For fans of genre fare, Djimon Hounsou is a familiar face. While many now may know him for his recent roles in the superhero film genre (Aquaman, Shazam!, Guardians of the Galaxy to name a few), no one can deny the sheer versatility of the man’s career. Now, fans can see him as the mysterious man on the island in A QUIET PLACE PART II.
The follow-up to A Quiet Place focuses on the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) needing to now face the terrors of the outside world after the disastrous events in their home as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
For the release of A QUIET PLACE PART II, Nightmarish Conjurings had the chance to chat with actor Djimon Hounsou, where we discussed his mysterious character, working with Cillian Murphy and Millicent Simmond, and more.
To start things off, what, if anything, can you tell us about your character?
Djimon Hounsou: Other than I’m one of them who got away and was able to survive and obviously they survived from the first one too. [The family] comes to search for refuge. I can’t really say so much about my character (laughs). I can’t really tell you too much about how we come together in this place where really, the discovering of this for the normal audience is really key because they could really ruin the story for people. The one element that really attracted me to the story originally was the fact that the first one was such a great success. John did such a great job in [telling] that story in the way he did. The suspense grabs you and has you on the edge of your seat until the end. So that was the appeal to coming on to this picture and I hope we deliver the same way and hopefully it will be an amazing ride.
In the midst of all the chaos and terror that’s unfolding, I noticed that your character had this ability to stay cool, calm, and focused. Do you think that was an indication of who your character may have been before the world changed forever?
Djimon Hounsou: I think it’s an indication of the sort of makeup of him due to some of the experiences and tragic experiences that once some of us go through it shapes the future of them. And so how do we cope with one another later? All of that really has to do with what you overcome and where you came from and what you have endured over time.
Your character mainly interacts with Millicent Simmonds and Cillian Murphy. How was that experience?
Djimon Hounsou: Cillian Murphy is one of those actors also that silently speaks so much volume, speaks so many words. It comes out of his eyes. It was wonderful working with them and mind you, I came into the film later and they had already had so much of a family moment before I came. I think again, it’s all due to those sets that you come into a lot of times dictated by your director oftentimes, and you’ll need actors. Obviously, Emily and John were such a wonderful couple, on and off-screen, and they created an amazing little family with this film.
You’re no stranger to the horror/thriller genre, having done projects like Wayward Pines, Deep Rising, etc. What do you enjoy about working in that arena?
Djimon Hounsou: It’s not my cup of tea, to be honest (laughs). But I really enjoyed this one because I think the essence of this story is really not so much about the creatures than how do we cope with one another as people and what becomes relevant immediately faced with such a challenging world and environment that you come into how do you cope? How do you preserve your legacy, by saving your own ass or saving your kids?
When it came time to take on your role was there a way in which you specifically approached it?
Djimon Hounsou: Some roles are a lot more fun to dive into and less emotionally wrecking (laughs). This one is definitely the time I came on board this and for my existence, in that, it was quite nice.
What do you find to be the most rewarding part of being an actor?
Djimon Hounsou: Sometimes we do this and then your life becomes something and you think at the beginning of your career, “Oh wow, it’s wonderful.” It’s so wonderful to be noticed or recognized but you get over that, hopefully, fairly quickly because your life is never the same. And suddenly you don’t have a normal life because you’re under so many eyes and when you go out you get asked for pictures. But at the same time, you must always remember that these people are liking your movies and certainly liking some of the characters you play and they’re contributing to your advancements. For that matter, you have to second guess yourself and take pictures nicely. I think what celebrity has done, it’s made me a little more social and a little more kind. I feel like if I wasn’t such a social image I’d be a little hard but for the sake of your image that everybody sort of recognizes I think you have to be on your best behavior most of the time. So I guess it’s a good thing. Whether you want to be or not, you’re sort of like a role model to some people. It’s remembering that a lot of Africans, young men, young girls are looking at you, that means a lot because in our world there’s no platform for them to inspire them into uplift.
A QUIET PLACE PART II is now in theaters nationwide. To learn more about the film, check out our interview with Millicent Simmonds.
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