Barkhad Abdi was born in Somalia and spent his early years there. When he was seven his family moved to Yemen where he lived until he was fourteen.

His mother then applied and got a green card for her and her family to move to the United States which is when he landed in Minneapolis and has called that home ever since.
When Captain Phillips was casting the roles of the Somali pirates they had an open casting in his adoptive hometown. Barkhad was one of 700 young men who appeared for the audition and after a long process won the role of “Muse”.

For his performance in the film he was nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award and won the BAFTA and London Critics’ awards.

He has been working steadily ever since . He was seen in Eye in the Sky starring Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman and Aaron Paul directed by Oscar winner Gavin Hood, The Brothers Grimsby starring Sacha Baron Cohen directed by Louis Leterrier and Extortion starring Danny Glover and Eion Bailey, directed by Paul Volken premiering this May.

In addition to Dabka he recently completed Good Time with Robert Pattinson and Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve opposite Ryan Gosling. He is about to start filming The Girl From Mogadishu with Aja Naomi King, directed by Mary McGuckian and will follow that with The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir directed by Ken Scott.

The tough, older brother of Nadia, Abdi leads the charge to build a Somali community center that will deepen the roots of his people in Maine.

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