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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.
It's time again for a commercial interruption. Walker Art center's annual presentation of the cream of Britain's TV advertising opens Friday and runs through Jan. 6. As always, the spots in the 75-minute showcase display extraordinary creativity, whether they're clipped, clever info-blips or ambitious entries dripping with cinematic production values.
A few even boast movie stars, peppering the spots with the kind of smartly targeted celebrity appeal not often seen in U.S. advertising. There's Hugh Jackman getting slapped silly for Lipton Tea, Kiefer Sutherland longing for a high school crush for Axe Body Wash, and Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender, Godzilla and He-Man making cameo appearances.
Some of the commercials are riotous (a small girl's fantasy of playing house with imaginary friends on Ikea furniture), some shocking (the ambulance service advert comparing cancer and accident fatalities) and some solemnly breathtaking. The Commercial of the Year winner, "Meet the Superhumans," a tribute to the extraordinary commitment of athletes in the Channel 4 Paralympics, will make any viewer reconsider his definitions of "handicapped" and "disabled." Tickets ($12 for the public, $10 for Walker members) sell out fast. Call (612) 375-7569.
If you had hoped to see director Steve McQueen at his sold-out Walker Art Center filmmaker's interview Saturday evening, you have another chance.
In fact, you can meet with him even before the Walker crowd.
McQueen will appear Saturday afternoon at the Regal Brooklyn Center Stadium 20. He'll answer questions from the audience following 12:30 p.m. showing of "12 Years a Slave."
Local bloggers recently expressed concern that people of African descent would be underrepresented at the Walker event and said they hoped the museum would ask McQueen to schedule a second session in a "community space."
The theater is located at 6420 Camden Av. N., Minneapolis. Tickets, available online here, are the standard $8 for adults, $7.50 for senior and child admission.
Make that eight shows, so far.
Funnyman Dave Chappelle, who famously quit his Comedy Central show in 2005 and has been doing stand-up gigs ever since, will do at least eight performances next week at First Avenue in Minneapolis
Chappelle, who remains hugely popular, has been doing these "pop up" concerts across the country. He last performed in the Twin Cities in Aug. 2012, a show at the State Theatre that was similarly announced at the last minute and that quickly sold out. Capacity for the First Ave shows will be capped at around 500.
The "Chappelle's Show" star was heckled recently in Hartford, Conn., which inspired a colorful reaction from the 40-year-old comic.
At First Avenue, he plans to do shows at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday -- the latter ones were announced after the first few sold out right away. Tickets for those, $55, are currently on sale.
Casting is crucial to any feature film’s success. When you’re seeking newcomers to hold their own against a two-time Oscar-winner the stakes are higher still. So it was a coup when four novice actors from Minneapolis’s Somali community were cast to play the pirates holding Tom Hanks captive in “Captain Phillips.”
Three Hanks’ costars and the casting agents who discovered them will tell the unlikely story at a red carpet screening and panel discussion of “Captain Phillips” Tuesday.
Faysal Ahmed, who plays the gun-waving loose cannon Najee, Barkhad Abdiriham, the baby-faced reluctant kidnapper Bilal, and Mahmet M. Ali, the tense navigator Elmi, will join the film’s Search Casting Director Debbi DeLisi and her associates Lynn Younglove and Kati Batchelder. The event is hosted by Minnesota Women in Film & Television.
WHAT: “Captain Phillips” screening and panel discussion
WHERE: Grandview Theatre, 1830 Grand Av., St. Paul, (651) 698-3344
WHEN: 6:30 (arrivals and seating), 7:30 screening Tuesday
TICKETS: $20.00 advance; $25.00 at the door. Order at http://mnwift.org/?p=1159 or https://mnwiftcaptainphillips.eventbrite.com/
For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.