The much-acclaimed film Captain Phillips, released in theaters today, features first-time actor Barkhad Abdi starring opposite award-winning actor Tom Hanks. So far, Abdi, who was born in Mogadishu and raised in Yemen, has received rave reviews for his role as a Somali pirate.
“The big surprise is that Hanks might not even give the best performance of the film... Abdi stands toe-to-toe with Hanks and delivers a compelling portrait,” writes one reviewer.
Another critic, Scott Foundas, who writes for trade publication Variety, writes, “In a movie that affords little dimensionality to its characters, Abdi finds notes to play you scarcely realized were there, until this reedy young man with jutting brow looms as large as Othello."
For Abdi’s part, he says, "It feels great, and a little bit scary. I was just kind of a private person (before the movie). This took part of my life."
The film, based on a true story, is about Somali pirates who hijacked an American cargo ship in 2009. Abdi has been quoted as saying that he identifies with the character based on events he witnessed growing up.
Read more at NOLA.com