Barkhad Abdi in "Captain Phillips" (Sony Pictures photo)
The Screen Actors Guild has honored Somali-born Minneapolis resident Barkhad Abdi, 28, with a nomination as best supporting actor for his work in the reality-based piracy drama “Captain Phillips.”
The first-time actor’s costar, Tom Hanks, was also nominated in the lead actor category for his work in the film.
Director Paul Greengrass picked Abdi from an open casting call in a Cedar Riverside community center, praising his ability to seem “menacing and [to] have a humanity too.”
As a raider forced into piracy by desperate poverty, Abdi was alternately fierce and gentle, improvised the film’s unnerving key lines: “Look at me. Look at me. I’m the captain now.”
Abdi's rivals for the SAG award are Daniel Brühl, for "Rush;" Michael Fassbender, for "12 Years a Slave;" the late James Gandolfini, for "Enough Said" and Jared Leto, for "Dallas Buyers Club." The awards ceremony takes place Jan. 18.
Hollywood oddsmakers consider Abdi a likely best supporting actor competitor when the Oscar nominations are announced. Jan. 16.