Barkhad Abdi is a Somali American actor. He made his debut in the 2013 film “Captain Phillips”, for which he received various film award nominations, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), the latter of which he went on to win. Abdi was born in 1985 in Mogadishu, situated in the southern Banaadir region of Somalia. Around the age of six or seven, when the civil war broke out, he and his family moved to Yemen to join his father who had taken up the profession of being a teacher. In 1999, Abdi and his family relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where there is a large Somali community. He subsequently attended Minnesota State University Moorhead. Abdi was working as a limo driver and DJ when he landed his first acting job ever. While watching a local television station, he learned about a casting call for a new film by Paul Greengrass about the hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates. Roughly 700 men turned out for the auditions of which he was selected to play the antagonist Somali pirate leader.