Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Barkhad Abdi And The Financial Reality Of Hollywood

News
by Sergio
March 2, 2014 10:38 AM
198 Comments
  • |

Something that always irks me is when I hear black people talking about how some black actor or actress in some movie, is supposedly making “big money”. The reality is that, most times, unless they are a bona fide "A"-lister, or a steadily working character actor, they’re not.

In fact, in a lot of cases, they’re just barely getting by. And add to that, other financial obligations that drain their earnings, such as agent’s or manager’s percentage fees, PR, wardrobe and makeup people, the costs of continually maintaining an image etc. A lot of actors are lucky to have anything left, after all is said and done.

Which is why I wasn’t surprised when I came across a New Yorker article revealing that Oscar nominated and BAFTA award winner for Best Supporting Actor, Barkhad Abdi, who shot to fame after his first film role in Captain Phillips, is dead broke.

I'm sure some of you are saying: How can that be? That was a major, expensive, studio production that was a worldwide box office smash. Well, the reality is that, despite the film’s $55 million budget (which is actually lower than expected, because the film was seen as something of a commercial risk), Abdi was paid only $65,000, which is about average for what a first time actor is paid for a major role in a film.

Of course, Tom Hanks and director Paul Greengrass got paid a lot more, but even they took pay cuts to get the film made.

Also, keep in mind that the film was made almost a year and half ago, and Abdi has yet to get another role film since then. Of course Tambay did report a few days ago that Abdi is currently in talks to play the lead role in another film in development (HERE). But production hasn’t started yet, and things could fall apart, as is the case with most film projects; And admittedly, it’s going to be hard for him to find roles.

After filming the movie, Abdi went back home to Minneapolis to work in his brother’s mobile phone store, but when the film came out, he decided to take a chance, quit his job and move to L.A. to pursue a career as an actor.

But it hasn’t been easy so far. According to the New Yorker:

“When Abdi is in Los Angeles to promote the film, he subsists on a per diem, good at the Beverly Hilton, where the studio likes to put him up. The town car is available only for official publicity events. His clothes are loaners. Recently Abdi requested that he be allowed to stay at a commuter hotel near LAX to be closer to his friend, a Somali cabdriver from Minneapolis, who shuttles him around for free.”

In the past, sometimes, when a studio is embarrassed by negative PR like this, especially when it comes to money, it tries to correct things. So it’s very possible that Sony Pictures will give Abdi a huge financial bonus in reaction to the New Yorker article, which would be fair and very well deserved.

But the reality is, as I have said often on this site, the entertainment industry is a cutthroat business that takes no prisoners. Abdi’s story is, sadly, just one of many similar stories.  

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

198 Comments

  • Glogluxx | June 16, 2014 4:09 AMReply

    Cant believe he has only been paid $65K,.... Sony pi
    Hope this guys gets a lots of gigs. I'm looking forward to see him in future roles!

  • rick | June 15, 2014 10:24 PMReply

    very sad.

  • Shiela | May 20, 2014 11:36 AMReply

    Everybody robbed African-American people where ever they are from. I think AA people should tell racist Hollywood to kiss their a.. Move to Atlanta and began making "our" own movies, like Tyler Perry. Hollywood has changed much since "birth of a nation". The same type people making the decisions.

  • rick | July 8, 2014 2:35 PM

    BS!

  • rick | July 8, 2014 2:34 PM

    BS!

  • Kristina | March 18, 2014 12:28 AMReply

    At 65K. He'll qualify for SAG Health Insurance. Certainly he can take some of that money and reinvest it in himself...a web series, a short, stand-up comedy, etc. He's certainly made some contacts and this is a relationship business...OH! and some residuals are coming his way too. No one gets one job and never has to worry in our business. I don't feel bad for him one bit.

  • Jeremy | June 22, 2014 10:28 AM

    Of course you don't. You're just assuming all of these things. You're a jealous moron.

  • kkk | March 14, 2014 3:15 PMReply

    the demand for crooks and drugdealers in movies is definitly there but there is a vast amount of such people to choose from. next story you leftist scumbag

  • AO4YAYO | March 7, 2014 4:46 AMReply

    I think we can all agree that the real tragedy here remains the moment when he had to accept that all the money in the world will not change the fact that he is likely to be the ugliest mofo most people have ever laid eyes on.

  • Zak | March 9, 2014 7:32 PM

    Hahah!! Is that what you wanted? A laugh from someone you little s***! Have some respect for people I know that you aren't better looking then him. The real tragedy is that you f***ing parents didn't teach you respect.

