Actors have a much better chance of striking it rich at Betway Ghana than to become a famous Hollywood star. This is especially true today, when cultural appropriation and whitewashing abound in America’s “dream factory”. Still, there are enough African actors who have made it to the silver screen, becoming well-known and loved by viewers all over the world – like those on our list today.
Idris Elba, born Idrissa Akuna Elba, may have seen the light of day in London but he has African origins – his mother, Eve, was Ghanaian, and his father, Winston, from Sierra Leone. He is a self-made man who wears many hats: aside from being an actor, he is also a DJ, a rapper, a producer, and a trained kickboxer. He started his acting career in the mid-1990s but didn’t break out until Cary Joji Fukunaga’s “Beasts of No Nation” released in 2015, a movie in which he played the role of the Commandant. His performance was recognized with a BAFTA award for the “Best Supporting Actor”.
Today, Elba is best-known for the role of Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
His parents were Egbo from Nigeria but he was born and raised in London. He began acting as a child and continued to do so after graduating, becoming a well-known stage actor in London. His breakout role in Hollywood was that of Solomon Northup in “12 Years a Slave”, a role that brought him an Oscar nomination. Since then, he showed up in supporting roles in various Hollywood productions – among others, he played Vincent Kapoor in Ridley Scott’s successful “The Martian”, Mordo in the Marvel movie “Doctor Strange”, and will lend his voice to Scar in Disney’s upcoming “The Lion King” remake.
Born in Benin, Djimon Hounsou left his home at the age of 12 and settled in France. There, he was discovered by a photographer and introduced to the world of modeling, pursuing this career until leaving for the United States in 1990. There, he ventured into acting, appearing in anything from music videos to TV series. His breakout role was Stephen Spielberg’s movie “Amistad” that landed him a Golden Globe nomination and wider recognition. This pushed him toward a more high-profile acting career – he appeared in movies like “In America”, “Gladiator”, “Blood Diamond”, and lent his voice to Black Panther in a Marvel television series. Ultimately, he didn’t get the live-action role, though – his further stints in the Marvel universe was limited to a minor role in “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Today, he is a DC Universe actor, with roles like that of Fisherman King Ricou in “Aquaman” and the old wizard in the upcoming “Shazam!”.