'Captain Phillips' event in St. Paul to feature local actors in film


Left to right: Faysal Ahmed, Tom Hanks, Mahmet M. Ali and Barkhad Abdi at the New York Film Festival. Photo - Sony Pictures Publicity.

The new true-life hostage thriller "Captain Phillips" is going to get the red carpet treatment locally next week.

Twin Cities-based Minnesota Women in Film & Television has announced that they are hosting a red carpet event, which is set for Tuesday at the Grandview Theater in St. Paul.

Scheduled to attend are "Captain Phillips" search casting director Debbie DeLisi and her associates Lynn Younglove and Kati Batchelder, as well as cast members Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdiriham and Mahmet M. Ali, who all hail from Minneapolis.

The screening will be accompanied by a Q&A panel. Arrivals and seating will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the screening begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Ahmed, Abdiriham and Ali, along with Barkhad Abdi, play the Somali pirates who storm the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama and take the ship's captain, Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), hostage. Directed by Paul Greengrass, the film is based on the harrowing 2009 hijacking of the ship off the coast of Somalia.

Oscar buzz continues to mount for Abdi, who plays lead pirate, Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, in the film.

Abdi, who was recently featured on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter with Hanks, has been busy making the interview rounds with the double-Oscar winner.

Thursday morning Abdi was interviewed by Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show, who told Abdi how he measured up to his famous co-star.

"No offense to Tom Hanks, in some ways, you stole this film," Lauer told Abdi.

Abdi says he was working as a limo driver in Minneapolis when he saw a story about a casting call for "Captain Phillips" on a local TV channel.

On Wednesday, Abdi appeared on CNN's "Amanpour" with the network's foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

The first-time actor shared stories with the journalist about the casting session in Minneapolis in 2011, along with his thoughts about the current strife in Somalia, and the potential criticism for playing Muse.

Since the buzz over his role in "Captain Phillips," Abdi has told several news outlets that he's moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. In the meantime, Abdi told Lauer, he's back in Minneapolis working at his brother's cell phone store.

"Captain Phillips" opens Friday in theaters nationwide.

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