We may have the perception that actors lead lives of incredible luxury, but that’s not always the case. Oscar nominated actor and Captain Phillips antagonist Barkhad Abdi is reportedly in dire financial straits and is struggling to support himself.
According to a recent New Yorker story, Abdi was paid $65,000 for his performance in the Tom Hanks nailbiter, and is now having trouble paying his bills. While $65,000 isn’t too far off the average yearly salary for most Americans, it certainly seems a bit low considering the film has been a global hit, with box office receipts totalling more than $200 million.
After Captain Phillips hit theaters, the success inspired Abdi to move from his settled home in Minneapolis (his family escaped war-torn Somalia when Abdi was a child) to Los Angeles so he could pursue an acting career.
Since he is still promoting the film, his accommodations and per diem meal allotment have been covered by the studio. His clothes are all loaners, and he is only allowed to use the company car when traveling to official promotion events. It’s an unsustainable arrangement since the studio will (likely) no longer need his services to continue promoting the film.
Thankfully, brighter days are on the horizon for Abdi. He recently signed on to star as a South African marathoner in the upcoming drama, The Place That Hits The Sun, and given his new status as an Oscar nominee, he should have no trouble finding more work in the near future.
What do you think of Abdi’s predicament? Is he an unfortunate casualty of a studio system that rewards its highest profile actors with unnecessarily high salaries? Or is he purely a victim of circumstance – perhaps he made the move to Los Angeles too soon? Let us know in the comments below.