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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Captain Phillips' Barkhad Abdi is broke

Illustration for article titled Captain Phillips' Barkhad Abdi is broke

Oscar-nominated Captain Phillips star Barkhad Abdi is, apparently, the ultimate hipster: really cool and desperate for cash. In a profile that’s only available to subscribers, The New Yorker’s Dana Goodyear writes that Abdi made just $65,000 for his supporting role as Abduwali Muse, the real-life Somali pirate who hijacked the Maersk Alabama in 2009—and that payday was over two years ago. Meanwhile, the Tom Hanks-starring film grossed $107 million in theaters, off of its budget of $55 million.


Though he’s received numerous accolades for his work, including a nod from the Academy and a BAFTA, Abdi has yet to find work in the post-Phillips world. Abdi worked as a livery cab driver before the film; after filming, he sold mobile phones in his hometown of Cedar-Riverside, a neighborhood in Minneapolis. The clothes he’s been wearing on publicity tours (including, presumably, his suit at the Oscars) are loaners from the studio, Columbia Pictures, while he’s been living off a per diem that’s good at the Beverly Hilton Hotel it puts him up in, and relying on a studio town car to get to his various events.

Abdi—who ad-libbed the most famous line in the film—plans to move to Los Angeles and live with Faysal Ahmed, his co-star. Here’s hoping they find work soon.