Djimon Hounsou talks about the difficulties he’s had in getting roles after the Oscar nominations.
While talking to The protector in an interview published online Thursday, the Shazam! Anger of the Gods actor, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002 for In America and then again in 2006 before Blood diamondsaid he felt “seriously cheated”.
“Today we talk so much about the Oscars being so white, but I remember there was a time when I had no support at all: no support from my own people, no support from the media, from the industry itself,” confessed he. . “It felt like, ‘You should be happy you got nominated,’ and that’s that.”
Hounsou began to make a name for himself in Hollywood when he landed a role in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 film Amistad. But he explained that he was growing frustrated with the limited roles being offered to black actors.
To this day, he said he is “still struggling to try and make a dollar” in the industry. He continued, “I got into the business with some people who are absolutely right and have very few of my awards. So I feel cheated, hugely cheated, both in terms of finances and workload.”
Since his Oscar-nominated films, the majority of roles Hounsou has played have been minor and supporting roles in films such as Guardians of the Universe, Furious 7, Charlie’s Angels and a handful of projects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Universe.
“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 real actor,” he said. “When you hear things like that, you can see that some people’s view of you, or what you represent, is very limiting. But it is what it is. It’s up to me to capitalize on that.”