Djimon Hounsou has aired his grievances about the film industry.
The actor shared in a recent interview that he still struggles to earn what he deserves despite having a collection of stellar works. He also mentioned being passed up for awards in the past, even when he was the worthiest.
Additional difficulties he faced were the assumption that he was not a “true actor.” Yet, he believes that more people are becoming aware of his abilities.
Read below to learn more.
‘I Still Have To Prove Why I Need To Get Paid’
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Hounsou extensively discussed his Hollywood career, particularly his experience working in the industry.
The actor told the publication that he feels “tremendously cheated” by the film industry and is “still struggling to try to make a dollar.”
“I’ve come up in the business with some people who are absolutely well off and have very little of my accolades,” Hounsou said. “So I feel cheated, tremendously cheated, in terms of finances and in terms of the workload.”
Doubling down on his remarks, Hounsou shared that a lot of showrunners have tried to take advantage of him on numerous occasions despite him having delivered time and time again in multiple Hollywood films.
“I still have to prove why I need to get paid,” he remarked. “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.'”
Djimon Hounsou On Being Overlooked For Accolades
Hounsou also said that early on in his career, he was overlooked for accolades that he should have gotten.
For instance, his performance in his breakthrough film, “Amistad,” which was highly praised, ended up not getting him nominated for an Oscar.
And even when he delivered excellently again in America (2002) and Blood Diamond (2006), his performance was only given the nod rather than landing him the actual prize.
At the time, being so close to the Oscar but not getting it made the actor feel like a nomination was the best he could achieve.
“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,” the actor recalled.
Showrunners Thought Djimon Hounsou Wasn’t A ‘True Actor’
As if that wasn’t bad enough, some showrunners felt he was only in the industry for a while and would move on to other things.
“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,'” the actor recalled.
Rather than feel demoralized about such statements, Hounsou sees it as a challenge for him to change their mindset.
He added, “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.
One of the things he has done is to take on more minor roles, asserting himself as a “man of today” and that much more should be expected from him.
‘It’s The Struggle I Have To Overcome’
Hounsou now believes that more people have come to recognize his talent and are now open to giving him more.
“From time to time, they themselves make the point of saying: ‘We should give him more, he’s a little underappreciated.’ I think they recognize that themselves,” the actor shared, adding, “Hey, it’s the struggle I have to overcome!”
In the meantime, the actor will reprise his role in the DC superhero film “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” where he stars as the wizard.
He revealed that there wasn’t “much to the role” the first time he played, although he did admit it was “fan.” The sequel will see him gain more screen time, which the actor described as the showrunners being “a little more respectful” of him.