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Barkhad Abdi is Broke - 'Captain Phillips' Oscar Nominee Reveals Money Issues

Barkhad Abdi is Broke - 'Captain Phillips' Oscar Nominee Reveals Money Issues

Barkhad Abdi, the Oscar-nominated actor from Captain Phillips, has revealed that he is broke despite being in the running for the gold this evening.

The 28-year-old actor earned $65,000 for his performance in the film, but that was two years ago and he has not acted in a movie since then. After wrapping his work on Captain Phillips, Barkhad went to work at his brother’s mobile phone store in Minneapolis, but he quit when the movie was released.

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

Barkhad just recently won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor and he is currently reading scripts to find his next movie role. We can’t wait to see him in another film after his amazing performance in Captain Phillips!

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Photos: WENN
Posted to: Barkhad Abdi

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  • pinkydoo

    I hope all the rich fat b*satards in Hollywood feel like pieces of poo when they read or hear about this. What a shame.

  • pinkydoo

    sorry misspelled that..but you get what I mean. They take some poor shmo nobody has ever heard of and pay him peanuts as opposed to someone with more experience. Pay them peanuts and then let them rot after.

  • milly brown

    until I saw the bank draft for $5906 , I be certain …that…my friends brother woz like they say realey earning money in there spare time from their laptop. . there brothers friend has done this 4 only 1 year and recently cleared the mortgage on their villa and purchased a great Bugatti Veyron . why not find out more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • go go

    Hopefully, whether he wins the oscar or not, this will be a step into more projects = more $$$. The nomination alone can’t hurt. He did an outstanding job in Cap Phillips.

  • Help Him

    Come on racist Hollywood, give this looker a million and put him in a movie. Tell him to invite his entire extended family over from Somalia for dUhmerica’s going out of business sale.. Wow, I feel so much better and tolerant now. Just don’t move to my neighborhood .
    Screw the evil racists.

  • lillian

    honestly, why is this story is being run on one of the biggest nights of his life? you couldn’t wait one more day?

  • Jessica

    You were awesome in the movie, Barkhad! I love that here is somebody who is not part of the Hollywood machine and made it on his own merits. I hope he gets many good scripts in the future and will make enough money to live well…unfortunately, knowing Hollywood he will be typecast and not paid nearly as much as their cookie-cutter actors and actresses!

  • GFW

    Think I could make $65,000 last a wee longer than he did.

  • carol

    This isn’t a new thing, Hillary Swank was broke when she won her first Oscar for Boys Don’t Cry.

    The part about Barkhad quitting his job sounds bad. It comes off as if he thought he was too good to be working a 9-5 job because he was now a ‘big movie star’.

  • pickles

    The producers of Captain Philips need to correct that. It’s an embarrassment. I bet Tom Hanks would help him get his money from the movie. I’m glad this is coming out. If they could’ve kept it quiet he would’ve been screwed. But now it’s public, they might correct it. Yes he is new. But he really did an outstanding job of acting in that movie and his scenes with Hanks he was every bit his equal. He wasn’t a weak link in the movie. Plus his character was really important. His character really made the movie work on a whole different level. He gave that character enough life so we actually felt something for him. It wasn’t all just good vs. evil. We came to understand how mean his life was. So yeah. Give Barkhad his money. He earned it.

  • allison

    He should not have quit his day job. Until he had another job lined up.

  • Sam


    Feel bad why? because he blew his money? Because he is not that talented and doesn’t deserve an oscar for his first role? The guy had a criminal record. I think its a shame he quit his job. Dumb ass

  • Amy


    It’s SAG. You get paid whatever is scale for your role. He should get a part time job in LA like every other struggling actor.

  • James

    He is not bankrupt, he is just broke. The movie was filmed 2 years ago. 65, 000 for two years is not a lot. Plus he couldnt work bc he had to do all this promotion for the film. I like that this article shows just bc you are nominated and in a hit movie doesn’t mean you get a lot of money. The film grossed over 200 million at the box office. I hope that he gets another film lined up. Its hard out there in Hollywood.

  • pinkydoo


    Feel bad because he got sucked into the promise of Hollywood. Fat producers and directors saying that he will be a huge star and all of a sudden nothing . That’s why. He got paid 65 grand, but did you ever consider the amount of money also taken by the government and having to pay your bills? Not much left after that if you don’t have another job lined up. So he’s not perfect. Everyone deserves a second chance.

