Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Hounsou: More diversity in film

Djimon Hounsou said even his young son recognised the lack of diversity in superhero characters

Djimon Hounsou has said he thinks it is important to show different races and cultures in superhero movies.

The Blood Diamond star, who has been filming his role as Korath in Guardians Of The Galaxy, admitted he was surprised when his four-year-son Kenzo recognised the lack of diversity on the big screen.

"The lack of diversity, specifically in genre films and the superheroes our kids grow up watching and emulating, they can't really identify with. When you see the same thing, over and over again, and it seems not to speak of you and your heritage and your culture, it leaves you out of this world, a little bit," he told Collider.

"It shocked me when my son said that, but at the same time, it was not a surprise. I'm looking for a hero of my kind, and I'm looking for a superhero of my kind. Now, we have Zoe Saldana, who is a superhero for minorities, and that's kind of nice."

Djimon revealed that was why he was "desperate" to voice superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Animation and BET TV series in 2010. The 49-year-old follows in the footsteps of James C Mathis III and Taye Diggs, who previously voiced the character.

"I so desperately wanted to do Black Panther because I felt like it was time for it. If you look at the world of comic books, Black Panther is one of the characters whose continent and country was always being invaded and he was always trying to defend it. He's kicked everybody's a**, really," he explained.

"All those superheroes who have come, at one point in time, to try to invade his country in Africa for minerals, he's kicked most of their a****. But, that's part of the story we don't want to tell yet."

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