The role Djimon Hounsou believes he “definitely would have gotten an Oscar” for

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Proving beyond any reasonable doubt that movie stars simply do not age like mere mortals, Djimon Hounsou is 60 years old and in remarkably better fettle than the majority of folks even half his age.

Continuing to rub his impeccable physical condition in everyone’s faces, the actor was most recently seen spending the majority of his screentime shirtless and showing off his bulging biceps in Zack Snyder’s two-part sci-fi epic Rebel Moon. Hounsou may have become a regular fixture in blockbuster cinema, but he’s also a powerhouse dramatic talent who can always be relied on to deliver a solid performance.

He’s got two Academy Award nominations to his name to hammer that notion home after being shortlisted in the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ category for both Jim Sheridan’s Angels in America and Ed Zwick’s Blood Diamond, but he’s adamant he should have won an Oscar long before that.

After several bit-parts in a range of unremarkable movies, Hounsou landed his big-screen breakthrough when he played the lead role in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad. Unfortunately, it isn’t remembered as one of the legendary director’s most acclaimed or commercially successful films, but it can’t be denied that the star was on towering form.

Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Pete Postlethwaite, and Stellan Skarsgård are just some of the names he blew out of the water performatively, but the only member of the Amistad ensemble to earn recognition from the Oscars was Anthony Hopkins, who was in contention for ‘Best Supporting Actor’.

Hounsou did at least secure a ‘Best Actor’ nod from the Golden Globes, but he felt snubbed by the most prestigious ceremony in Hollywood. When asked by The Guardian if he deserved to be in the running, he answered in the affirmative before theorising that as his first major leading role in a film, his inexperience and lack of visibility may have worked against him.

“Yeah. Maybe I was early,” he said. “If my movies had come out today, I definitely would have gotten an Oscar already.” Looking at the contenders who were in the running for ‘Best Actor’ when Amistad was under consideration, Hounsou’s performance is at the very least equal – if not superior – to every single one of them.

That was the year Jack Nicholson made history with his third Oscar for As Good As It Gets, beating out Good Will Hunting‘s Matt Damon, The Apostle‘s Robert Duvall, Wag the Dog‘s Dustin Hoffman, and Ulee’s Gold‘s Peter Fonda to complete his record-breaking hat-trick.

Of that quintet, four of them were established veterans, three of them already had at least one Oscar to their name, and Damon ended up winning on the night when his breakout hit landed he and Ben Affleck the ‘Best Original Screenplay’ prize. Hounsou’s electrifying turn is comparable to all of them, and yet he didn’t even get a look-in.

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