Barkhad Abdi Is An Academy Award Nominee And He Has No Money At All

People often think fame and money are directly linked. They’re not. High end actors whose names appear in big letters on movie posters make an outlandish amount of money. Those who play supporting roles can earn nice little paychecks too, but it can be years between these parts. Take Captain Phillips actor and Academy Award nominee Barkhad Abdi. He may have been living the high life at the Oscars on Sunday, but apparently, he’s broke and wearing borrowed clothing.

The latest edition of The New Yorker contains a fascinating profile of the actor, and in it, his financial situation is outlined a little bit. Apparently, Abdi was paid $65,000 for Captain Phillips, which seems about right since it was his first role and the major players at the top took paycuts to keep the budget around $50 million or so. That’s a nice enough chunk of change to live off of, but considering the movie was filmed two years ago, it’s not a surprise it hasn’t lasted, especially since Abdi quit his job as a mobile phone salesman when the film came out.

Moving forward, Abdi is reportedly planning to move out to Los Angeles to give acting a real go, but in order to make all of his Academy Awards appearances, he needed a little help from Sony. Executives have reportedly put him up at the Beverly Hilton, have given him a small amount of per diem money, some clothing loaners and usage of a car to get to and from events. On the surface, that sounds great, but in practice, he’s a dude in a strange place (he lives in Minneapolis) who doesn’t really know anyone and doesn’t currently possess the resources to do what he wants with his free time.

That being said, there’s no reason to think Abdi’s situation won’t change moving forward. He’s a great actor who has already boarded the marathon running drama The Place That Hits The Sun and is reportedly reading plenty of scripts to find some roles moving forward. He’ll get some opportunites through that, and they will net higher paydays, maybe not Brad Pitt paydays, but he’ll be able to buy his own tuxedos, at least provided he manages his money a little better than some.

One of the serious downsides of being an actor is the ups and downs. Sometimes you jump from one project to another. Sometimes it takes months or even years to find a new part that really works. Here’s to hoping Abdi’s work life moving forward is filled with a whole lot more ups than downs.

To relive Abdi in Captain Phillips, you can check out the trailer for the film below…

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Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.