Google+ Followers

Friday, February 13, 2015

After a memorable start, Barkhad Abdi is taking a realistic, slowly-but-surely approach to his budding Hollywood career.

Last March, the first-time performer walked the Oscars red carpet as a Best Supporting Actor nominee for his scene-stealing role as a Somali pirate in the 2013 Tom Hanks film “Captain Phillips.”

Now, nearly a year later, he’ll log another first with his television debut on Friday’s 9 p.m. episode of the CBS cop drama “Hawaii Five-O.”

“I’m still at the very beginning stage of my career. I never planned to be an actor; it’s something that I never imagined,” Abdi tells The Post. “There’s a lot that I want to show and a lot that I want to accomplish, you know?”

One year after the Academy Awards, newcomer Abdi — a former Minneapolis limo driver who now lives in LA — says he’s doing just fine, despite what you may have read elsewhere. At Oscar time last year, media reports suggested that Abdi was “broke” (according to The Wrap web site) and “struggling to get by” (Business Insider) after making only $65,000 for “Captain Phillips.”

But the Somali-born actor — remembered for telling Hanks’ Captain Phillips, “Look at me! Look at me! I’m the captain now” — says that role (if not the paycheck) was like “a door opening.”

Since the Oscars, Abdi landed the part on “Hawaii Five-0” and roles in two upcoming movies — including “Eye in the Sky,” a thriller starring Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”), Helen Mirren, Colin Firth and Alan Rickman which was shot in South Africa (Cape Town) last fall.

“I’ve had a few jobs. It’s been a great experience so far, you know?” says Abdi, who turns 30 in April. (On a personal level, he says he’s also had a girlfriend for about six months.)

On “Hawaii Five-0,” Abdi plays a presumed-dead Congolese warlord who resurfaces in Oahu and winds up creating a volatile hostage situation that Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and his crew must defuse.

Abdi acknowledges a similarity between that role and playing Abduwali Muse — his real-life character in “Captain Phillips” — in that he’s portraying another bad guy.

However, he isn’t concerned with being typecast.

“I don’t worry about it. To me, if the storyline is good, that’s when you know whether you’ll take the job or not,” he says.

“I’m an entertainer, you know?” he continues, adding with a laugh, “If you would like to see me doing bad, I guess I should do that again."

No comments:

Post a Comment