Djimon Gaston Hounsou born 24 April 1964 is a Beninese-American actor and model. Hounsou began his career appearing in music videos. He made his film debut in the Sandra Bernhard film Without You I’m Nothing (1990) and gained widespread recognition for his role as Cinqué in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad (1997). He gained further recognition for his roles in Gladiator (2000), In America (2003), and Blood Diamond (2006), receiving Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nominations for both the latter films. He also had a minor role in Furious 7 (2015). He has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Djimon Hounsou plays an important role as well in the French film Forces spéciales in 2011. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he plays the role of Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Captain Marvel (2019). Additionally, in the DC Extended Universe, he played the role of the Fisherman King in Aquaman (2018) and the wizard Shazam in Shazam! (2019).
Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He emigrated to Lyon in France at the age of twelve with his brother, Edmond. Soon after arriving in France, Hounsou dropped out of school and became homeless for a time. A chance meeting with a photographer led to Hounsou being introduced to fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who encouraged Hounsou to pursue a modeling career. In 1987, Hounsou became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the United States in 1990.