April 10, 1985 |
|Alma mater||Minnesota State University, Moorhead|
Barkhad Abdi (Somali: Barkhad Cabdi, Arabic: برخد عبدي; born April 10, 1985) is a Somali American actor and director. He made his debut in the 2013 film Captain Phillips, for which he received various film award nominations, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Academy Awards and BAFTA, the latter of which he went on to win.
Abdi was born in Mogadishu, in the southern Banaadir region of Somalia. He was raised in Yemen. In 1999, at the age of 14, he moved with his family to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He subsequently attended Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Before entering the film industry, Abdi sold mobile phones at his brother's shop at a mall in Minneapolis. He also worked as a limousine driver at a relative's chauffeur company, and as a disc jockey.
Abdi made his film debut in the 2013 film Captain Phillips, in which he played ship hijacker and pirate leader Abduwali Muse. He was cast following a worldwide search for the lead roles. Abdi and three other actors were subsequently chosen from among more than 700 participants at a 2011 casting call in Minneapolis. According to the search casting director, the four were selected because they were "the chosen ones, that anointed group that stuck out."
For the role, he was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and a Golden Globe Award. He won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. Abdi's experience in Captain Phillips was his first in the film industry. He was paid $65,000 USD for his role in the movie. After film production, Abdi returned to work at his brother's store.
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