  • BDevine | March 6, 2014 2:21 PMReply

    Sorry but there are a lot of actors who get peanuts, not just "African American" actors. And why does somebody have to say they're "African American" anyway. People with a Scottish heritage don't go around saying their "Scottish American" or people from France don't say their "French American", just my two cents worth..

  • Jay | March 19, 2014 3:38 PM

    Many blacks are the decedents of relocated Africans from the slave trade or Africans in America that's why the term African American is used to describe us all the time and honestly it's important to us to never forget that we may be in America but we are still an african at heart.

  • voiceofreason | March 5, 2014 11:16 PMReply

    Haben, you are missing the point. Black is not a term reserved for Americans of African descent--it is a term used to classify people of African heritage throughout the world. This encompasses countless cultures of Black people. Of course our experiences are unique(I dismissed nothing), but we are different branches on the same tree for goodness sake! I do not know how to be any clearer. To say you are not Black because you are Somalian, Kenyan, Nigerian, etc. would be like an Irish, Welsh, or English person saying he or she is not White! You mentioned Latinos. Well, you certainly wouldn't want to confuse a Dominican with a Puerto Rican for example, but they don't become "irked"if they are called Latinos. It is ridiculous to be "irked" because this gentleman was called Black actor. That is what I meant about your superiority. Please don't mistake you for Black because you ain't one of us! And to Grace, plenty of Africans reject Black Americans and hold on to a host of negative stereotypes. It works both ways and is truly a shame that we find ways to separate ourselves.

  • boomslang | March 9, 2014 9:36 AM

    Both of you are half wrong . The term black is not a US property even though in your context it (sic) is . Black Britons call themselves black and black French people DO call themselves "NOIR" which is a translation of black. However when it comes to Somalians and the rich variety of Habesha . They are routinely identified by their nationality which is also their ethnicity.

    A number of africans do not see themselves as black , and the reasoning behind it is that some are first generation immigrants. This is not out of spite.

    The term black is negative and it depends of who you talk to and which group of people of african descent you are referring to. If the word black is used to "erase" the culture you grew up in , you'll be resentful too. I am willing to bet many domicanos and Puertoriquennos feel that way .

    what is associated with culture is the ethnic background .I could never understand why African americans have trouble understanding that other people's interpretation of ethnicity might actually be the right one . After all we existed long before you did .

    When asked where I am from in generally use my nationality , after all everyone can tell where my ancestors came from by just looking at my skin tone. I would like to think that I am not insulting my ancestors by claiming my nation of birth as a part of me ; because after all I speak and write 5 languages in total ( perfectly ) ,it is now "crowded" up there , it is a lifetime manipulation of feelings , sentiments , situations etc..

  • Haben | March 6, 2014 9:29 AM

    I don't have the faintest idea where the idea of superiority or latent racism comes from. It is a lazy assessment to be honest. It honestly boils down to a difference of opinion. I think the term Black is for someone whose family has lived in the United States for centuries. The term Black isn't negative. It just means their culture, their sense of being, and identity comes from the States. When a group of people have occupied an area for so long they create their own world. It's natural. I think the term African is associated for someone whose family has lived in Africa. The term African to me means their sense of culture, their sense of being, and that comes from being from an African family. I think of these terms as being associated with culture; you think these terms are associated through genealogy and skin color. It is a matter of opinion. You can say that you're trying to make things clearer when really we have different ideas. I think of it in terms of culture because I come from a really diverse area, where I come across different types of people, and different types of Africans. I just feel that it is culturally associated. You can have your opinions, I can have mine, but don't accuse me of thinking I am better than you. I don't know you. I dislike it when people dismiss others as being racist or have a superiority complex. It's just gross. People have a difference of opinion. It happens. It's what makes everything interesting.

