Barkhad Abdi Net Worth: A Journey of Resilience and Success

Barkhad Abdi is a Somali-American actor who rose to fame for his debut role as a pirate leader in the 2013 film Captain Phillips. His performance earned him critical acclaim and several awards and nominations, including an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor. But who is Barkhad Abdi, and what is his story? In this article, we will explore his net worth, lifestyle, background, education, achievements, challenges, and conclusion.

Net Worth

According to various sources, Barkhad Abdi has a net worth of around $100,000 as of 2024. This may seem low for an actor who has starred in several Hollywood films, but Abdi’s journey to stardom was not easy.

He was paid only $65,000 for his role in Captain Phillips, and he had to work as a limo driver, a DJ, and a cell phone salesman before and after the film. He also faced difficulties in finding more acting opportunities due to his lack of experience and training. However, Abdi has not given up on his passion and has continued to pursue his career in the film industry.


Barkhad Abdi lives a modest and humble lifestyle, despite his fame and recognition. He does not own a car or a house, and he prefers to stay with his friends or relatives when he travels. He also does not spend much on luxury items or entertainment, and he tries to save as much as he can. He says that he is grateful for what he has and does not take anything for granted. He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and he likes to watch movies and play video games.


Barkhad Abdi was born on April 10, 1985, in Mogadishu, Somalia, to a teacher father and a mother who stayed at home. He grew up in a middle-class family with four siblings. He had a happy childhood until the Somali Civil War broke out in 1991, when he was six years old. He witnessed violence and chaos, and he had to flee with his family to Yemen, where they lived in a refugee camp for seven years.

In 1999, when he was 14, he and his family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they joined a large Somali community. He faced culture shock and language barrier, and he had to adapt to a new environment and lifestyle.


Barkhad Abdi attended Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, where he graduated in 2003. He then enrolled in Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he studied criminal justice. However, he dropped out after two years, as he was not interested in the subject and he wanted to pursue other opportunities.

He did not have any formal education or training in acting, and he learned everything on the job. He says that he was inspired by actors like Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, and Will Smith, and he watched their movies to learn from them.


Barkhad Abdi’s biggest achievement is his role as Abduwali Muse, the leader of a group of Somali pirates who hijacked an American cargo ship and took its captain, played by Tom Hanks, hostage in Captain Phillips. He was cast for the role after auditioning with more than 700 other actors in Minneapolis, and he impressed the director Paul Greengrass with his natural talent and charisma.

He spent two months in Malta to shoot the film, and he had to lose weight, learn how to swim, and handle weapons. He also had to improvise some of his lines and actions, as the script was not fully written. He says that he tried to portray his character as a human being, not a villain, and he wanted to show the complexity and desperation of his situation.

Abdi’s performance in Captain Phillips was widely praised by critics and audiences, and he received many accolades for his work. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, the London Film Critics’ Circle Award for Supporting Actor of the Year, and the Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He was also nominated for the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor. He became the first Somali actor and the second non-professional actor to be nominated for an Oscar, after Harold Russell in 1946. He also received a standing ovation at the Oscars ceremony, where he met some of his idols, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie.

After Captain Phillips, Abdi appeared in several other films, such as Eye in the Sky, Good Time, The Pirates of Somalia, and Blade Runner 2049. He also had roles in TV shows, such as Hawaii Five-0, Castle Rock, and The Curse. He also made his directorial debut with a short film called Ciyaalka Xaafada, which means “The Kids of the Neighbourhood”, in 2019. The film is about the lives of Somali-American youth in Minneapolis, and it reflects Abdi’s own experiences and observations.


Barkhad Abdi faced many challenges in his life and career, both personal and professional. He had to overcome the trauma of war, the hardship of migration, the difficulty of integration, and the prejudice of racism. He also had to deal with the lack of opportunities, the low pay, the high expectations, and the pressure of fame.

He says that he struggled with depression and anxiety, and he had to cope with the loss of his father, who died in 2018. He also had to deal with the criticism and backlash from some members of the Somali community, who accused him of portraying a negative image of their country and culture. He says that he respects their opinions, but he does not regret his choices, and he hopes that his work can inspire and empower other Somalis and Africans.


Barkhad Abdi is a remarkable actor and a remarkable person, who has overcome many obstacles and achieved many successes. He is a role model and a trailblazer, who has opened doors and broken barriers for other actors of color and non-professional actors. He is also a humble and generous person, who has not let fame and fortune change him.

He is proud of his roots and his identity, and he is passionate about his craft and his vision. He says that he wants to continue to grow and learn as an actor and a filmmaker, and he wants to tell stories that matter and make a difference. He says that he is grateful for his journey and his opportunities, and he is optimistic about his future and his potential. He says that he believes in himself and his dreams, and he says that he hopes that others can do the same. He says that his motto is: “Anything is possible.”

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