“Rebel Moon” Actor Reveals It’s “Still a Struggle” to Get Paid in Hollywood

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: Dec 16, 2023

After 118 days of striking against the Alliances of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the actors reached a tentative agreement with some of the biggest studios in Hollywood. One of the big points that actors were fighting for in their strike was a liveable wage and residuals.

While the actors might see better pay in the years to come, some well-known actors still struggle to get paid for their worth in the entertainment industry. Actor Djimon Hounsou, who is known for his roles in “Gladiator” and “Blood Diamond,” says he is still struggling to try to make a dollar.

Actor Djimon Hounsou Says It's Still a Struggle to Get Paid

In an interview with Business Insider at the London premiere of Zack Snyder’s science-fiction epic “Rebel Moon–Part One: A Child of Fire,” Hounsou revealed that he has noticed little has changed in the industry since the SAG-AFTRA strike began in March 2023.

Djimon Hounsou at a press panel

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“It’s still a struggle. I’ll leave it at that. It’s still a struggle for sure,” he said on the red carpet.

SAG-AFTRA Striked for 118 Days Over Minimum Pay

Despite the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA ending its lengthy strike over minimum pay, streaming service residuals, and the use of artificial intelligence, the growing pains of the new deal can be felt in the industry.


Source: Eden, Janine and Jim/Flickr

The union’s new deal with the AMPTP, which represented Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, and other major Hollywood studios and streamers, includes $1 billion in new compensation for actors.

SAG-AFTRA Says They Made a Historic Deal

While SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher wrote on the union’s website that she feels “pretty confident in saying this [deal] is a paradigm shift of seismic proportions!” and the AMPTP agreeing that the deal “gives SAG-AFTRA the biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union” (via CNBC), we might discover who the new deal benefits in the upcoming months.

SAG-AFTRA strike sign in Los Angeles, CA

Credit: Nicholas Mageras/Pexels

This isn’t the first that Hounsou has talked about this decades-long struggle he has faced in his notable career. In March, Hounsou told the Guardian, “I still have to prove why I need to get paid.”

Djimon Hounsou Reveals That Most Actors Struggle to Get Paid Fairly

Hounsou revealed what it is like to be offered a role from his perspective, saying to the Guardian, “They always come at me with a complete low ball: ‘We only have this much for the role, but we love you so much and we really think you can bring so much.'”

Djimon Hounsou opening speech at the UN Summit on Climate Change

Source: United Nations Photo/Flickr

“Viola Davis said it beautifully: she’s won an Oscar, she’s won an Emmy, she’s won a Tony and she still can’t get paid,” Hounsou continued. “Film after film, it’s a struggle. I have yet to see a film that paid me fairly.”

Djimon Hounsou Talks About His Experience on Zack Snyder’s Latest Film

Hounsou has not commented on his experience working on the new Zack Snyder movie. At the “Rebel Moon” premiere, Hounsou did talk about the preparation he had to undergo for the action-packed film.

Concept art of warriors walking through the dark in "Rebel Moon"

Source: Instagram/Rebel Moon via Instagram

Snyder, the director of films like “Army of the Dead” and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” provided an on-set gym for the cast to stay in shape while shooting.


Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon” Is Action Packed

“It was a lot of hard work and little that I knew that Zack Snyder’s films came with a certain level of military training,” said Hounsou. “And so in that respect, early on, some of the members did not really want to train but in the end, we all felt like it was quite instrumental to do the training for the film.”

Writer/Director Zack Snyder at the premiere of "Rebel Moon'

Source: Instagram/Rebel Moon via Instagram

Snyder has a style of filmmaking that is over-the-top, wall-to-wall action that is almost absurd. The director doesn’t play within realism but is instead creating a world (the Snyderverse for those who are familiar with his stint with DC) that he finds entertaining.


Djimon Hounsou Says the Grueling Training Brought the Cast Closer Together

Hounsou added to his comment that the training each day on set “brought a certain strong connection between the characters, which I think really helped.” The “Rebel Moon” cast includes Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Doona Bae, and Anthony Hopkins.

Man in Black Tank Top and Black Pants

Source: Cottonbro Studio/Pexels

The filming of “Rebel Moon” started before the SAG-AFTRA strike in April 2022. According to Snyder, there will be an R-rated extended cut in addition to the original PG-13 cut for audiences to watch.


What Is “Rebel Moon” About? 

“Rebel Moon” tells the story of Kora (Sofia Boutella), a former member of the Imperium, who is on a mission of revenge against the leadership of the oppressive government in the Motherworld. She recruits warriors from across the galaxy to help build a team that can stand against the Motherworld forces.

"Rebel Moon" film poster

Source: Instagram/Rebel. Moon via Instagram

Hounsou plays Titus in “Rebel Moon,” a former general of the Imperium who Kora recruits to help in her fight.


When Does “Rebel Moon” Release?

“Rebel Moon–Part One: A Child of Fire” is the latest collaboration between Snyder and Netflix. The two last came together to release the zombie heist movie, “Army of the Dead” in 2021. “Rebel Moon” will be landing in select theaters on Dec. 15.

Netflix red logo on a black background

Source: Ghaith baazaoui/Wikimedia Commons

Don’t worry if you can’t find the film in a theater near you. Netflix will add “Rebel Moon” to their streaming service on Dec. 21.


When Does the Second “Rebel Moon” Come Out?

The big battle between the rebels and the Imperium might not happen in this first “Rebel Moon.” Since “Rebel Moon–Part One: A Child of Fire,” is setting up the world and the groundwork for the epic battles to come, fans of the film won’t have to wait long for the sequel.

The homepage of the Netflix streaming service

Source: Stock Catalog/Flickr

Netflix announced that “Rebel Moon–Part Two: The Scargiver” will land on the streaming platform on April 19, 2024.


Pay People What They’re Worth!

There are a lot of exciting movies being released this year, including a few epics from Snyder, but it is important to note that there is a real struggle that people are facing on set. It has not been made clear if there were any payment disputes on the “Rebel Moon” production.

Unrecognizable man holding wallet with money

Source: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

As more and more films move into production following the conclusion of the duel strikes from SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America (WGA), I hope everyone is getting paid their worth.