  • Haben | March 6, 2014 8:35 AM

    won not one*

  • Haben | March 6, 2014 8:34 AM

    I used irked as a play on what was said in the article. I have known South Africans, who have white skin, who are dismissed as simply white, by the black community. A lot of South Africans are proud of their roots and hate that dismissive notion of being called white, when they identify themselves as African. I personally feel that calling Blacks African-American is just some form of White Guilt. They were robbed of their ancestry so to make amends they gave Blacks this label. A lot of Black people are proud of being Black and do not identify as African. I am proud of being called African. When I was younger, when I put down my heritage as African-American, Black people would ask why, you're not African-American this is reserved for us. It was strange because to me if you get down to it I identify myself as a first generation. First generations have similar stories, we are struggling to find the balance between being born in the States and having family who are African. My siblings and me were raised to be culturally aware to never abandon our culture or our language. When I said Dominicans I meant they preferred being called Latino over being called Black or African. When my Brazilian friend came to the states, he was confused because in Brazil he is regarded as a Brazilian, but here he is Black. It isn't superiority. It is the fact that we do not want to be seen as Black, because culturally we are different and we do not want to lose sight of our culture. It is sad what happened to the Black community. It is terrible to lose your culture and in such a horrific way, but they have created new roots new history. This is why it is called Black History Month so they never forget how they came to be. So they never forget all the incredible pioneers who paved way so they can create a more livable atmosphere in the states, and so that they never forget what came before. This isn't my history. This isn't an African story. It isn't the idea of us vs. them. I don't see Black Americans as negative. People who think that way are lazy to think that the few should dictate the way we view the many. I just feel that there is a difference. I don't know why everyone sees this as a negative. I like that there so many different people in the states, who come from so many different backgrounds, and hold different histories. Maybe what I have written has given the false impression. I don't think it's negative to be called Black I just don't identify that way. Just like whites who are from South African don't identify as being from Holland, but as being African.
    I remember being happy that Charlize Theron won the Oscar. I had was like yay an African one, but a lot of people from the Black community were like no she isn't African. Why? She speaks Afrikaans, she grew up in Africa, and has that culture. She is proud to be African. The term African is so much deeper than skin color.

  • John H. | March 6, 2014 7:54 AM

    It's not just Africans. Some (notice I said some, not all) Caribbeans feel this way as well and are angered if they are said to be Black. (I know not all Caribbeans are Black. I am speaking about the ones who ARE.) I don't understand this behavior in our people, especially since other races don't respond the same way. There is nothing wrong with being Black! Asians don't seem to mind being called Asian, even though they could be from vastly different cultures (Korean vs.Vietnamese, etc). Latino/Latinas don't mind either and seem to embrace those terms despite their different countries of origin. I have encountered Africans in my life from different countries who were standoffish, unwelcoming, and who distance themselves from Blacks. Not all of them, of course, but enough to notice. Maybe they arrived with pre-conceived notions about Black Americans. Although Africans have strong cultural identities that I as a Black person do not (slavery has made it virtually impossible for many of us to trace our roots), we should still have some unity as BLACK folks. Maybe one day...

  • moto-mama | March 5, 2014 4:02 PMReply

    Yes, this is NOT good; BUT............give me $65,000 and see if I could't make it last at least 2 years! Often, when we come into "big" money (when accustomed to not having much), it is easy to go out and just blow it. OR, help out family (in which case, this is NOT a lot of money).

  • Lionel Mandrake | July 18, 2014 8:38 PM

    Abdi did not have an agent or a 'manager' until after the film. And everyone pays taxes. The idea that $65,000 for a few months of 'work' is some kind of travesty is completely absurd.

  • cordi | March 6, 2014 6:43 AM

    You are forgetting he loses 30-35 percent on taxes, 10-20 percent on a manager and another 10-20 percent to his agent. (depending on their cuts) That alone cuts his pay in half at minimum.

  • Tammy | March 5, 2014 2:48 PMReply

    Only 65,000! Wow that's more then some people make in 2 years!

  • Haben | March 5, 2014 9:24 AMReply

    What irks me is that he is being identified as Black. I am African but I do not identify myself as Black. Culturally we are different; it does not make one better than the other but there is a difference.

  • Tiffany | March 6, 2014 4:51 PM

    Because he is a black man. It doesn't matter where you're from or what cultural differences you have....if you're black then that's just what it is. You're probably irked by the fact the he's called black but he's probably fine with it. I don't see why that should irk you anyway.

  • Grace | March 5, 2014 6:34 PM

    To be perfectly most Africans do not see themselves as Black. Culturally they are different and if you speak to most Africans, when they come to the United States, the first group of people to be unwelcoming is from the Black community. This doesn't happen all the time, but you see this happen to most immigrants who come to the United States. There have been studies of this. Africans, at least with my family, come to the United States to escape corruption, civil wars, dictators, etc. When they come here they see it as a land of opportunity. While most Blacks still feel oppression from years of racism. The Africans have left voluntarily, while the Blacks were cruelly taken. So yes. There is a difference. It's both very sad on both ends, but to classify us as the same isn't correct. That's all I'm going to say about that.

  • Haben | March 5, 2014 6:27 PM

    "it does not make one better than the other but there is a difference."

    I think you failed to read that part Voiceofreason. In your rush for sarcasm you failed to read that part. Most Africans identify themselves as Africans, while most Blacks see themselves as Blacks. At least the area of the United States where I am from, they dislike the term African-American, because even though their ancestors are African, it is the fact that they have lived here for centuries, and do not identify themselves as African that they prefer to be called Black. Also, my friends who are Dominican see themselves as Latin, but do not see themselves as African, even though they are descendants of Africa. Culture plays a big part. Even though you are dismissive of that notion. Now, no one thinks it's strange when we call white Americans as simply American, but they are not seen as European-Americans. Why is that?

