Mar 04, 2014 12:58 PM EST
'Captain Phillips' Star Barkhad Abdi May Be Broke For Now, But Not For Long
Looking at Barkhad Abdi's IMDB page, he's played himself 18 times and the role of Muse in 2013's academy award nominee "Captain Phillips" (for which he earned a supporting actor nomination) once. Those 18 citations refer to appearances on various talks shows like "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "The Arsenio Hall Show" and will likely shrink to footnotes once Abdi begins what looks to be a promising film career.
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For now, however, reports circulate around the internet that the 28 year-old is mostly broke. "Captain Phillips" was his first role, which he won after attending an open casting call in his hometown of Minnesota (an appropriate location to search for a Somalian pirate because it happens to have a significant Somalian population), according to Policy Mic. While the film awaited release, Abdi was turned down from numerous roles because of lack of experience. Apparently, citing his work with Tom Hanks in an upcoming big budget film wasn't enough to overcome his very un-Hollywood like appearance and still developing acting skills.
At the time, he could have lived somewhat comfortably off the $65,000 minimum salary he was paid for "Captain Phillips," but he wanted to work so he enlisted himself at his brother's phone company. When the film came out and the rave reviews followed, Abdi had to quit his job to attend the talk shows and promotional shows that demanded his appearance. Suddenly, he was forced to live the life of a Hollywood star but without the supporting salary. Hence, his current dismal financial position.
But he'll only have to pinch pennies for so long. According to the Hollywood reporter, Abdi will next star in the apartheid-themed film, "The Place That Hits The Sun," with a tentative release date of 2015. Once again, he'll trade off his African roots (he was born in Somalia and later moved to the United States) and play the South African distance runner Willie Mtolo, who ran in the 1992 New York City Marathon. Of course, the nature of the role plays well for his lithe build.
It will be interesting to better appraise the skills of Abid, who barely speaks with an accent, when he gets cast as a character closer to himself.