Djimon Hounsou, the star of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, has recently opened up that although he managed to bag 2 Academy Award nominations, he recently said that he found it difficult to succeed in Hollywood.
The actor, who received Oscar nominations for the films Blood Diamond (2006) and In America (2002), has acknowledged that he felt under appreciated.
He revealed he felt ‘seriously cheated’ by the industry after having achieved so much, but still not managing to get work.
In an interview with The Guardian, he said: “I felt seriously cheated. 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.”
Hounsou, who plays Korath the Pursuer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said it is still difficult for him to make a living as an actor.
“I’m still struggling to try to make a dollar!” he said.
“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.”
Yet, the actor claimed that his standing in Hollywood is gradually improving.
“From time to time, they themselves make the point of saying: ‘We should give him more, he’s a little under appreciated.’ I think they recognize that themselves,” Hounsou added. “Hey, it’s the struggle I have to overcome!”
However, he said: “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 true actor,’” Hounsou continued. “When you hear things like that, you can see that some people’s vision of you, or what you represent, is very limiting. But it is what it is. It’s up to me to redeem that.”
“I still have to prove why I need to get paid,” he said. “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’… Film after film, it’s a struggle. I have yet to meet the film that paid me fairly.”
After hearing what he had to say, many fans took to social media to share their thoughts, with one writing: “Says his net worth is $12M so he probably has a different idea of struggling to make a dollar than most of us.”
While another said: “He’s had a pretty good career. There are thousands and thousands of REALLY struggling actors who didn’t even have a fraction of his success.”
“He’s an amazing actor. Compared to others that aren’t as good he isn’t making as much. That’s the problem,” a third added.
Another said: “Always thought he was like a black Brad Pitt. He has a great presence on camera and always stands out in the supporting roles I’ve seen him in. It’s a real pity he’s being overlooked.”