    Also, it has nothing to do with politically correct. I do not nor ever thought I was better than anyone. I don't understand the kneegrows comment. Is this a racist term or something? Also, "darkie." Isn't this 2014? Is everyone this ignorant or is it because we are on the internet.

  • VoiceOfReason | March 5, 2014 11:23 AM

    Why are you irked? It doesn't matter how you identify, Africans and Americans who have African ancestors are all Black. *News Flash* Anybody with African lineage is considered Black, no matter where in the world you live. It's not a matter of being politically correct, it is a matter of genealogy. Your culture might be different, but you are not superior. Sorry to disappoint you.

  • Hey Haben | March 5, 2014 10:48 AM

    NO1CURR. You still a darkie in the eyes of the world.

  • sergio | March 5, 2014 9:39 AM

    Yes because God forbid someone might confuse you for one of those backward, uneducated American kneegrows

  • A. Bass | March 5, 2014 8:39 AMReply

    ...I'm quite sure black people aren't the only ones misinformed about this subject. You sound like an asshole.

  • Mary Moore | March 5, 2014 7:49 AMReply

    I have said it before, and will continue to say... " The Slave Trade is Still alive and Thriving, it's called The Business of Show"...Primarily Music, but other genres as well. There is Nothing New under The Sun. We simple need to 'pay attention'.

  • Tahira | March 4, 2014 8:29 PMReply

    ...it has to be frustrating to a writer to put effort into a piece only to have many readers who lack comprehension...these days, with so many outlets its almost impossible to target a particular audience...and most certainly as you see and my have seen, one cannot address the masses as a whole...**sigh**

  • Hey Sergio | March 5, 2014 10:49 AM

    U NO SENSE. Your job is internet.

  • sergio | March 5, 2014 9:43 AM

    Life was so much easier before the internet and numbskulls started using it

  • DJL | March 4, 2014 7:16 PMReply

    Booh hoo, a nobody wines an Oscar in his first role ever and we're to feel bad because he isn't living in a mansion and driving a Ferrari? There's this little thing called paying your dues and he has already skipped about 100,000 steps past those who have actually paid them. His rewards are still to come. Winning an Oscar, you may have heard, will garner you many well-paying offers. This article is a short-sited mess.

  • Rebecca | March 5, 2014 2:01 AM

    Dear DHL. I urge you to read the article and go a little further to learn more about Mr. Abdi.
    I can't help but feel with a little more information, you might soften your gaze. All best.

  • CRM | March 4, 2014 10:50 PM

    Just to clarify, he didnt win an Oscar, he was nominated.

  • ken swaizak | March 4, 2014 6:18 PMReply

    the elitist hollywood jews and there cronies pocket the great majority of hollywood proceeds. It may seem like the actors, even the big draws, get paid a lot. It is really just a pittance compared to the what their masters reap.

  • Random Internet Person | March 4, 2014 8:11 PM

    It's funny, if you Google "Ken Swaizak" pretty much all you find is a list of antisemitic posts on different comment sections. When looking at his Facebook it seems as though you he has liked mostly gun clubs and similarly boring pages. Although I wish you the best and love you because I love all humans Ken, I must say that I find your racism trivial and yawn-worthy. Your comment holds no more meaning than mine, I know, as we will both die the same way, alone and silently as humans do. The only difference is: I won't be seen as a racist asshole or have to exercise my hatred through a medium like the internet, and in the moment in which I die, I will not have to second guess the reason of my being.

  • Orc | March 4, 2014 7:58 PM

    Hey, Ken. A big ol' f!ck you, buddy.

  • Joe | March 4, 2014 6:46 PM

    This is a disgusting, racist comment by a pitifully ignorant person. The fact that someone actually attached their name to this is horrifying.

  • Jamie | March 4, 2014 3:22 PMReply

    This reminds me of the article a few years ago about how the child actors in Slum Dog Millionaire were broke. Nobody makes big money in films unless they become a major star. And to the people that are making it about black vs. white: color doesn't matter. A no-name actor is paid union scale plus whatever his or her agent can negotiate. If Mr. Abdi books another major film and becomes "bankable" then his salary will increase accordingly.

  • Kristi Kaylor | March 4, 2014 2:49 PMReply

    Thanks for the thoroughly idiotic piece and total lack of insight? Why is this a black thing? It's an actor thing. Tom Hanks opens movies. He's a star. He gets lots of money. People starting out get bare minimums. These are the rules, not just in the film business, but everywhere. If he's lucky enough to kill it in the audition room and book more work, then he'll get more work. Actors, like all artists always have a cup in their hand. Gig to gig.

    He got some fame, he got more money than most actors ever make and he got the privilege of being there. If he's unhappy with this setup, he can go do something else, because there are have a million people in line who would love to take his place.

    It's like the old saying goes "How do you get an actor to complain"? "Give them a job".

  • sergio | March 4, 2014 4:01 PM

    "Why is this a black thing?"

    Gee ya think because this is a BLACK film and media website? It says it right there at the top of the page you bimbo

  • tristram | March 4, 2014 3:38 PM

    Kristi Kaylor, ur wrong ur full of rubbish you have no clue to how things work, people are being raped in the acting industry and all your big fat fingers can type is, are he got some fame he got some pay shut the hell up you pathetic person ur opinion is placid and thickl

  • Andrew | March 4, 2014 2:47 PMReply

    This is the way it is. Hanks wasn't making $millions when he started and it is mainly 'star power' that gets people to leave their big screen TV and go to the theatres. Saying he was paid 'only' $65k, I wonder what that kind of money meant to him? What does the article writer 'Sergio feel Abdi should have been paid? The same millions as Hanks? How much would going to see a movie in a theatre cost then? No one would leave their big screen TVs.

  • ladi_ | March 4, 2014 2:16 PMReply

    I guess that's why most of them invest their money while still maintaining a average job

  • FINALWORD | March 4, 2014 2:07 PMReply

    This article contained information for people who are unaware of the business of hollywood, but unfortunately it also made certain assumptions regarding the potential reader. 1. They are able to make the distinction between the writers thoughts versus the subject's (Barkhad abdi) views. 2. They understand that the article is talking about not just this specific actor but many actors in hollywood. 3. They are aware that rules of "showbiz" is no where similar to jobs, such as Healthcare, retail, ...etc. This article is basically saying,
    Even though we see a movie, such as Captain phillips, make about 200 mil (US box + world) it does not mean the main actors in the movie made anywhere related to that amount. The natural assumption is his friends and relatives probably think he is now rich. $65,000 is nowhere near rich. Yes i'm sure he was appreciative of that money he didnt have and it was able to help him and make his life a bit better, but it did not make him rich. Yes Tom Hanks took a pay cut from this film. He didn't get his 40 mil or 20 mil, but instead got 10 million, so it's only fair for outsiders to think that Barkhad being a new actor made at least 500k on this movie. This is the misconception that this article is trying to clear up, instead he (along with other no name actors in big movies) got paid next to nothing (relatively speaking) exactly 0.000325 % of the amount the movie made. Oh btw, Tom hanks only takes a pay cut up front when he feels the movie will do really well and he will be paid on the back-end, so you can add another 10-30 million to his pay.

  • Ignorance Lives | March 4, 2014 1:54 PMReply

    Opinions are like a**holes in that everyone has them, but not like them in that there are many that are totally useless. Reading is essential, people: THE ACTOR DID NOT WRITE THIS. Ergo, THE ACTOR IS NOT COMPLAINING. This is A CAUTIONARY TALE for those not in "the know" about how things work in this field.

  • Januari | March 4, 2014 12:32 PMReply

    He got paid what he was supposed to be paid. Ask him what his family is getting paid, or the black dude working at McDonalds. This article is a waste, not even sure why I read it. Should we feel sorry? C'mon it's like any other job, just because it's acting does not mean it's a major payday.

  • Michael | March 4, 2014 12:40 PM

    The point of the story is to show the reality of show business: just because you're in a big movie, or just because you've been nominated for some award, it doesn't mean you're rich. There's no need to feel sorry for the guy, but just be clear about our perceptions of him and his finances. This is very often misunderstood by many who are looking to get into show business.

  • sergio | March 4, 2014 10:57 AMReply

    By the way, to those out there all outraged and who are saying that $65,000 sounds like a lot of money, keep in mind that a huge chunk of the money that Abdi got was no doubt sent to relatives back in Somalia which most immigrants from improverished Third World countries do to help those folks back home struggling to survive.

  • Amy | March 5, 2014 5:12 AM

    If Abdi decided to send money to loved ones in another country that's a wonderful character trait but what does it have to do with earning money in Hollywood?

