He may have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, but “Captain Phillips” star Barkhad Abdi is struggling financially according to the New Yorker.
The Somalia-born former limousine driver became a breakout star for his role opposite Tom Hanks, but the Hollywood newcomer has not had an acting job since he shot “Captain Phillips” two years ago.
Barkhad quit his job as a driver right before “Captain Phillips” premiered. He didn’t get a huge paycheck for the film, banking only $65,000 as a first time actor.
Two years later, the 28 year-old has had to go work at his brother’s Minneapolis mobile phone store just to make ends meet.
During award show season, though Barkhad rides around in fancy cars and wears expensive clothes; it’s the film studio Sony Pictures that’s handling those expenses.
“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,” reports the New Yorker. “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.”
Barkhad, who has lived in Minneapolis since moving to America with his family as a child, plans to move to Los Angeles with fellow “Captain Phillips” actor Faysal Ahmed once the Oscars passed.
The newcomer lost out at the Academy Awards to Jared Leto in his category, but he did win a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor.
Though he has not booked another acting part, he is now reading scripts and looking for his next role.