Djimon Gaston Hounsou
April 24, 1964
|Partner||Kimora Lee Simmons (2007–2012)|
Djimon Gaston Hounsou (/ /, JY-mən OON-soo; French: [dʒimɔ̃ unsu]; born April 24, 1964) is a Beninese-born actor and model. He began his career appearing in music videos. He made his film debut in Without You I'm Nothing (1990) and earned widespread recognition for his role as Cinqué in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad (1997). He gained further recognition for his roles in Gladiator (2000), In America (2003), and Blood Diamond (2006), receiving nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for both of the latter films. He appeared as an antagonist in Furious 7 (2015). He played an important role as well in the French film Forces spéciales (2011). He has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he portrays Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Captain Marvel (2019) and the second episode of What If...? (2021). In the DC Extended Universe, he appears as the Fisherman King in Aquaman (2018), and as the wizard Shazam in Shazam! (2019), Black Adam (2022), and Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023). He also plays Papa Midnite in another DC film, Constantine (2005).
Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou. He emigrated to Lyon in France at the age of 12 with his brother, Edmond. Soon after arriving there, he dropped out of school and was homeless for a time. A chance meeting with a photographer led to an introduction to fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who encouraged Hounsou to pursue a modeling career. In 1987, he became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the United States in 1990.
Between 1989 and 1991, Hounsou appeared in the music videos for "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul, "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" by Janet Jackson, and Madonna's "Express Yourself". He also appears in En Vogue's music video for "Hold On".
Hounsou's film debut was in the 1990 Sandra Bernhard film Without You I'm Nothing. He had television parts on Beverly Hills, 90210 and ER and a guest starring role on Alias. He had a larger role in the science fiction film Stargate.
Hounsou received wide critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role as Cinqué in the 1997 Steven Spielberg film Amistad, and gained further notice as Juba in the 2000 film Gladiator. In 2004, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for In America, making him the fourth African male to be nominated for an Oscar. In 2005 he played a mercenary in the movie The Island alongside Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. In 2006 he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond, and received Broadcast Film Critics Association, Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award nominations for this performance.[unreliable source?]
Hounsou had a supporting role in the 2009 science-fiction film Push, as Agent Henry Carver. In 2011, he starred as a French commando in the French film Forces spéciales.
Director Tim Story told IGN that if he had done a third Fantastic Four film, he would have liked Hounsou to portray Black Panther. In November 2008, it was announced that Hounsou would provide the voice of Black Panther in the television series of the same name. He had signed on to play Abdiel in the film version of John Milton's Paradise Lost with Benjamin Walker and Bradley Cooper, but the film was scrapped in early February 2012.
In 2013, he appeared in the comedy film Baggage Claim alongside Paula Patton. He also voiced Drago Blodfist in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and portrayed Korath the Pursuer in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, both in 2014. He played villains in two 2015 films: Seventh Son and Furious 7, the latter being the seventh installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise.
In February 2016, it was reported that Hounsou would join the second season of the television series Wayward Pines. Also in 2016, he played Chief Mbonga in The Legend of Tarzan.
In 2018 Hounsou joined the DC Extended Universe, voicing the Fisherman King Ricou in Aquaman (with the character motion-captured by Andrew Crawford). He then replaced Ron Cephas Jones as the Wizard Shazam in Shazam! (2019). He reprised his role in Black Adam (2022) and Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023). Also in 2019, he reprised his role as Korath in the Marvel Studios film Captain Marvel and then in the animated series What If...?.
In November 2022, it was announced that Honsou had joined the cast of the Gran Turismo film, with Geri Halliwell playing his wife.
On 24 February 2007, it was announced that Hounsou would be the new Calvin Klein underwear model. At the time, he was represented by Los Angeles modeling agent Omar Albertto.
In 2010, Hounsou was featured as the narrator in ESPN's series of "32 Teams, 1 Dream" commercials for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He spoke at the Summit on Climate Change at the United Nations on 22 September 2009. On 1 December 2009, he told French media that developed countries "need to be held accountable" for their contribution to climate change.
