gods Set Photo Reveals Return of Surprising Actor". ComicBook.com. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
- "Omar Albertto on FASHION NET". www.fashion.net. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- "Calvin Klein's New Brief Boy". ashionweekdaily.com. February 23, 2007. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- NPR[dead link]
- "Developed countries need to be held accountable". Rfi.fr. 2009-12-02. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Slonim, Jeffrey (November 15, 2012). "Russell Simmons Okay with Kimora & Djimon". People. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- "'Life in the Fab Lane' star Kimora Lee Simmons gives birth to baby boy". Reality TV World. June 1, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- "Kimora Lee Simmons, Djimon Hounsou Had Commitment Ceremony". Usmagazine.com. 2009-03-09. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Jordan, Julie (November 21, 2012). "Kimora Lee Simmons and Djimon Hounsou Separate". People. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "Winners: National Board Of Review". CBS News. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Screen Actors Guild: The nominees". ew.com. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
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