A recent report in The New Yorker says that Abdi, who was up for Best Supporting Actor at Sunday's Academy Awards, is all but broke, and had most recently been living off per diem vouchers from "Captain Phillips" studio Sony. The per diem was good only at the Beverly Hilton, where Sony was paying for Abdi's accommodations.
Abdi earned just $65,000 for "Captain Phillips," his first acting role, which was filmed over two years ago. At the time, he was famously driving a limousine in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a company run by his brother; after he shot the movie, he again went to work for his brother, selling mobile phones, but quit that job the day "Captain Phillips" premiered.
"How I thought about it was like, 'When the movie came out reviews either gonna be good or bad. Either way, I cannot be working here,'" Abdi told The New Yorker.
While in Los Angeles for "Captain Phillips" promotional events leading up to the Oscars, Abdi rented many of the clothes he wore. The actor had use of a town car provided by Sony for promotional appearances only; for personal travel, a friend and fellow Somali offered Abdi free rides in his cab.
The Hollywood Reporter states that Abdi had previously indicated that he wanted to move to Los Angeles permanently, and the actor is currently up for the lead role in "The Place That Hits The Sun," a biopic of South African marathoner Willie Mtolo. Here's hoping Abdi can land that part and land on his feet; his inspiring personal story deserves a happy ending.