  • Paul | March 4, 2014 10:30 AMReply

    I wonder if hollywood broke is like anonymous broke

  • Questioner | March 4, 2014 10:20 AMReply

    Two things. I don't see anywhere in here that he's saying he deserves more, etc. He did go back to working at a cell phone store, and then when accolades started rolling in he decided to take a chance and head to LA.
    Also, after agent and taxes, his take home was around $45,000 plus. Still not bad, but not a crazy amount either.

  • Lloyd | March 4, 2014 9:54 AMReply

    I don't know all of his circumstances, but one would think he has a lousy agent if he can't get anything after that amazing performance in such a successful movie. But, as has been mentioned elsewhere 65K is pretty good jang for a complete unknown. He seems like a fine actor, he should be able to land a few more good roles.

  • Kee Kee | March 4, 2014 9:00 AMReply

    And through all the turmoil, the rediculous amount of attention, jealousy, admiration, racism, pushing and pulling, Abdi remains steadfast in his humility never once showing a single iota of selfishness , displaying a focus and strength of character which parallels his character in the film, and is most likely the reason he was cast in the first place.

  • Julian | March 4, 2014 8:16 AMReply

    Guys you do realize after Taxes, Lawyers, Managers he will walk away with about 1 third of that..

  • Chris | March 4, 2014 5:50 AMReply

    Abdi has an upcoming film where he plays a marathon runner.

  • gem | March 4, 2014 2:03 AMReply

    $65K is alright if you have a great chance of making another film, but a somali in America---let's be real, how many roles is this guy going to get after this? They have five roles for blacks in hollywood and their all filled. End of story.

  • Shontel | March 4, 2014 1:21 AMReply

    Jonah Hill got 60k for "Wolf of Wall Street," so how much do we expect Abdi to make? I'm confused. 65k is more than fair for a first time actor with zero credits. It's not the film's producer's job to make sure he's set for life. He got paid to do a job. This other stuff should be thought of as a work bonus! Why on Earth would he get back end like Tom, one of the biggest actors on the planet????

  • Cameron | March 4, 2014 12:47 AMReply

    $65,000 and he still didn't get those teeth fixed? I wonder where all that money went

  • Gbrooo | March 4, 2014 6:49 PM

    It sounds more like dentist actually... Just because something critical is said about a person who happens to be black does not make it racist... And thinking that it is racist is in fact the racist act because you are still viewing people based on the colour of their skin... Smh

  • Ramone | March 4, 2014 1:33 PM

    Wow, really? That's classist if not outright racist.

  • Davis | March 4, 2014 9:00 AM

    Amen to that

  • Lisa | March 4, 2014 6:34 AM

    All what money?

  • Stefan | March 4, 2014 12:06 AMReply

    If it was easy everyone would be doing it.
    Model in NYC lived off 13000 in a year.

  • LAActor | March 3, 2014 11:46 PMReply

    I'm an actor in LA that'd give up everything for that kind of opportunity! That is actually an incredible rate for a complete unknown and it sounds to me that he didn't spend his money wisely at all. Even living in LA where the cost of living is significantly higher than where he's from, there's no way I'd blow through that amount in that period of time. PLUS, most 1st time actors are not given a per diem when going to events or living their daily life, as in their contract the salary often covers their appearance fees. This is ludicrous that he's so self-entitled after one performance. Many of us have been busting our asses to get the work we do for much much less and are able to manage our finances in a good manner.
    **Hilary Swank was paid $75 a day on Boys Don't Cry in which she one an Oscar. This kid basically won the lottery & was expecting free handouts for no additional work.

  • Rosie | March 4, 2014 1:48 PM

    ["This is ludicrous that he's so self-entitled after one performance. Many of us have been busting our asses to get the work we do for much much less and are able to manage our finances in a good manner. "]

    "Self-entitled"? Really? You're going to personally insult this guy, when he is being more realistic about his career than the journalists who originally reported his story? Bitch to the journalists. There is no need for you to be personally insulting . . . and jealous.

  • Kariss | March 4, 2014 12:54 PM

    I can get people thinking he was paid enough. That was average pay. He's not going to be paid like Tom Hanks because he doesn't have Tom Hank's experience. But it's people like you "LAACTOR" that I don't understand. Where did you read that he was looking for a handout? Where did you read that he asked for anything? Even so much as made a complaint? Or did you look at his brown face and just assume he was looking for a handout. You really need to check your attitude. While it may not be the case, you sound bitter because you call yourself "LAACTOR" but have no work. You don't know what he does with his money or if he even consideres himself "broke." Barkhad Abdi didn't write this article, so where you developed this idea that he is looking for a handout is a mystery because it wasn't in this article. It was from your inability to form rational or reasonable ideas about people of color. Instead you feed off of the fears of this society. You're an easy target because you're gullible and fearful as well. Entitlement seems to describe you correctly. If you've never considered yourself a racist, you may want to reread this article and then reread your bitter response about a man who wasn't so much as even quoted in it. You might find that you have some seriously false preconceived notions about people unlike you. If you have the intention to be racist well then continue on because you're doing a great job being ignorant. But if not, you may want to reevaluate some of your unconscious conclusions.

