Minneapolis actor Barkhad Abdi took a big step toward an Oscar nomination Wednesday with a major nomination from the Screen Actors Guild, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Abdi was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for playing Somali pirate leader Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse in the true-life high seas thriller "Captain Phillips." The film chronicles the 2009 hijacking of Captain Richard Phillips' freighter, the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama.
"We just started screaming. We had to calm down so we wouldn't wake the neighbors," the first-time actor said in a statement to Variety about his nomination. "I was up all night waiting for this, and it's just amazing. It's surreal, honestly. I did not expect to be nominated."
Tom Hanks, who stars in the title role, was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Lead Role.
Hanks and Abdi were featured in a THR cover story this fall.
Abdi will face off against Daniel Bruhl ("Rush"), Michael Fassbender ("12 Years a Slave"), Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") and the late James Gandolfini ("Enough Said") for the SAG award.
Abdi has been the recipient of high praise from critics and Oscar buzz from industry analysts, even before the film was released in theaters in October.
The SAG Awards are considered an accurate barometer for who may be nominated for the Academy Awards, since many SAG voters also vote on the Oscars.
Deadline Hollywood said "Captain Phillips" studio Columbia Pictures plans to re-release the film in 1,000 theaters on Jan. 15, the day before Oscar nominations are announced.
Also faring well in the SAG nominations were actors from "12 Years a Slave," a historical drama co-produced by Minnesota filmmaker Bill Pohlad.
In addition to Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave" received nominations for Chiwetel Ejiofor (Outstanding Male Lead), Lupiota Nyong'o (Outstanding Female Supporting) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
The 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be handed out in Los Angeles Jan. 18.