“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” actor Djimon Hounsou confessed that Hollywood life isn’t all it’s cut out to be.
After acting in the industry for more than 30 years, Hounsou revealed he felt slighted by the Hollywood pay and said he’s faced challenges with money.
“I’m still struggling to try to make a dollar!” he expressed during an interview with The Guardian.
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“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.”
Hounsou spoke out about how he had to fight for the paycheck he felt he deserved and was continuously disrespected.
“I still have to prove why I need to get paid,” he told the media outlet. “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.”
The 58-year-old actor expressed he felt no support from anybody for his performances. He also admitted feeling infuriated by the limited roles for Black actors and opened up about how he portrayed a slave three times within a five-year span.
“I felt seriously cheated,” Hounsou emphasized.
“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.”
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Hounsou’s rise to fame started in the Steve Spielberg film, “Amistad” where he portrayed a rebellious enslaved person. However, Hounsou said he was overlooked by Hollywood since his co-star Anthony Hopkins received a nomination over him.
Despite Hounsou being nominated for his performances in “In America” and “Blood Diamond” with Leonardo DiCaprio, he added it was unfair that his co-star received a nomination for best actor since the movie follows Hounsou’s character.
Over his wide-ranged career, Hounsou starred in “Gladiator,” “Furious 7,” “Tomb Raider,” “Aquaman” and other action-packed movies.
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One film that he does enjoy working on is the “Shazam!” sequel.
“Out of them all, the DC universe has a level of respect,” he remarked. “There wasn’t much to the role at first… I did it and it was fun. But the second time around it was a little more respectful.”
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He believes that Hollywood is slowly but surely giving him a chance and hopes for more screen time in bigger productions.
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“From time to time, they themselves make the point of saying: ‘We should give him more, he’s a little underappreciated.’ I think they recognise that themselves,” he explained. “Hey, it’s the struggle I have to overcome!”