  • claire m

    this makes me so sad to hear! tom hanks and the producers, studio need to make things right. their pay compared to his compensation …? BOO!

  • xyzc


  • xyzc


  • Jessie

    What is there to fell bad about, any job that’s legal is honorable. This man let his pride get in the way of having a job. Acting is like anything else, just because you chose it as a profession doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to get work. No one owes you a job. While waiting for acting work, you need housing, eat and to pay for then necessities of life. There’s no shame in that. He’s not am A or B list actor ( his name doesn’t fill seats), why should he get paid like one. Sixty five thousand is a lot. How many hours, days did he work for that? Most Americans don’t make that much in three YEARS or more. You sign your contract BEFORE the film is completed so it really doesn’t matter how much the film makes unless you have a back in deal and those are for very few actors and actresses. He got the amount of money that he signed on for, why should he get more now? The man should have been happy that he had a job.

  • UGH

    $65K??? I make about half that annually!

  • Kelly J thompson

    Jonah Hill made $60,000 for his role on The Wolfe of Wall Street. He is up for an oscar for his roll….

    Is any one asking if he’s broke?

  • JJ

    At BAFTA, Hanks acted like a proud poppa when Barkhad won, like he knew what an incredible actor he was. You would think he might have acted that way while this guy was getting paid, because you know Hanks probably made millions and this guy made 65k, shameless.

  • Calista1

    It is honestly not Hollywood’s problem that he is broke!He got paid $65,000 because that was the standard for the role he played considering the fact that he was a newcomer in the business.Bear in mind that they sign the contract and get paid way before the movie comes out and if the movie incurs losses,it’s not the junior actor’s worry because they already got their share.He did an impressive job but he needs to do the best to market himself not blame on Hollywood for not getting any other roles..

  • Thatwouldbeme

    @carol: I don’t think he meant to sound conceited. I read an article that said he had to leave his brother’s shop because people kept on coming in to meet him all the time and it became impossible to work. Also, he probably felt he had to leave so he could free himself up to do all the requested publicity work. He certainly doesn’t come across as someone who thinks he is better than anyone else.

  • truph and jusdice

    He drove a cab and tried out for the part on a whim. He’s very limited in the roles he can play. Like 99.9% of other actors, he will need a job in addition to acting in order to get by.

  • Ziggy

    @Jessie: Well aren’t you bitter! I wouldn’t assume that he had too much pride to work at his brother’s shop based on the article. People like you are always assuming the worst in others and that’s what makes the other skeptics feel like there’s something to pounce on. Relax, you don’t know the whole story, this article isn’t covering much, and your rant isn’t helping anyone including yourself.

  • JCallahan


    It’s called personal responsibility. Why on Earth would he quit his job without the prospect of another film, then complain about money? He should feel enormous gratitude that people actually gave him a shot, and got paid more than he likely makes in 3 years. It’s amusing that you talk about ” the amount of money also taken by the government”, it’s folks like you who think the “poor schmoes” should be supported by the “fat and rich” that are a major reason why there’s a big, wet bite out of my check every two weeks.

  • WhatYouSayWillis

    @GFW: That’s two years on $32,500 per year including airfare clothes, probably a car, etc. You could make it last longer? You probably started with more than this guy. What did Tom Hanks make on the film? 35 mil? He couldn’t give this guy 5 mil and call it a day? Make them put it in the guy’s contract so he feels he earned it. That would have been a good Forest Gump thing to do for a guy worth over half a bil. How long can you make half a billion last for?

  • Dionna

    I total agree with this. My feelings exactly. How can you work peacefully in a public place with your face plastered all over the news and movie theaters?

  • Diane Crane

    I recently saw Captain Phillips, after a delay. I was impressed by the convincing way you portrayed Muse. I thought the 16 (17?) year old character emerged as looking very confused, like he really didn’t understand exactly what he had gotten into. Many of us Americans had very little knowledge of this part of the world or the pirate gangs. At the film’s end, Muse looked small and helpless when brought to the Navy ship. I saw the film twice. I reached an understanding of a sort – I overcame my disgust at what the pirates put the Maersk crew through. I thought all of you did a fantastic job as actors, with what was an unpleasant story. Did you have to learn how to swim for your role, Barkhad?

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