The actor, who left Benin for France when he was a teenager, has returned to his home country to star and co-direct In Search of Voodoo: Roots to Heaven with African journalist Sorious Samura.

In the documentary, Hounsou learns about the religion in Benin, the birthplace of voodoo, how it spread overseas with the slave trade and how the perception of it changed over the years to connect voodoo with nasty spells.

He tells the AFP news agency negative portrayals in popular culture undermine the religion, adding, "The practices here are not bad and they aren't savage... That concept dates back to slavery. That is why we need to clarify what defines voodoo."

Samura adds, "Voodoo is a story that is very badly told, full of witchcraft, magic and evil - even Africans believe that," and he hopes their documentary can change the misconception.

The team hopes to finish filming with a shoot at a nationwide voodoo festival in Benin on Sunday (10Jan16).