Who is Barkhad Abdi?

Barkhad Abdi is a Somali-American Academy Award-nominated actor, best known to the world as Muse in the film “Captain Phillips” (2013), and as Doc Badger in the film “Blade Runner 2049” (2017), in addition to several other popular roles that he has had so far in his career.

Barkhad Abdi Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

Barkhad Abdi was born on 10 April 1985 under the Aries zodiac sign, in Mogadishu, Somalia. The son of Majerteen parents, he left his country at seven years old as the Somali Civil War broke out. He joined his father in Yemen where he was working as a teacher in this Western Asia country. Barkhad has three siblings, and is the second oldest in the family.

From Yemen, the family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, settling in a large Somali community in the city. He went to Roosevelt High School, and after matriculation, Barkhad enrolled at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Before he became an actor, Abdi was a limousine driver in a relative’s chauffeur company, selling mobile ‘phones at his brother’s shop in a Minneapolis mall, and was also a DJ.

Career Beginnings and Immediate Success

Abdi auditioned for the role of Abduwali Muse in the film “Captain Phillips”. Casting directors did a worldwide search for the actor to portray the particular role, and more than 700 actors from around the world auditioned at a 2011 casting call in Minneapolis.

Barkhad was chosen as well as four other actors for different roles, and received $65,000 for his work on the film, and won high praise for his work, taking home the BAFTA Film Award in the category for Best Supporting Actor, and also earned an Academy Award nomination in the category for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. However, he then returned to his daily job of selling mobile ‘phones.

Two years later, Barkhad continued his acting career with a guest role in the TV series “Hawai Five-0”, and the same year featured in the award-winning action thriller-drama film “Eye in the Sky”, starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul and Alan Rickman.

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He had a rather successful 2017, first with the role of Abdi in the biopic about rookie journalist Jay Bahadur entitled “The Pirates of Somalia”, starring Al Pacino, Evan Peters and Melanie Griffith, and then as Miguel Kaba the cold-blooded fisherman, in the action-adventure film “Extortion”,  co-starring Eion Bailey, Bethany Joy Lenz and Mauricio Alemany.

Moreover, Abdi had a minor role of scientist Doc Badger in the Academy Award-winning Denis Villeneuve’s action mystery drama film “Blade Runner 2049”, with Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas, a role he reprised in the TV series “Blade Runner: Black Lotus” (2021-2022).

Continued Success

He continued in a stunning fashion after such an eponymous year, and in 2018 he was Wiraj in the awarded comedy-drama film “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir”, which starred Dhanush, Berenice Bejo and Erin Moriarty.

The following year, he starred in the drama film “A Girl from Mogadishu”, with Aja Naomi King and Martha Canga Antonio, while he also joined the main cast of the fantasy horror-drama series “Castle Rock”, and starred in 10 episodes as Abdi Howlwadaag, sharing the screen with Annie Wilkes, Paul Sparks and other stars.

In 2020, Barkhad starred in the crime drama film “Beneath a Sea of Lights”, alongside Jim Sarbh and Jameel Khan.

Most recently, he worked on the drama film “Tyson’s Run”, with Major Dodson and Amy Smart, and the action thriller film “Agent Game”, which starred Mel Gibson, Adan Canto and Jason Isaacs. Both films are completed, but still without a scheduled premiere dates.

Director

Additional to his prominent work as an actor, Abdi is an accomplished director; his directorial debut was the Somali film “Ciyaalka Xaafada” (2020), and since then has directed several music videos.

Net Worth

As of early 2022, Barkhad Abdi’s net worth has been estimated to be around $500,000, earned largely through his successful career as an actor, during which he’s featured in more than 15 film and TV titles.

Personal Life, Dating, Wife, Children?

When it comes to his personal life, Abdi tends to keep things private, and far away from media scrutiny. According to reports, Barkhad is currently single, and solely focused on his rising career. However, some sources stated that he’s married and that he attended the BAFTA Awards ceremony with his wife, though nothing has been confirmed, and Abdi is yet to make any comment on his love life.

Appearance and Vital Statistics

This Somali-American actor is known to the world for his pronounced front teeth. However, he doesn’t seem to mind this dental formation, and smiles freely both in real life, and in films and TV series.

He has black hair and dark brown eyes. He stands at a height of 5ft 11ins (1.77m), while he weighs approximately 120lbs (55kgs). His vital statistics are currently unknown, but he has a slim figure.

Hobbies, Interests, and Trivia

Barkhad hasn’t been affected by world fame, and has remained as humble as before he made his big break. His hobbies include photography and making short videos.

He is known for his philanthropic work, having joined Adeso, a non-governmental organization founded by the Somali environmentalist Fatima Jibrell.

One of his main interests outside of the film industry is soccer, which while in Yemen he played daily with his friends, and once in the USA, he found an interest in basketball, as in the US he couldn’t find anyone who liked soccer as much as he did.

According to reports Abdi spent 90 days in prison after giving a police officer a false name of someone else, and purchasing alcohol when under 21 years old.

Moreover, he was sentenced to 200 days of imprisonment and two years of probation, for financial transaction card fraud in 2005.

He faced the authorities once again in 2012, this time for drug possession alongside his friends. Since then, he has bettered his ways, and is focused on hard work as an actor.

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