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DJIMON HOUNSOU received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as Cinque, the rebel slave leader in "Amistad." Most recently he was seen in the Academy Award-winning epic. "Gladiator," as Juba, the fiery warrior who befriends Maximus.

Born in Benin, West Africa, Hounsou moved to Paris at the age of 13 for his education. At 22, he was discovered by fashion designer Thierry Muglar, who immediately featured him in several of his design campaigns. Hounsou has also starred in commercials for David Fincher ("Alien 3" and "Seven") and legendary photographer, Herb Ritts.

Once established as an international model, Hounsou made the move to Los Angeles where he taught himself English (largely by watching television documentaries) and broke into acting. A featured role in the Janet Jackson video, "Love Will Never Do Without You," caught the attention of agents and casting directors and led to small roles in such films as "Stargate," "Unlawful Entry" and "Deep Rising," before landing the career-making role Steven Spielberg's "Amistad."

Hounsou's upcoming projects include Jim Sheridan's new, still untitled semi-autobiographical film, opening November 27th, and the Western "Blueberry," directed by Jan Kounen. He will also star in the actioneer, "Biker Boyz," and in the second installment of "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," also for Paramount Pictures.

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