Barkhad Andi (born April 10, 1985) is an American-Somali actor best known for his role as Somali pirate Abduwali Muse in the Academy Award-winning film ‘Captain Phillips.’
The role garnered Andi widespread critical acclaim and recognition, and he has since become a leading advocate for social justice and equality, using his platform to speak out against racism and discrimination. His dedication to his career and commitment to social justice have made him an inspiration to many.
Abdi was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, into a family lineage steeped in the noble pursuit of education. When the Somali Civil War broke out, The explosive outbreak of violence prompted Abdi’s family to embark on a perilous journey, seeking refuge and safety across the borders of Yemen. They later immigrated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they found a thriving Somali community.
The early years of Abdi’s existence were etched with the indelible marks of displacement and adversity, a testament to the resiliency inherent in the human spirit. Yet, within the crucible of these challenges, Abdi’s potential began to bloom, ultimately leading him toward triumph on the shores of his adopted homeland.
Following his high school graduation in 2003, Abdi enrolled at Minnesota State University Moorhead, pursuing a social work degree. His decision to study social work reflected his passion for helping others and making a difference in his community.
During his MSUM tenure, Abdi emerged as a paragon of dedication and diligence. His pursuit of knowledge was paralleled only by his tenacity, endearing him to his professors and peers who looked up to him. His presence radiated a quiet yet formidable aura of respect earned through hard work and an unyielding commitment to his studies.
Before entering the realm of cinema, Barkhad’s professional journey commenced. He ventured into the world of entrepreneurship, generating income through the retail of mobile phones at his sibling’s establishment nestled within a mini-mall in Minneapolis. Additionally, he took on the role of a chauffeur, steering limousines for a family-owned chauffeur company.
In the transformative year of 2013, Abdi was poised to make his inaugural mark as he embarked on the cinematic path, embodying the character Abduwali Muse in the acclaimed film “Captain Phillips.” An exhaustive search marked the inception of his cinematic expedition for lead actors. Abdi stood out among over 700 aspirants during a rigorous casting call in 2011 held in Minneapolis.
As his on-screen journey unfolded, he secured a compensation of $65,000 for his role in “Captain Phillips.” Yet, true to his roots, he resumed his role in his brother’s enterprise even as accolades and nominations began streaming in, commemorating his exceptional performance in his cinematic debut.
A handful of years later, precisely in 2015, Abdi’s presence graced several episodes and thrill-inducing films, notably “Trainwreck,” “Eye in the Sky,” and “The Brothers Grimsby.” His cinematic trajectory reached a crescendo with his appearance in the 2017 release “The Pirates of Somalia,” wherein he depicted a local agent.
The following years bore witness to his involvement in cinematic ventures of grandeur, including Dennis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” and “Agent’s Game” in 2022.
Currently, at the age of 38, Barkhad Abdi’s personal status reveals that he is presently unattached romantically, not involved in any romantic relationships, and remains unmarried, without the responsibility of parenthood. This insight is garnered from our research into his current circumstances.
In 2013, Abdi embarked on a new chapter of his life’s journey by assuming the role of an ambassador at the non-governmental organization “Adeso.” This organization, a creation of the visionary Somalia Environmentalist Fatima Jibrell, is a testament to the power of human dedication to environmental and social causes. Abdi’s involvement with Adeso reflects his commitment to making a meaningful impact on the world around him, aligning with the organization’s mission.
Presently, Abdi finds himself splitting his residence between the dynamic locales of Los Angeles and the culturally rich enclave of Cedar Riverside in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This dual residence underscores his connection to diverse communities, spanning the glitz and glamour of the West Coast to the tight-knit, culturally diverse neighborhood in the heart of Minneapolis.
It’s worth noting that Abdi’s journey hasn’t been without its share of challenges. While auditioning for a role in the movie “Captain Phillips,” fate took an unexpected turn. A car accident became an unforeseen obstacle, leaving a bump on his forehead. This incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of life’s twists and turns, even in pursuing one’s aspirations.
- Captain Philips
- Eye in the Sky
- Good time
- Blade Runner 2049
- The Pirates of Somalia
- The Extraordinary Journey of Fakir
- A Girl From Mogadishu
- Beneath the Sea of Lights
- Tyson’s Son
- Agent’s game
- Huwaeii 5-0 (2015)
- Family Guy (2016)
- Castle Rock (2019)
- Blade Runner Black Lotus (2021-2022)
- The Curse
Awards & Nomination
- British Academy Film Awards
- Golden Globe Awards
- Academy Awards
- Screen Actors Guild Awards
- Instagram: @barkhadabdi
- Twitter: @Realbarkhad
Barkhad Abdi is recognized as a professional director and has earned an estimated US$100,000 – US$1 million.