Djimon Diaw Hounsou ( born April 24, 1964) is a Beninese actor and model. As an actor, Hounsou has been nominated for two Academy Awards. 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 parts 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)” from Rhythm Nation 1814, which co-starred Antonio Sabàto, Jr. 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). That same year, Charlize Theron, a South African actress, was nominated for Best Actress and won for her work in Monster, and was the first time that one African man and one African woman were nominated for an Oscar in the same year. 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. On February 24, 2007, it was announced that Hounsou would be the new Calvin Klein underwear model. Starting with the Fall 2007 season, he was featured in the brand’s global print advertising campaign including the launch of their new Calvin Klein Steel product line. Hounsou also acted in a supporting role in the 2009 science fiction film Push, as Agent Henry Carver. In 2010, Hounsou was featured as the narrator in ESPN's running series of "32 teams, 1 dream" commercials for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Director Tim Story recently mentioned to IGN that if he was to do a third Fantastic Four movie, he would like to have Hounsou as the Black Panther. In November 2008, it was announced that Hounsou will be providing the voice of the Black Panther in the upcoming animated series of the same name. David Jaffe, Game Director of God of War, expressed interest in seeing Hounsou portray the hero and main character, Kratos, in a possible upcoming movie based on the hit video game of the same name. However, it is believed that plans for the movie have been scrapped because nothing has been said of the movie since 2005. He has signed on to play Abdiel in the film version of John Milton's Paradise Lost with Benjamin Walker and Bradley Cooper.
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