*Djimon Hounsou recently explained how his heart was broken upon hearing his son Kenzo wish for lighter skin so that he could look like his favorite superhero.
While chatting with The Guardian about the DVD release of his film “The Legend of Tarzan,” Hounsou was asked about the sudden burst of black superhero projects like Netflix’s “Luke Cage” and the forthcoming Black Panther.
“It’s about time!” said the Benin-born actor. “It’s absolutely great news to have a hero that black folks can identify with.”
Honsou went on to underscore how important it is for fantasy stories to feature black actors in prominent roles, because of something said by Kenzo, his 7-year-old son with ex-girlfriend Kimora Lee Simmons.
“Could you imagine my misfortune when my son told me, ‘I want to be light-skinned so I can climb the walls like Spider-Man’ – just because he has seen Spider-Man and Batman and all these superheroes who were all white. The minute he said it, I was like, damn. My whole self was shattered. I was like, ‘wow, what sort of comeback do you have for this?’ It’s important to recognize yourself.”
Hounsou, who voiced Black Panther for a TV cartoon, was passed over for the upcoming film version for Chadwick Boseman. Asked is he was disappointed, the 53-year-old actor said: “There are things that you hope to get and obviously everyone was talking about who would get the role and he was lucky to get it. It was not something that was mine that I’m losing. Fair enough that he got the role and I hope he does a great job with it.”