Djimon Hounsou Still “Struggles” To Earn Money In Hollywood Despite Multiple Oscar Nominations: ‘I Feel Tremendously Cheated’

Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou Still “Struggles” To Earn Money In Hollywood Despite Multiple Oscar Nominations: ‘I Feel Tremendously Cheated’

Actor Djimon Hounsou is yet another great minority talent often undervalued in the entertainment industry.

The African film star opened up about the lack of monetary success he’s had in acting to this day, despite being Oscar nominated.

Djimon Hounsou

During a recent cover interview, Djimon Hounsou, 58, revealed that he is still fighting to earn what he’s worth although he’s been in the industry for decades and has much success as an actor. Speaking on his current standing in Hollywood, he stated:

“I’m still struggling to try to make a dollar!”

And continued:

“I’ve come up in the business with some people who are absolutely well off and have very little of my accolades. So I feel cheated, tremendously cheated, in terms of finances and in terms of the workload as well.”

Since his breakout role back in 1997, Djimon Hounsou has starred in a number of critically acclaimed films. His distinguished repertoire includes appearances in the 2000 box office hit Gladiator as well as a starring role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond (2006). While the latter film’s story was focused around Hounsou’s character Solomon Vandy, he was only given a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2007 Oscars awards.

This was the second time Hounsou’s name was highlighted during the most prestigious ceremony for actors in the country. However, the recognition seems to have done little for him and his actual career. The movie star added:

“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.”

Hounsou also spoke about Viola Davis, who – like several other huge Black movie stars – experienced similar outcomes to being nominated/winning Academy awards, continuing in the interview:

“Viola Davis said it beautifully: she’s won an Oscar, she’s won an Emmy, she’s won a Tony and she still can’t get paid…. Film after film, it’s a struggle. I have yet to meet the film that paid me fairly.”

Viola Davis

However, it seems the entertainer is hopeful for a better future. Hounsou shared that his current role in DC’s super hero movie Shazam was at least offered at a “respectful” amount of pay. He stated:

“Out of them all, the DC universe has a level of respect…There wasn’t much to the role at first and I did it and it was fun. But the second time around it was a little more respectful.”


Are you surprised to hear about Djimon Hounsou’s experience being paid in Hollywood? Tell us in the comments! 

Authored by: Kay Johnson