Djimon Hounsou said that he feels “tremendously cheated” by the film industry and still faces difficulties getting paid his worth despite his wide-ranging career in Hollywood.
Hounsou currently stars in the DC superhero film “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” as the Wizard. The actor told The Guardian that, despite a decades-long career and multiple Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild nominations, he’s “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 told The Guardian. “So I feel cheated, tremendously cheated, in terms of finances and in terms of the workload.”
Hounsou’s breakthrough role was in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 film “Amistad.” He went on to star in films like “In America” and “Blood Diamond,” earning best supporting actor nominations from the Academy for both roles. At the same time, his “Blood Diamond” costar Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated in the best actor category, even though the film focused on Hounsou’s character.
Hounsou told ‘The Guardian” that he felt “seriously cheated” and bereft of industry and media support, as well as that of his “own people,” some of whom have yet to regard him as “a true actor.” He also spoke about being lowballed for acting roles and being forced to “prove why I need to get paid,”
On the other hand, Hounson has also noticed improvements in the way that he’s valued in the industry.
“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,” he told The Guardian. “Hey, it’s the struggle I have to overcome!”
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