Hounsou at the 2016 WonderCon
Djimon Gaston Hounsou
April 24, 1964
|Kimora Lee Simmons |
Djimon Gaston Hounsou (;French: [d?im unsu]; born April 24, 1964) is a Beninese actor and model. Hounsou began his career appearing in music videos. He made his film debut in the Sandra Bernhard film Without You I'm Nothing (1990) and gained widespread recognition for his role as Cinqué in the Steven Spielberg 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 had a minor role in Furious 7 (2015). He has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Djimon Hounsou plays an important role as well in the French movie Forces spéciales in 2011.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he plays the role of Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Captain Marvel (2019). Additionally, in the DC Extended Universe, he played the role of the Fisherman King in Aquaman (2018) and Wizard Shazam in Shazam! (2019).
Hounsou was born in Cotonou, in what is now Benin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He immigrated to Lyon in France at the age of twelve 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.
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. Hounsou 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. 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. 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 television 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 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 being motion-captured by Andrew Crawford), as well as 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.
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 September 22, 2009. On 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. In May 2009, Simmons gave birth to their son. 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 emphasized that 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||Without You I'm Nothing||Ex-boyfriend||John S. Boskovich|
|1992||Unlawful Entry||Prisoner on Bench||Jonathan Kaplan|
|1993||Killing Zoe||Moïse (voice)||Roger Avary|
|1997||Ill Gotten Gains||Fyah||Joel B. Marsden|
|Amistad||Joseph Cinqué||Steven Spielberg|
|1998||Deep Rising||Vivo||Stephen Sommers|
|2002||Le Boulet||Detective Youssouf||Alain Berbérian|
|The Four Feathers||Abou Fatma||Shekhar Kapur|
|2003||In America||Mateo||Jim Sheridan|
|Biker Boyz||Motherland||Reggie Rock Bythewood|
|Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life||Kosa||Jan de Bont|
|2005||Constantine||Papa Midnite||Francis Lawrence|
|Beauty Shop||Joe||Bille Woodruff|
|The Island||Albert Laurent||Michael Bay|
|2006||Blood Diamond||Solomon Vandy||Edward Zwick|
|2008||Never Back Down||Jean Roqua||Jeff Wadlow|
|2009||Push||Henry Carver||Paul McGuigan|
|2010||The Tempest||Caliban||Julie Taymor|
|2011||Elephant White||Curtie Church||Prachya Pinkaew|
|Special Forces||Kovax||Stéphane Rybojad|
|2013||Baggage Claim||Quinton Jamison||David E. Talbert|
|2014||How to Train Your Dragon 2||Drago Bludvist (voice)||Dean DeBlois|
|Guardians of the Galaxy||Korath the Pursuer||James Gunn|
|Seventh Son||Radu||Sergei Bodrov|
|2015||Furious 7||Mose Jakande||James Wan|
|The Vatican Tapes||Vicar Imani||Mark Neveldine|
|2016||The Legend of Tarzan||Chief Mbonga||David Yates|
|2017||King Arthur: Legend of the Sword||Bedivere||Guy Ritchie|
|Same Kind of Different as Me||Denver||Michael Carney|
|2018||Aquaman||Fisherman King Ricou||James Wan|
|Captain Marvel||Korath the Pursuer||Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck|
|Shazam!||The Wizard||David F. Sandberg|
|Charlie's Angels||Bosley||Elizabeth Banks||Post-production|
|2020||The King's Man||Neil Kenlock||Matthew Vaughn||Post-production|
|A Quiet Place: Part II||John Krasinski||Post-production|
|TBA||Blazing Samurai||Sumo (voice)||Chris Bailey||Post-production|
|1990||Beverly Hills, 90210||Doorman||Episode: "Class of Beverly Hills"|
|1999||ER||Mobalage Ikabo||6 episodes|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys||Villager
|Episode: "Luck Be an Aye-Aye"|
|2001||Soul Food||Victor Onuka||Episode: "Games People Play"|
|2003-04||Alias||Kazari Bomani||3 episodes|
|2010||Black Panther||T'Challa / Black Panther
|2016||Wayward Pines||CJ Mitchum|
|2018||DreamWorks Dragons||Drago Bludvist (voice)||Episode: "King of Dragons" pt 2|
|2019||The Longest Day in Chang'an||Master Ge|
|2021||What If...?||Korath the Pursuer (voice)||Guest role|
In voice recording process
|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|