Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hump Day Hottie: Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou, he of the 6’4” Olympian hard body, has one of those great Hollywood stories. Born in Benin he immigrated to Paris as a teenager where he lived on the streets until he was discovered (by Thierry Mugler to be precise) and thrust into the world of high fashion, catwalks, and print. Beloved by reknowned chroniclers of the male form like Herb Ritts (RIP) and Greg Gorman (nsfw Djimon) he eventually worked his way into the movies starting with Sandra Bernhard’s cult classic performance film Without You I’m Nothing (1990) –which you know makes me love him even more. Plus: it’s fun to say his name. (jee-mahn han-soo)

What makes Djimon Hounsou more desirable than the average model turned actor is that he is good at both professions. Just ask Cindy Crawford and thousands more: top notch model doesn’t often equal top notch actor. The combination isn’t quite as rare as that pink diamond that everyone goes batshit crazy for in Blood Diamond but it’s in the same ballpark: once in a blue moon.

That said Hounsou probably says yes too often as an actor. For an actor of mid level fame and a good amount of respect, why does he take those barely-there roles like Tomb Raider 2? And why on God’s green earth did he agree to get in that embarrassing colored breastplate for Eragon for instance? But it’s easy to see why casting directors are hot on him for genre pieces: it’s that otherworldly beauty (well another world than Hollywood at least), imposing physicality and screen presence even sans dialogue.

It wasn’t long ago that Hounsou was a surprise Oscar nominee for In America and he could be up for the same prize again for his new role as a fisherman turned action hero (well, sort of) in Blood Diamond. Though I should say this now: Calling Hounsou a supporting actor in this is like saying that Sidney Poiter was “supporting” Tony Curtis in The Defiant Ones. This film is essentially about two African men, one white (ginormous movie star Leonardo DiCaprio) and one black (Honsou), who are both thrust into considerable danger while pursuing the same thing (the titular diamond) for different reasons. DiCaprio has the more complex role. But he’s white and this is one of those movies, the subgenre White Liberal Guilt Epic so you know that the black characters will be one dimensional. Hounsou’s character is such a saint in this movie that he doesn’t even seem to understand the concept of lying. He’s utterly confused when DiCaprio tells him to do so. He’s either a saint or he’s ridiculously stupid. I’m hoping that the critical awards momentum that Hounsou is experiencing is due to a climactic scene wherein he movingly talks his violent son back into his arms rather than for his other scenes which seem to consist of screaming but I have my doubts.

*

And as a bonus, enjoy one of the happiest music videos ever made: "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" starring Janet Jackson and a bevy of hard bodies including Hounsou's. He's a little Kevin Aviance androgynous here but that's A-OK with us. He sure does look happy lipsynching. Other famous faces within include Antonio Sabato, Jr (the ex-Mr. Virginia Madsen, don'cha know) and one of Madonna's Blonde Ambition Truth or Dare boys, 'Carlton'.



Previous Hump Day Hotties: Scarjo & the twins a celebration of Scarlett and cleavage * Daniel "Bond, James Bond" Craig long time fancied, pre-007 * Brad Pitt golden über hotness and exhibitionist tendencies * Qi Shu & Chen Chang 3 times is not enough * Jamie Dornan & Asia Argento burning up Versailles * James McAvoy randy king of Scotland * Naomie Harris pretty chameleon * Hot on TV from "Agent Cooper" to "Faith" * Channing Tatum steppin' up and out * Hugh Jackman dancer, mutant, god * Uma Thurman 18 years of hotness. * Cheyenne Jackson Broadway to Hollywood * Season One of HDH Gyllenhaal, Li, Bernal, etc...

tags: Djimon Hounsou, movies, cinema, Blood Diamond, Africa, academy awards, celebrity, Leonardo DiCaprio

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should probably spell your hump day hottie's name right...

It's Hounsou.

adam k. said...

OMG, that first pic of him is like the hottest thing I've ever seen. For a second, I thought it was an oscar statuette.

And anonymous is right about the name.

Supporting actor is mighty competitive this year... there are still like 10 people who look like they could actually be nominated. Very very hard to see what will happen with that one. I just hope Jackie Earle Haley isn't the Sarsgaard in Shattered Glass of this year... but it looks like he will be.

Craig Hickman said...

Djimon Hounsou makes me wet.

NATHANIEL R said...

oops. that's what i get for typing fast and leaving the computer for over 12 hours.

embarrassing

Neel Mehta said...

Everything that was right about Amistad: Djimon Hounsou (who wasn't Oscar-nominated)

Everything that was wrong about Amistad: Anthony Hopkins (who was)

16 Year Old Blogger said...

Umm...Does he really need two hand covering his "package?" Guess what they say is right...

Anyways, Jackie Earle Haley deserves to be nominated and he's the leading contender for supporting actors (from critics, he has 4) and he was just named in PREMIERE MAGAZINES 24 BEST PERFORMANCES OF 2006..(THEY SNUBBED O'TOOLE)

Jane said...

That's funny. About Haley, I really don't know. He does deserve the nod but I hope he gets one becuase he does deserve it. He was delivering pizza a couple of years ago.

Alanna said...

Hounsou needs to stop playing Noble Africans. It's tired.

Anonymous said...

thats ridiculous, i think playing the noble african is helping us understand more about africa than the 'africa' of the national geographic channel

Anonymous said...

Though Kola Boof claims "I don't know Djimon Hounsou" she's been seen at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Sherman Oaks with him more than once "at night" and they left "break of dawn". She's a ly'n ass skeezer and she knows Djimon is hitt'n that. Will somebody tell Kimora.

Francine said...

Yeah I've heard about Kola Boof and Djimon for a few years now but isn't she married to another guy? Maybe that's why she denies the rumors.

Heck when you're checking into motels and stuff though it's pretty silly to be getting upset when people know it's true and she PROTESTS TO MUCH. It's so obvious she and Djimon Hounsou have a thing going.

I heard Kimmora knows and it doesn't bother her.