Barkhad Abdi: Just Wanted To Bring The Reality Out - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Barkhad Abdi: Just Wanted To Bring The Reality Out

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It's been two years since Somali-born Barkhad Abdi heard of an open casting call in Minneapolis for the ripped-from-the-headlines drama "Captain Phillips."

The star of the movie was going to be two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks as the title character, container-ship captain Richard Phillips, who in 2009 was kidnapped by Somali pirates, triggering a well-publicized rescue effort by U.S. Navy SEALs. As it would turn out, the production needed actors to play the film's pirates. They wouldn't be mere extras, either. These were speaking roles -- co-starring roles, alongside Hanks -- as the men who kidnapped Phillips, driving the story forward.

Abdi had toyed around with video cameras in an elective video-production class in high school, but he had never acted before, or even thought much about it.   Still, as a fan of Hanks in general -- and "Forrest Gump" in particular -- he decided to give it a whirl.

"I'm just hanging by my friend's house, and it came on the TV: 'Casting call, Tom Hanks, need Somali actors.' So I went there," Abdi told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "There's a lot of rumors going around: 'They're embarrassing Somali people.' (But), you know, it's Tom Hanks! It's just, 'You going to embarrass Somali people? Let that be me!' "

Barkhad Abdi joins Steve Edwards and Lisa Breckenridge on Good Day L.A.

Fun Facts About "Captain Phillips" (Source: Wikipedia)

1) Is a 2013 American action thriller directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks. The film is a biopic of merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips, who was taken hostage by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean during the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009.

2) The screenplay by Billy Ray is based upon the book, A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea (2010), by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and Michael De Luca. It was released on October 11, 2013 and had its premiere showing at the 2013 New York Film Festival.

3) Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is the captain of the American container ship MV Maersk Alabama, when in April 2009, it is hijacked off the coast of Somalia by a crew of Somali pirates led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Phillips endures a grueling ordeal, first on the ship, working to protect his crew, and then having been taken hostage, on a lifeboat.

Twitter: @RealBarkhad

Facebook: barkhad

Website: captainphillipsmovie.com

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