Barkhad Abdi: I Loved Acting, Decided To Give It A Chance

Barkhad Abdi: I Loved Acting, Decided To Give It A Chance

Posted: Updated:

Before he landed the role of a lifetime, opposite Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips," Barkhad Abdi had never acted.

"This was my first time acting, or even thinking about acting," says Barkhad Abdi about his role opposite Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips," based on a true story: the hijacking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama.  Hanks stars as the title character, Capt. Richard Phillips, and Adbi plays Muse, the man who leads the charge against ship and crew.

RELATED LINK:
Read FOX 11's Araksya Karapetyan's take on Captain Phillips and actor Barkhad Abdi.

Abdi was born in Somalia and lived there until he was 7. At 14, Abdi moved from Yemen to Minneapolis, Minn., which is home to tens of thousands of Somalis.  His mother had a won a U.S. Visa in a lottery, he tells Steve Edwards and Maria Sansone on Good Day L.A.  He learned about the role from a local TV ad.  After a long day of waiting, during which 800 actors were trying to get the same job, he was asked a few questions and finally was handed a script for the character Muse.

Though some people in his life were worried about how the film would portray Somalia, Abdi says he had to take the opportunity. "I knew it was a true story, so it was just a chance that I could take," he told NPR.   "I hope people understand the culture clash between these very, very different characters, Capt. Phillips and Muse," Abdi says. "One had just, the normal life, you know, he went to school, college, graduated, family, and now he [has] a job. And the other one is just someone that grew up in a war-torn country, that had no hope, no school, no job, no government, nothing."

Fun Facts About "Captain Phillips"

1) Is a 2013 American action thriller directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks. The film is a biopic of merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips, who was taken hostage by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean during the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009.

2) The screenplay by Billy Ray is based upon the book, A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea (2010), by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and Michael De Luca. It was released on October 11, 2013 and had its premiere showing at the 2013 New York Film Festival.

3) Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is the captain of the American container ship MV Maersk Alabama, when in April 2009, it is hijacked off the coast of Somalia by a crew of Somali pirates led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Phillips endures a grueling ordeal, first on the ship, working to protect his crew, and then having been taken hostage, on a lifeboat.

‘Captain Phillips' is now playing in theaters.

Twitter: @RealBarkhad

Facebook: barkhad

Website: captainphillipsmovie.com

  • The Latest From Good Day LAMore>>

  • Johnny Gill: Back In The Day, Everyone Had to Use Their Own Clothes

    Johnny Gill: Back In The Day, Everyone Had to Use Their Own Clothes

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-08-01 16:46:53 GMT

    Johnny Gill and the rest of New Edition are back on stage together...and playing the Nokia Theatre this Sunday, August 3rd. The group started performing more than 30 years ago...

    Johnny Gill and the rest of New Edition are back on stage together...and playing the Nokia Theatre this Sunday, August 3rd. The group started performing more than 30 years ago...

  • Movie Critic Matt Atchity: Nothing But Good Movies This Weekend

    Movie Critic Matt Atchity: Nothing But Good Movies This Weekend

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-08-01 16:11:17 GMT
    Matt Atchity is the editor in chief for the pop-culture website "Rotten Tomatoes." He also hosts a new show on Sirius XM called "Rotten Tomatoes Radio." You can also catch Matt Atchity on his ‘Rotten Tomatoes Podcast’, which is available on the Rotten Tomatoes website and on iTunes.
    Matt Atchity is the editor in chief for the pop-culture website "Rotten Tomatoes." He also hosts a new show on Sirius XM called "Rotten Tomatoes Radio." You can also catch Matt Atchity on his ‘Rotten Tomatoes Podcast’, which is available on the Rotten Tomatoes website and on iTunes.
  • Tim Robbins: Every Night Is A Different Experience For Us

    Tim Robbins: Every Night Is A Different Experience For Us

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:46:34 GMT

    Tim Robbins keeps very busy. The famed actor is now directing a production of ‘A Midsummer Night's dream’ for The Actor's Gang.

    Tim Robbins keeps very busy. The famed actor is now directing a production of ‘A Midsummer Night's dream’ for The Actor's Gang.


Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices