Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Up Next For Barkhad Abdi: Starring In Project Based On Life Of South African Marathon Legend Willie Mtolo

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 3, 2014 at 10:50AM

Up Next For Barkhad Abdi: Starring In Project Based On Life Of South African Marathon Legend Willie Mtolo
8
Barkhad Abdi

Fresh off his Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in a film that was his feature acting debut, Barkhad Abdi has booked what will be his follow-up role in a historical drama centered on famous South African marathon runner, Willie Mtolo.

Titled The Place That Hits The Sun, the project hails from producer Noel Pearson (My Left Foot), with Jim O'Hanlon attached to direct.

Abdi will play Mtolo, the South African running legend who was born in 1964, and has participated in more than 23 marathons in South Africa and around the world. He has won 9 marathons, including the J.S.E. Marathon (1985), S.A. Marathon (1988), Ford Marathon (1988), Two Oceans Marathon (1990), Peninsula Marathon (1990), Rotterdam Marathon (1993), Kosice Marathon (1998), Macau Marathon (2000) and Hong Kong Marathon (2001). 

Mtolo currently organizes charity runs for peace in the townships and has opened his own athletic academy called Willie Athletic Club.

Abdi will play Mtolo, in a project that will center on the unlikely friendship that "transcended apartheid" between Mtolo and a white bar owner named Ray de Vries. Of course - we certainly can't have a film about Mtolo without the rote inclusion of his relation to some specific white man - not-so unlike several past films on the lives of public figures of African descent (see the many films about Nelson Mandela, for example).

I did wonder what Abdi's future as an actor held, expecting that his opportunities would be limited. But, I suppose, despite my reservations about this particular project, a starring role, playing a famous personality is a promising step.

This article is related to: Barkhad Abdi


Shadow & ActNewsletter