'Captain Phillips' star's story of struggle not rare in Hollywoo - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

'Captain Phillips' star's story of struggle not rare in Hollywood

Posted:

By Lisa Respers France

Despite Barkhad Abdi's Academy Award nomination, his story has not been quite rags-to-riches.

Much is being made over a report from The New Yorker that the the "Captain Phillips" actor is having trouble making ends meet. He was paid $65,000 two years ago for the role, which earned him a best supporting actor nomination this season.

Abdi told CNN's Poppy Harlow that he didn't have an agent to even negotiate his salary (he does now).

"It was my first film," he said. "I didn't have many options."

Such a small salary for a performer in a multimillion-dollar blockbuster is not rare for a first-time actor. Brad Pitt reportedly received only $6,000 for his breakout role in the 1991 film "Thelma and Louise."

A few more established actors have chosen to forgo big paychecks in order to participate in a project. Jonah Hill accepted a paycheck of only $60,000 for his recent role in "The Wolf of Wall Street."

"I would sell my house and give (director Martin Scorsese) all my money to work for him," Hill said. "This isn't what you make money for; you do '22 Jump Street,' you do other things, to pay your rent. But I would do anything in the world. I would do it again in a second."

Abdi's story may be drawing so much attention because of his hardscrabble backstory.

The Somali actor left his war-torn country as a youngster with his family and settled in Yemen. Years later, they immigrated to the United States, where they joined a large community of Somalis in Minneapolis.

He was driving for his brother's limousine company when he answered a casting call for Somali actors for the "Captain Phillips" film.

According to The New Yorker, Abdi is planning to move to Los Angeles and pursue his acting career. It reports that when he was in Los Angeles to do publicity for "Captain Phillips," "His clothes are loaners. Recently Abdi requested that he be allowed to stay at a commuter's hotel near LAX, to be closer to his friend, a Somali cabdriver from Minneapolis, who shuttles him around for free."

Hollywood can be a tough town for any aspiring actor but even moreso for a first-timer.

In the 1940s, disabled veteran Harold Russell won the best supporting actor Academy Award for his turn in "The Best Years of Our Lives." Roles were tough to come by for Russell, who lost his hands in a training accident, and he went on to earn a degree in business and write a book about his recovery.

There may be success ahead for Abdi, however. He is reportedly in talks to play South African running legend Willie Mtolo in the film "The Place That Hits The Sun."

 

The-CNN-Wire

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

  • Padre Island National Seashore, South Beach Temporarily Closed to Vehicle Traffic

    Padre Island National Seashore, South Beach Temporarily Closed to Vehicle Traffic

    The Padre Island National Seashore will be closing off the area known as South Beach to vehicle traffic beginning at 6:00 PM Tuesday.Early Tuesday the National Weather Service issued a Coastal Flood Advisory for Nueces and Kleberg counties from 10:00 PM Tuesday until Wednesday at 12 Noon. Representatives with the Padre Island National Seashore say they are closing off South Beach to traffic during the advisory.Park officials say vehicles will be allowed back on the beach as soon as conditions...More >>
    The Padre Island National Seashore will be closing off the area known as South Beach to vehicle traffic beginning at 6:00 PM Tuesday.Early Tuesday the National Weather Service issued a Coastal Flood Advisory for Nueces and Kleberg counties from 10:00 PM Tuesday until Wednesday at 12 Noon. Representatives with the Padre Island National Seashore say they are closing off South Beach to traffic during the advisory.Park officials say vehicles will be allowed back on the beach as soon as conditions...More >>
  • Hours After Arrest Warrant Is Issued, Suspect is Caught

    Hours After Arrest Warrant Is Issued, Suspect is Caught

    Daniel Martinez, 32, has been arrested on Theft and Burglary charges on Tuesday. It was back on August 21 when Corpus Christi police raided a home along the 1700 block of Nile Dr.Early Tuesday morning, police got arrest warrants for Martinez stemming from a raid of a home along the 1700 block of Nile. Hours later, Martinez was pulled over along the 6400 block of Vincent Drive. Police officers recognized Martinez as a wanted person and arrested him. The truck he was driving was taken to the Co...More >>
    Daniel Martinez, 32, has been arrested on Theft and Burglary charges on Tuesday. It was back on August 21 when Corpus Christi police raided a home along the 1700 block of Nile Dr.Early Tuesday morning, police got arrest warrants for Martinez stemming from a raid of a home along the 1700 block of Nile. Hours later, Martinez was pulled over along the 6400 block of Vincent Drive. Police officers recognized Martinez as a wanted person and arrested him. The truck he was driving was taken to the Co...More >>
  • Terror Group Posts "A Second Message to America"

    Terror Group Posts "A Second Message to America"

    (CNN) -- The ISIS terror group has published a video titled "A second message to America," showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.The video also threatens the life of British captive, David Haines.Sotloff speaks to the camera before he is killed, saying he is "paying the price" for U.S. intervention.The masked ISIS figure in the video speaks to U.S. President Barack Obama, telling him, "Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike...More >>
    (CNN) -- The ISIS terror group has published a video titled "A second message to America," showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.The video also threatens the life of British captive, David Haines.Sotloff speaks to the camera before he is killed, saying he is "paying the price" for U.S. intervention.The masked ISIS figure in the video speaks to U.S. President Barack Obama, telling him, "Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike...More >>