  • Kariss | March 4, 2014 12:53 PM

    I can get people thinking he was paid enough. That was average pay. He's not going to be paid like Tom Hanks because he doesn't have Tom Hank's experience. But it's people like you "LAACTOR" that I don't understand. Where did you read that he was looking for a handout? Where did you read that he asked for anything? Even so much as made a complaint? Or did you look at his brown face and just assume he was looking for a handout. You really need to check your attitude. While it may not be the case, you sound bitter because you call yourself "LAACTOR" but have no work. You don't know what he does with his money or if he even consideres himself "broke." Barkhad Abdi didn't write this article, so where you developed this idea that he is looking for a handout is a mystery because it wasn't in this article. It was from your inability to form rational or reasonable ideas about people of color. Instead you feed off of the fears of this society. You're an easy target because you're gullible and fearful as well. Entitlement seems to describe you correctly. If you've never considered yourself a racist, you may want to reread this article and then reread your bitter response about a man who wasn't so much as even quoted in it. You might find that you have some seriously false preconceived notions about people unlike you. If you have the intention to be racist well then continue on because you're doing a great job being ignorant. But if not, you may want to reevaluate some of your unconscious conclusions.

  • Kariss | March 4, 2014 12:51 PM

    I can get people thinking he was paid enough. That was average pay. He's not going to be paid like Tom Hanks because he doesn't have Tom Hank's experience. But it's people like you "LAACTOR" that I don't understand. Where did you read that he was looking for a handout? Where did you read that he asked for anything? Even so much as made a complaint? Or did you look at his brown face and just assume he was looking for a handout. You really need to check your attitude. While it may not be the case, you sound bitter because you call yourself "LAACTOR" but have no work. You don't know what he does with his money or if he even consideres himself "broke." Barkhad Abdi didn't write this article, so where you developed this idea that he is looking for a handout is a mystery because it wasn't in this article. It was from your inability to form rational or reasonable ideas about people of color. Instead you feed off of the fears of this society. You're an easy target because you're gullible and fearful as well. Entitlement seems to describe you correctly. If you've never considered yourself a racist, you may want to reread this article and then reread your bitter response about a man who wasn't so much as even quoted in it. You might find that you have some seriously false preconceived notions about people unlike you. If you have the intention to be racist well then continue on because you're doing a great job being ignorant. But if not, you may want to reevaluate some of your unconscious conclusions.

  • Kaydee | March 4, 2014 10:40 AM

    @LAACTOR, who said he was expecting free handouts?? That's an assumption you made. The article states, " it’s very possible that Sony Pictures will give Abdi a huge financial bonus in reaction to the New Yorker article, which would be fair and very well deserved." Where does it say that Abdi asked for anything?? If you can't even read an article correctly, how can you read a script correctly LA(so-called)ACTOR??

  • DKman | March 4, 2014 4:23 AM

    LAACTOR...man your thinking is whack and you sound very envious and jealous...check yourself dude!

  • ALSOanLAactor | March 4, 2014 3:15 AM

    Dude, can you read? I'm sure he had some hands in that 65k, and you have no idea what he spends his money on. He should have gotten a LOT of residuals though, just like Swank should have and he should be doing guest appearances to pad his wallet. Of course, agents, managers and the like took some of that 65k, so you don't know what he was left with either.

  • Spike | March 4, 2014 12:48 AM

    The movie came out 1 year ago and he hasn't gotten another film role. What do you mean he didn't spend his money wisely? Do you know his personal responsibilities? We're not talking about millions or even hundreds of thousands of dollars here, it's $65k. How quick we are to judge...

  • ToughLove | March 3, 2014 8:35 PMReply

    I live and work in Hollywood and am pretty sure there would be a LINE of people willing to act in a feature film with Tom Hanks for $65,000 (and considerably less) - the whole film took less than 3 months to film in a beautiful location in the Mediterranean and all his costs (meals, housing, etc.) were covered while shooting - all while earning at the rate of $260,000 a year! The studios and producers took a huge risk on a no-name talent with zero acting experience and took on all the financial risk for the success of the movie - had the movie flopped and lost money the actors wouldn't chip in to help the studios out, why should it be the other way around?
    Abdi did a phenomenal job on this film but should consider himself lucky: he caught a break and got paid fairly for it. If it he builds himself up and has a track record of creating great films he could start negotiating back-end deals but he has to put in his TIME... so tired of reading yet another article on entitlements...

