The Oscar-nominated film was Abdi's first film role. He had been living in Minneapolis after immigrating there from war-torn Somalia and saw an open call for actors to play Somali pirates in the Tom Hanks flick.
After filming was over, he got a job at his brother's mobile phone store in Minneapolis, where he quit right before "Captain Phillips" came out.
While in Los Angeles promoting the film, the studio puts him up at the Beverly Hilton, he has borrowed clothes and a town car is made available to him for official publicity events.“How I thought about it was, like, When the movie came out, reviews either gonna be good or bad,” he said. “Either way, I cannot be working here.”
[New Yorker] [The Wrap]