ladbible logo

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Barkhad Abdi was only paid $65,000 for his starring role opposite Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips

Barkhad Abdi was only paid $65,000 for his starring role opposite Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips

Despite being an Oscar-nominated actor, Barkhad Abdi didn't take home much treasure after starring in Captain Phillips.

If you’ve watched 2013’s Captain Phillips, it’s hard not to immediately recite the movie's most iconic line: “I'm the captain now.”

However, it turns out that the actor behind the infamous phrase didn’t receive untold treasures for his part in cinema history.

This is despite 38-year-old Barkhad Abdi receiving multiple awards for his seaworthy performance as Muse in the pirate film.

Reflecting on his big break, Abdi revealed his lacklustre payday in an interview with The New Yorker back in 2014.

Incredibly, the then-unknown actor only auditioned after seeing a casting call for Somalians at his local community centre in Minneapolis.

Prior to arriving in the US, Abdi had fled Somalia as a child during the civil war and was eager to audition.

So much so, that he did a read-through with three other men from his apartment block and even lied about being able to swim.

Barkhad Adbi was cast in Captain Phillips following an open casting call.
Sony Pictures Entertainment

However, it helped him bag a coveted audition with director Paul Greengrass.

After flying out to Los Angeles, Abdi amazed the filmmaker after improvising the film’s most iconic line.

Along with Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, and Barkhad Abdirahman, he was cast as part of the film’s pirate crew – who ultimately scuttle the ship.

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

Before starring with Tom Hanks as the titular captain, Abdi even made sure he learnt to swim.

For all his efforts though, the actor was paid £57,600 ($65,000) – just a fraction of the treasure that Captain Phillips made at the box office, totalling £48.7 million ($55m).

Even more shockingly, he went back to work selling phones at his brother’s shop in a Somali-run mall in Cedar Riverside after filming wrapped.

However, he wouldn’t remain there for long.

The actor, who starred alongside Tom Hanks, only got a very small percentage of the pirate treasure.
Sony Pictures

“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,” he told The New Yorker.

Though he didn’t have an agent at the time, Abdi quit his job on the day of the premiere and focused on promoting the film.

During this time, he relied on a per diem from the studio which included a town car and designer clothes that were loaned to him.

His gamble would pay off though, as not only would the film receive a ton of critical praise, but Abdi would win a BAFTA for his role and receive his first Oscar nomination.

Since then, he’s gone on to have major roles in Eye In The Sky (2015), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), and Castle Rock (2019).

Shiver me timbers!

Featured Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Topics: Money, Celebrity, TV and Film, Tom Hanks