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‘Captain Phillips’ star Barkhad Abdi struggling financially despite success

Actor Barkhad Abdi attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
Actor Barkhad Abdi attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Most Oscar nominated actors go back to their lavish lifestyles after the award show, but such is not the case for Barkhad Abdi, who was nominated for an Oscar for his acting debut performance in the Tom Hanks film, “Captain Phillips”. As PEOPLE magazine reports on March 6, the Somali native is struggling to make ends meet.

The 28-year-old Abdi was an unknown before appearing in the film. The former limo driver quickly achieved fame within months after “Captain Phillips” made its premiere. Suddenly Abdi found himself nominated for major awards for his performance. He didn’t win an Oscar, Golden Globe or SAG, but the nomination was an honor in itself, but honor alone doesn’t pay the bills.

Surprisingly Abdi was only paid $65,000 for his work on a film that has made nearly $218 million. But as an unknown at the time, it would’ve been unfair for him to demand much more. Appearing in a major film was much more for him as he never pictured himself as a famous person. In an interview back in January with ABC News, he described his sudden success as “not normal.”

“I never pictured myself as a famous person. I like the essence of filmmaking and storytelling. The fame part, I’m just trying to take it easy.”

But fame usually means not having to struggle to make a living. The $65,000 he earned from the film didn’t carry very far. Describing himself as a “simple guy”, Barkhad Abdi bought a Saab with the money. The clothes he wore to the Academy Awards were loaners.

Although he finds himself currently struggling financially, things may be looking for Abdi career wise. He is in talks to star in the film “The Place That Hits The Sun” from producer Noel Pearson. It is safe to assume that the Oscar nominee will receive a bit more money now that he is a known talent.

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