Djimon Hounsou on the grim world ‘The King’s Man’ depicts
No actor can let his guard down when acting alongside Ralph Fiennes. But Djimon Hounsou isn’t just any actor.
In fact, the 57-year-old actor-model has two Oscar nominations for best supporting actor tucked snugly under his thespic belt—for Jim Sheridan’s “In America” (2003) and for Edward Zwick’s “Blood Diamond” (2006).
In Matthew Vaughn’s the “Kingsman” prequel “The King’s Man,” currently showing in Philippine theaters, Djimoun is cast as Shola, who works in the service of the Duke of Oxford (Ralph). Along with Conrad Oxford (Harris Dickinson) and Polly Wilkins (Gemma Arterton), he was among the first agents recruited into the Duke’s crime-busting efforts in the 1910s.
When we virtually met Djimon to talk about the movie, we asked the actor to describe Shola’s relationship with the Duke.
“There’s great compassion and friendship between the two—it’s a relationship that transpired after they met in Africa,” he explained. “Thereafter, Shola relocated to England to become the Duke’s chaperone. That whole time, Shola devoted his life to serve the Duke. I found this part of the story beautiful, because it shows the strong bond forged between friends.”
The film is set around World War I. In Djimon’s view, what does the film bring to audiences these days, especially during a chaotic time in history that has been stalled and held hostage by a pandemic?
“One is entertainment, and the other is a bit of education,” Djimon said. “But the film also reflects a little bit of what’s going on today. If you watch the movie, you’ll see that the grim political climate of the world we live in is as dispiriting as it was back then. So you can see why they want to make the world a better place.”