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Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou

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Also Known As: Djimon Gaston Hounsou, Djimon Hounson Died:
Born: April 24, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Benin Profession: actor, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Model-turned-actor Djimon Hounsou was seemingly plucked from obscurity by producer Debbie Allen and director Steven Spielberg in 1997 to portray Joseph Cinque, the leader of a slave ship mutiny, in "Amistad." His critically acclaimed performance led to supporting roles alongside Hollywood A-listers in historic dramas like "Gladiator" (2000) and the African-set adventure "Blood Diamond" (2006), which earned the actor significant awards and nominations. Unsurprisingly, Hounsou's towering frame and expressive features were tapped for a number of forgettable good vs. evil actioners, but he made the strongest mark in character-driven dramas like "In America" (2002) and Julie Taymor's "The Tempest" (2009), where he revealed the uncommon sensitivity and emotional range behind the powerful, commanding presence.

Model-turned-actor Djimon Hounsou was seemingly plucked from obscurity by producer Debbie Allen and director Steven Spielberg in 1997 to portray Joseph Cinque, the leader of a slave ship mutiny, in "Amistad." His critically acclaimed performance led to supporting roles alongside Hollywood A-listers in historic dramas like "Gladiator" (2000) and the African-set adventure "Blood Diamond" (2006), which earned the actor significant awards and nominations. Unsurprisingly, Hounsou's towering frame and expressive features were tapped for a number of forgettable good vs. evil actioners, but he made the strongest mark in character-driven dramas like "In America" (2002) and Julie Taymor's "The Tempest" (2009), where he revealed the uncommon sensitivity and emotional range behind the powerful, commanding presence.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Paradise Lost (2017)
2.
 Tarzan (2016)
5.
 Banana Republic (2014)
7.
 Seventh Son, The (2013)
8.
 Elephant White (2011)
9.
 Tempest, The (2010)
10.
 Push (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Benin
:
Sent to live with an older brother in Lyons, France
:
Dropped out of school and moved to Paris
1986:
Discovered by fashion designer Thierry Mugler while living in the streets of Paris
1988:
Cast by David Fincher in the music videos "Straight Up" (by Paula Abdul) and "Express Yourself" (by Madonna)
1990:
Moved to Los Angeles, CA
1990:
Appeared in Janet Jackson's music video for her single "Love Will Never Do Without You"
1990:
Made film debut as Sandra Bernhard's ex-boyfriend in "Without You, I'm Nothing"; used his full name in billing
1992:
Landed bit parts in "Unlawful Entry" (1992) and "Stargate" (1994); billed only as 'Djimon'
1997:
Breakthrough screen role, as the slave Cinque in Steven Spielberg's "Amistad"
1999:
Joined the cast of "ER" (NBC) in recurring role of a political exile who finds menial work at the hospital
2000:
Cast in featured role opposite Russell Crowe in the Oscar-winning "Gladiator"
2002:
Narrated HBO drama about the slave trade "The Middle Passage"
2002:
Had supporting role in the remake of "Four Feathers"
2003:
Featured in Jim Sheridan's "In America"; received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor
2003:
Co-starred with Angelina Jolie in "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life"
2005:
Cast opposite Queen Latifah, as the sexy piano-playing electrician in the comedy "Beauty Shop"
2005:
Starred in Michael Bay directed thriller "The Island"
2006:
Co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in Edward Zwick's "Blood Diamond"; received SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor
2006:
Cast as Ajihad, the leader of the Varden in the fantasy/adventure movie "Eragon"
2008:
Cast as a veteran fighter who trains a young man who is bullied in "Never Back Down"
2009:
Co-starred in supernatural thriller "Push"
2010:
Starred as Caliban in Julie Taymor directed adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

His name is pronounced JI-mon HON-sue.

"School bored me. Being educated and being intelligent are two different things. I thought I was smart enough. And I wanted to be an entertainer. I stopped going to school as a way of saying I was mature, a way of saying I was going to choose who I was going to become." --Djimon Hounsou in DAILY NEWS, December 3, 1997

"There's so much to do and so much that I want to accomplish without anybody putting limitations on me. I'm still going through the adversity of being typecast, but that's the nature of the industry." - Hounsou Venice Magazine, August 2003

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Victoria Mahoney. Actor, screenwriter. Born c. 1966.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Albertine Hounsou. Died in 1989.
brother:
Edmond Hounsou. Hounsou was sent to live with him in France.
father:
Pierre Hounsou. Chef.

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