October 24, 2016
        Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar        

Djimon Hounsou goes for it with ‘Tempest’ role

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

HollywoodNews.com: When Touchstone unveils Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest” Dec. 10, filmgoers will not only see Helen Mirren at the peak of her formidable powers playing the sorceress Prospera, they’ll also witness Djimon Hounsou in a gorgeously intense performance as Caliban, her slave. The actor went through grueling physical stress to make that performance work — starting with “five to five-and-a-half hours a day of makeup, standing up.

“It was quite awful,” he admits, “standing there every morning being painted, having things glued to the body, you know, and you also have to be naked for the most part. No matter how wonderful the day was, no matter how you felt when you began, after five hours of this, you’d end up eventually just being in a bad mood. I came out ready to explode, to blow up at something or someone. So, given the nature of this character, I used it for the part.”

In Taymor’s dream-like interpretation of the island-set tale of magic and revenge — which cast member Tom Conti calls “Shakespeare’s ‘Lost’”– Caliban is nature personified. Hounsou took weeks of lessons in Butoh, an ancient form of Japanese dance that represents nature, to help himself prepare. He moves around like an animal, muscles tensed, in the film that shot in remote volcanic locations in Hawaii.

“You couldn’t give Caliban any limitations. He’s a creature of his environment. He was born wild on this island and he’s still wild, basically,” says Hounsou — an Oscar nominee for “In America” and “Blood Diamond,” who certainly warrants Academy attention again this year. As for Caliban’s attempted rape of Prospera’s daughter, Miranda (Felicity Jones) that led to his enslavement, the actor feels, “He saw a woman and he attempted to acquire the woman for himself. He didn’t feel limitations. In that sense, he’s absolutely raw. I don’t know how to better put it.”

The magical aspect of “Tempest” felt familiar to Hounsou, “being from Africa, a country like Benin, which is the source of voodoo and all of those things.” It helped him define in his mind Caliban’s mother, a witch, and his “half nature, half human aspect, his life and the look he has. All of that was pretty powerful.”

To read more go to BeckSmithHollywood.com.

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Image courtesy of Touchstone

About Beck / Smith

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are among America’s leading columnists. They’ve covered the Hollywood beat for decades — Elvis and “Easy Rider” through the Jonas Bros. and “Avatar” and all the stars and their triumphs and scandals in-between. Their Creators Syndicate column, Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive, is a source of top celebrity interviews and entertainment news in newspapers across the country as well as online. To read more about Marylin and Stacy go to BeckSmithHollywood.com

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