In 2007, Hounsou began dating model Kimora Lee Simmons. In 2009, Simmons gave birth to their son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou. Hounsou and Simmons visited Hounsou's family in his native Benin in the summer of 2008, where the two participated in a traditional commitment ceremony. They were adorned in traditional clothing and used the ceremony, in the presence of Hounsou's family, to confirm that they were "dedicated to each other 100%", although they emphasized the ceremony was not a wedding. In the début of Kimora Lee Simmons' show Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, he was billed as her husband. Hounsou and Simmons, who were never legally married in the United States, announced their separation in November 2012.
|1990||Without You I'm Nothing||Ex-Boyfriend|
|1992||Unlawful Entry||Prisoner On Bench|
|1993||Killing Zoe||Moïse (voice)|
|1994||Stargate||Horus||Credited as "Djimon"|
|1997||Ill Gotten Gains||Fyah|
|2002||Le Boulet||Detective Youssouf|
|The Four Feathers||Abou Fatma|
|Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life||Kosa|
|The Island||Albert Laurent|
|2006||Blood Diamond||Solomon Vandy|
|2008||Never Back Down||Jean Roqua|
|2011||Elephant White||Curtis 'Curtie' Church|
|2013||Baggage Claim||Quinton Jamison|
|2014||How to Train Your Dragon 2||Drago Bludvist (voice)|
|Guardians of the Galaxy||Korath the Pursuer|
|2015||Furious 7||Mose Jakande|
|The Vatican Tapes||Vicar Imani|
|2016||The Legend of Tarzan||Chief Mbonga|
|2017||King Arthur: Legend of the Sword||Bedivere|
|Same Kind of Different as Me||Denver|
|2018||Aquaman||King Ricou (voice)|
|In Search of Voodoo: Roots to Heaven||Narrator||Also Director, Writer and Producer|
|Charlie's Angels||Edgar 'Bosley' Dessange|
|2021||A Quiet Place Part II||Man On Island|
|The King's Man||Shola|
|2022||Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank||Sumo (voice)|
|Black Adam||The Wizard|
|2023||Shazam! Fury of the Gods|
|Gran Turismo||Steve Mardenborough|
|Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire||General Titus||Post-production|
|2024||A Quiet Place: Day One||Man On Island||Post-production|
|Rebel Moon: Part Two - The Scargiver||General Titus||Post-production|
|1990||Beverly Hills, 90210||Doorman||Episode: "Class of Beverly Hills"|
|1999||ER||Mobalage Ikabo||6 episodes|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys||Villager (voice)||Episode: "Luck Be an Aye-Aye"|
|2001||Soul Food||Victor Onuka||Episode: "Games People Play"|
|2003–2004||Alias||Kazari Bomani||3 episodes|
|2010||Black Panther||T'Challa / Black Panther (voice)||6 episodes|
|2016||Wayward Pines||CJ Mitchum||8 episodes|
|2018||DreamWorks Dragons||Drago Bludvist (voice)||Episode: "King of Dragons, Part 2"|
|2019||The Longest Day in Chang'an||Master Ge||Episode: "Time Of Great Waste"|
|2021||Invincible||Martian Emperor (voice)||Episode: "Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out"|
|2021||What If...?||Korath (voice)||Episode: "What If... T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?"|
|2020||NBA 2K21||Coach Henry Bishop||Also motion capture|
|2004||Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actor||In America||Nominated|
|2004||Black Reel Awards||In America||Won|
|Broadcast Film Critics||Nominated|
|1998||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Drama||Amistad||Nominated|
|2004||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Supporting Male||In America||Won|
|1998||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture||Amistad||Won|
|2004||Outstanding Supporting Actor||In America||Nominated|
|2006||National Board of Review||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|2001||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture||Gladiator||Nominated|
|2007||Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||Blood Diamond||Nominated|