Top Stories

Djimon Hounsou Talks Pay Disparity, Lack of Roles & Feeling 'Seriously Cheated' Over an Oscar Nomination

Djimon Hounsou Talks Pay Disparity, Lack of Roles & Feeling 'Seriously Cheated' Over an Oscar Nomination

Djimon Hounsou got very real about his treatment in Hollywood.

The 58-year-old Shazam! Fury of the Gods actor opened up about the way that he has had to fight for fair pay for his roles and a time that he felt “seriously cheated” by the Oscars.

Despite all of his negative experiences, Djimon also revealed one company that made him feel more respected.

Read more about Djimon Hounsou’s experience in Hollywood…

Djimon‘s career in Hollywood began in 1990. Since then, he’s received two Oscar nominations. However, he told The Guardian that his situation is far from ideal in the industry.

His big break came with 1997′s Amistad, and his first Oscar nomination came with 2004′s In America.

“Maybe I was early. If my movies had come out today I definitely would have gotten an Oscar already,” he told the outlet about his previous, acclaimed roles which came before Hollywood started calling out the awards show for its lack of diversity.

He felt similarly about his second Oscar-nominated role in 2006′s Blood Diamond, where co-star Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for Best Actor and he was only up for Best Supporting Actor.

“I felt seriously cheated,” he shared. “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.”

He added that he was “still struggling to try to make a dollar” and fighting to prove his worth.

“So I feel cheated, tremendously cheated, in terms of finances and in terms of the workload as well,” he said.

“I still have to prove why I need to get paid. 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,’” he added. “Film after film, it’s a struggle. I have yet to meet the film that paid me fairly.”

One company has seemingly come the closest for him.

“Out of them all, the DC universe has a level of respect,” he opined, noting that his role in the franchise was expanded between the first Shazam! and the newly released sequel.

Check out photos of Djimon with his co-stars at the London premiere of his latest movie.

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: Getty
Posted to: Djimon Hounsou, Oscars

JJ Links Around The Web

Photo of Private:  JJ Links Around The Web
The CW