Djimon Gaston Hounsou is a Beninese-American actor and model. As an actor, Hounsou has been nominated for two Academy Awards. Hounsou became a naturalized American citizen in 2007. He was reluctant to renounce his Beninese citizenship and therefore opted to become a dual citizen of both Benin and the United States, effectively rendering him a Beninese-American. Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, in 1964, to lbertine and Pierre Hounsou. He immigrated to Lyon in France at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond. In 1987, he became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the U.S. in 1990. One year before obtaining his college degree, he dropped out of school. In the 1989 he appeared in a music video of Straight Up by Paula Abdul.