Blood Diamond Star Gets Brutally Candid About DiCaprio Best Actor Nod
Blood Diamond star Djimon Hounsou calls out the unfairness of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar nomination. Released in 2006, Blood Diamond follows the story of three people who are fighting over the possession of a prized Diamond. Hounsou played Solomon Vandy, and despite playing the film’s protagonist, was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Oscars. Co-star DiCaprio was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the same year.
Reflecting on Blood Diamond, Hounsou calls out the problematic rhetoric surrounding his Oscar nomination. According to The Guardian, upon hearing that DiCaprio had been deemed a lead actor nominee and his supporting, Hounsou “felt seriously cheated.” Hounsou recalled he was told to be satisfied with his nomination, even when he was struggling to get roles. Hounsou elaborates on his unfair treatment within Hollywood below:
“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. I’m still struggling to try to make a dollar! 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. 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.’ 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.”
How Hounsou’s Career Has Been Affected By Systemic Hollywood Problems
Unfortunately, Hounsou’s description is not shocking when tracing his acting journey. Hounsou’s “very limiting” acting choices are evident by his early track record of playing slave characters. Hounsou had his big Hollywood break playing the lead in the Steven Spielberg historical drama Amistad, and in short, the succession went on to play two more slave roles in Gladiator and The Four Feathers.
Hounsou’s lack of name recognition in Hollywood today further highlights his assertion that accolades do not necessarily equal financial prosperity when it comes to the film industry. By the time he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Blood Diamond, Hounsou was a two-time Oscar nominee, having been nominated for the award two years prior for In America. While Hounsou has since gotten roles in big-budget projects such as Captain Marvel and Shazam!, it took several years for his accolades to manifest in high-profile offers.
Hopefully, through his roles in both Marvel and DC Films, Hounsou can continue to break free from his initial type casting. Hounsou stars as Wizard in the recently-released Shazam! Fury of the Gods and will play a role in the upcoming Zack Snyder adventure film Rebel Moon. Perhaps, Hollywood can reverse the wrongs of Blood Diamond and give Hounsou a Best Actor nomination for a future project.
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Source: The Guardian