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Barkhad Abdi was paid just $65,000 for Oscar-nominated role in Captain Phillips

Barkhad Abdi was paid just $65,000 for Oscar-nominated role in Captain Phillips

Abdi starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 2013 film

If Barkhad Abdi had a dollar for everyone who recognised his 'I'm the captain now' line, he'd no doubt be much, much richer than he was after he appeared in Captain Phillips.

The actor starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 2013 film, appearing as Muse as the pair retold the story of the captain whose ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009.

His performance earned him the impressive accolades of being a BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated actor as he was recognised in the category of Best Supporting Actor, but his paycheque for the role was not so reflective of his talent.

In a 2014 interview with the New Yorker, Abdi recalled being cast in the movie after responding to an open casting call at the local community centre.

He was flown to Los Angeles after the audition and learned he'd been cast during a lunch with director Paul Greengrass.

Abdi recalled: “He was, like, ‘All you guys in the movie! Now you have to be pirates. I’m not looking for actors'.”

Abdi established himself as an impressive first-time actor by improvising the iconic line 'I'm the captain now', and learned to swim and shoot for the role after previously claiming to have had many talents in a bid to help him land the part.

For all of his efforts, however, Abdi was paid just $65,000 (£57,600). For comparison, Captain Phillips was a $55 million dollar (£48.7m) film.

After filming on the project wrapped up, Abdi went back to work for his brother selling mobile phones at his shop in a Somali-run mall in Cedar-Riverside.

However, he recalled: “How I thought about it was, like, When the movie came out, reviews either gonna be good or bad. Either way, I cannot be working here.”

Adbi was cast following an open casting call.
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Abdi quit his job on the day of the Captain Phillips premiere, and while promoting the film, he relied on a per diem from the studio, a town car which was available only for official publicity events, and clothes that had been loaned to him.

Speaking to ABC News after the film's release, Abdi admitted being famous was 'not normal' for him yet, adding: "I never pictured myself as a famous person. I like the essence of film making and storytelling. The fame part, I'm just trying to take it easy."

Following his appearance as Muse, Abdi has gone on to appear in titles such as Eye in the Sky, Blade Runner 2049 and Beneath a Sea of Lights.

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Featured Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment/Shutterstock

Topics: Tom Hanks, Film and TV, Celebrity