Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi, 28, has reportedly been struggling to make ends meet after quitting his job at a Minneapolis cell phone store following the 2013 release of “Captain Phillips.”
Abdi had been working as a limo driver before landing his acting debut as a Somali pirate in the movie, opposite Tom Hanks. After filming wrapped in 2012, he went back to his hometown of Minneapolis and took on a job at his brother’s mobile phone store.
He walked away from the gig in October when “Captain Phillips” hit movie theaters. According to a profile in the New Yorker magazine, his $65,000 salary from the film has since dried up, leaving Abdi facing financial difficulties.
Reporter Dana Goodyear writes, “When Abdi is in Los Angeles to promote the film, he subsists on a per diem, good at the Beverly Hilton, where the studio likes to put him up. The town car is available only for official publicity events. His clothes are loaners. Recently Abdi requested that he be allowed to stay at a commuter hotel near LAX to be closer to his friend, a Somali cabdriver from Minneapolis, who shuttles him around for free.”
Discussing his decision to quit working at his brother’s store, Abdi tells the magazine, “How I thought about it was, like, when the movie came out, reviews either gonna be good or bad. Either way, I cannot be working here.”
Abdi performance in “Captain Phillips” earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and won him a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award last month.
His money struggles may soon be over. He is currently reading scripts to find his next role and in talks to star in upcoming drama “The Place That Hits The Sun,” about South African marathon runner Willie Mtolo, a Zulu warrior who competed in the 1992 New York Marathon.