He was nominated for an Oscar and basked in the fame of it, but apparently Minneapolis actor Barkhad Abdi has yet to earn his fortune.
IndieWire reports that Abdi made $65,000 from his Best Supporting Actor nominated role as the Somali pirate leader in "Captain Phillips," yet is struggling to make ends meet. Citing a pay wall article in the New Yorker, IndieWire says Abdi is "dead broke."
The Best Picture nominated film, which stars Tom Hanks as a real life captain of a ship under siege by Somali pirates, has made more than $217 million at the worldwide box office -- $107 million of that in North America, Box Office Mojo reports. The film was reportedly budgeted at $55 million.
While the amount of money the film pulled in and what Abdi made appear to be disproportionate, IndieWire says $65,000 is about average for what a first-time actor makes in a major movie. The publication suggests Abdi's story is a familiar one in Hollywood.
Abdi was a frequent guest on the talk show circuit during awards season, and also did several print and online interviews. In addition to the Oscars, Abdi was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the Screen Actors Guild, the Critic Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globes. In addition, he was nominated for – and won – the British Academy Award for the role.
According to the New Yorker, Abdi reportedly returned to Minneapolis after shooting the film two years ago to work in his brother's cell phone store, but has since given up the job. He was reportedly put up by "Captain Phillips" studio during awards season.
“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," the New Yorker said. "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."
IndieWire says studios become embarrassed when stories like Abdi's are reported, and suggested the home of "Captain Phillips" may try to make things right.
"It's very possible that Sony Pictureswill give Abdi a huge financial bonus in reaction to the New Yorker article, which would be fair and very well deserved."
As he revealed in several interviews, Abdi has moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career full-time.
The Hollywood Reporter says Abdi is currently in talks to star in the historical drama “The Place That Hits the Sun,” which will be his first role since "Captain Phillips."