“I’m still looking for the film that will pay me properly”: Djimon Hounsou talks about his salaries in Hollywood

Soon to be showing “Shazam! The Rage of the Gods”, comedian Djimon Hounsou recently returned to his career in Hollywood, and in particular to his salary, which he still considers too low.

As he prepares to reprise his role as a wizard in Shazam! The Rage of the Gods (in theaters on March 29), Beninese actor Djimon Hounsou recently reviewed his entire career at the microphone of The Guardian.

Referring to his modest beginnings, and in particular a particularly complicated period when he found himself homeless when he arrived in Paris, the actor, now renowned in the Hollywood landscape, also recounted his first steps in the cinema.

Even if we can today see him in the casting of major blockbusters, such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Fast & Furious 7 or Aquaman, Djimon Hounsou depicts a beginning of a career strewn with pitfalls. He explains that he was not immediately recognized as an actor, despite his remarkable performance in the moving Amistad by Steven Spielberg, complimented by critics but forgotten at the Oscars:

“Maybe I was early. If my movies came out today, I probably would have won an Oscar by now.”said the actor, who was finally named later, for In America and for Blood Diamond, but without ever winning the famous statuette.

“I felt seriously cheated. Today, we talk so much about the ‘so white’ Oscars, but I remember that at that time, I didn’t have the slightest support: neither from my family, nor from media, or the industry itself. I felt like I was being told, ‘You should consider yourself lucky to have been nominated.'”

The Walt Disney Pictures

In the interview of The Guardian, Djimon Hounson also specifies that at that time, he was always offered the same roles, and that he had, for example, played three slave characters in five years. And the actor adds that even today, his remuneration is not up to his work:

“I still have to demonstrate why I have to be paid. They always come to me with very modest offers saying, ‘We only have that for this role, but we really like you and we really think you can bring a lot.’ (…) Viola Davis said it beautifully: she won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and she still can’t get paid. Film after film, it’s a fight. I’m still looking for the movie that will pay me properly.”

(Re)discover the trailer for “Amistad”, one of the first films to have revealed Djimon Hounsou…

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