Djimon Hounsou

60, from Cotonou, Benin

Artwork for Furious 7Image of Djimon Hounsou

Biography

Djimon Gaston Hounsou is a Beninese-American actor and model. He began his career appearing in music videos, made his film debut in Without You I'm Nothing and earned widespread recognition for his role as Cinqué in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad. As an actor, Hounsou has been nominated for two Academy Awards.

Hounsou became a naturalized American citizen in 2007. He was reluctant to renounce his Beninese citizenship and therefore opted to become a dual citizen of both Benin and the United States, effectively rendering him a Beninese-American.

Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, in 1964, to lbertine and Pierre Hounsou. He immigrated to Lyon in France at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond. In 1987, he became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the U.S. in 1990. One year before obtaining his college degree, he dropped out of school.

In 1989, he appeared in a music video of Straight Up by Paula Abdul. Hounsou's film debut was in the 1990 Sandra Bernhard film Without You I’m Nothing, and he has had television roles on Beverly Hills, 90210 and ER and a guest starring role on Alias, but received a larger role in the science fiction film Stargate. His first on-screen appearance was in the 1990 Janet Jackson video “Love Will Never Do (Without You).” He also starred in a 2002 Gap commercial directed by Peter Lindbergh, dancing to a rendition of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" by Arrested Development's Baba Oje.

He received wide critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role as Cinqué in the 1997 Steven Spielberg film Amistad. He gained further notice as Juba, in the 2000 film Gladiator. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for In America, in 2004, becoming the fourth African male to be nominated for an Oscar (along with Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway and Omar Sharif). In 2006, he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond; he received Broadcast Film Critics Association, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Academy Award nominations for this performance.

In 2007, Hounsou began dating model/CEO of Baby Phat, Kimora Lee Simmons. In 2008 Hounsou and Simmons visited Hounsou's family and while there, the two participated in a traditional commitment ceremony. On May 30, 2009, Simmons gave birth to their son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, reportedly named because Kenzo means 3 (Kimora's third child).

Timeline

2025Future projects

2024Aged 60

  • Poster for Ozi: Voice of the Forest

    Jo Jo (voice)

  • Poster for Creating a Universe - The Making of Rebel Moon

    Self

  • Poster for Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver

    Titus

  • Poster for A Quiet Place: Day One

    Henri

2023Aged 59

  • Poster for Shazam! Fury of the Gods

    Wizard

  • Poster for Gran Turismo

    Steve Mardenborough

  • Poster for Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire

    Titus

2022Aged 58

  • Poster for Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank

    Sumo (voice)

  • Poster for Black Adam

    Wizard

2021Aged 57

  • Poster for A Quiet Place Part II

    Man on Island

  • Poster for Marvel Studios' 2021 Disney+ Day Special

    Korath (voice) (archive footage)

  • Poster for Kimana Tuskers

    Narrator (voice)

  • Poster for The King's Man

    Shola

2019Aged 55

  • Poster for Serenity

    Duke

  • Poster for Captain Marvel

    Korath

  • Poster for Shazam!

    Wizard

  • Poster for Charlie's Angels

    Bosley

2018Aged 54

  • Poster for In Search of Voodoo: Roots to Heaven

    Host

  • Poster for Aquaman

    King Ricou (voice)

2017Aged 53

  • Poster for I Am Heath Ledger

    Self

  • Poster for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    Bedivere

  • Poster for Same Kind of Different as Me

    Denver

2016Aged 52

  • Poster for The Legend of Tarzan

    Chief Mbonga

2015Aged 51

  • Poster for Furious 7

    Mose Jakande

  • Poster for The Vatican Tapes

    Vicar Imani

  • Poster for Air

    Cartwright

2014Aged 50

  • Poster for How to Train Your Dragon 2

    Drago (voice)

  • Poster for Guardians of the Galaxy

    Korath

  • Poster for Seventh Son

    Radu

2013Aged 49

  • Poster for Baggage Claim

    Quinton Jamison

2011Aged 47

  • Poster for Elephant White

    Curtie Church

  • Poster for Special Forces

    Commander Kovax

2010Aged 46

  • Poster for Black Panther

    T'Challa

  • Poster for The Tempest

    Caliban

2009Aged 45

  • Poster for Push

    Henry Carver

2008Aged 44

  • Poster for Never Back Down

    Jean Roqua

2007Aged 43

  • Poster for A Place in Time

    Self

2006Aged 42

  • Poster for Blood Diamond

    Solomon Vandy

  • Poster for Eragon

    Ajihad

2005Aged 41

  • Poster for Constantine

    Midnite

  • Poster for Beauty Shop

    Joe

  • Poster for Strength and Honor: Creating the World of 'Gladiator'

    Self

  • Poster for The Island

    Albert Laurent

2004Aged 40

  • Poster for Renegade

    Woodhead

2003Aged 39

  • Poster for Biker Boyz

    Motherland

  • Poster for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life

    Kosa

  • Poster for In America

    Mateo

2002Aged 38

  • Poster for Dead Weight

    Detective Youssouf

  • Poster for The Four Feathers

    Abou Fatma

2000Aged 36

  • Poster for Gladiator

    Juba

  • Poster for The Middle Passage

    Narrator (voice - U.S. Version)

1998Aged 34

  • Poster for Deep Rising

    Vivo

1997Aged 33

  • Poster for Ill Gotten Gains

    Fyah

  • Poster for Amistad

    Cinque

1994Aged 30

  • Poster for Stargate

    Horus

1993Aged 29

  • Poster for Killing Zoe

    Moïse (voice)

1992Aged 28

  • Poster for Unlawful Entry

    Prisoner on Bench

1990Aged 26

  • Poster for Without You I'm Nothing

    Ex-Boyfriend

Year unknown