  • Kariss | March 4, 2014 1:09 PM

    That was dumb. Thanks for wasting everyone's time with you're "I work in Hollywood" bullshit and I obviously know Barkhad Abdi and the entire history of this film. Great. He got paid what he deserved as a first time actor. We know this. But you adding in that he feels entitled is bullshit you made up. How you have a job at all is mind blowing seeing as to how you can't read or even grasp a simple concept. When you can tell anyone where there was a quote from Abdi making a complaint in this article I'll digress. Until then you just need to know that's you're not very smart and should limit your commentary. The article is simply talking about his financial statement. How you know if the actor feels entitled is a mystery because he nor the writer of the article said anything to indicate that. Dumbass.

  • CJ | March 4, 2014 12:49 PM

    How much extra did the movie earn when it was re-released in theaters the last couple months, largely on the back of all the award nominations that Abdi garnered for the film?
    As for your shooting in a beautiful mediterranean location, I'm going to guess you've never worked on a set. There isn't much difference between shooting in Hawaii or the Amazon as far as your concerned because you never get to enjoy it.

    If this movie had done decently, gotten a little bit of award talk but no actual nominations, for sure his $65k is more than fair. But given the extra boost to the bottom line given by being able to add the word "Oscar Nominated: Best Supporting Actor" I don't think a bonus would be too onerus for Sony Pictures.

  • Truth Teller | March 4, 2014 10:15 AM

    TOUGHLOVE, let me guess, you're a Rush Limbaugh listener, aren't you? When did this become a liberal/conservative argument? Barkhad Abdi is a super talented actor who didn't 'win the lottery' but got an opportunity to showcase his talents and did an amazing job and every accolade he has won has been well deserved. Don't get it twisted. Now, he DESERVES more than a per diem since he is serving in another capacity, he's promoting the film. Every appearance he makes on behalf of the film, an awards show, a talk show, he should be getting a salary. He has a lousy agent and I hope that he gets a good one soon because I would like to see him in many more films. He and Lupita Nyong'o are breaths of fresh air in the VANILLA COOKIE CUTTER world of Hollywood. And as for entitlements, you're damned right he's entitled, just like capitalistic leeches like Jordan Belfort, Edwin Epps and Bernie Madoff (your heroes) feel like they are entitled to rip off, exploit, demean, rape and pillage every one else to amass great fortunes.

  • TOUGHLOVE | March 4, 2014 2:27 AM

    MODRD - you're clearly the a pathetic, name-calling, out-of-touch liberal looking for handouts while expecting life to be "fair and equitable" on the backs of the "greedy" who actually take risks and create opportunities for people like Abdi who otherwise might not have them. Abdi signed up for an opportunity to make more money than he could anywhere else and did his JOB... you know what the inventor of the Post-It note got for his invention (a personal friend of mine)? A plaque on the wall and a thank you - no bonus, no monetary reward - WHY? Because he was DOING HIS JOB, just like Abdi. Again, had the film lost money would all the actors have been asked to chip in? RISK VS REWARD... it's a simple concept you might want to learn (if you're even capable letting a capitalistic thought in that pea-sized brain of yours) - you're the only lower class one here, actually no class.

  • modrd | March 3, 2014 11:34 PM

    listen idiot, how about the box office +200 million where did that go? How about giving bonus for their actors on such gainings...its just the greed for few people on the top and wants all for themselves while all the work is done by the lower class....he acting was on par with Tom Hanks, and sure deserves alot more than that given winning awards for the movie which in turn raise the stock...its irrelevant whether he is known or not and thats why he won the Bafta award, He is grateful for being given the role and that is that..but when it comes to his performances such as this he is entitled to voice his dismay and asking for more which he didnt soo far...

  • JustSayin | March 3, 2014 1:34 PMReply

    I don't see where this is particularly newsworthy. A $65,000 payday is $15,000 above the median income an average American family makes. What I got from the story is this: Even though Abdi has been in this country for a couple of decades he still doesn't have a clear understanding of how things work in business -- particularly big time business of Hollywood -- in America. It's called "Show Business" for a reason.

    Until an actor is working regularly, one doesn't tend to quit one's day job. And if he was actually living lean (on Ramen Noodles and such) in a cheap apartment with a couple of roommates, he could make this money last a couple of years.

    It sounds like Abdi had unrealistic expectations of what would happen for him after filming wrapped on "Captain Philips." Hollywood is brutal, and only the strong survive. And from the few interviews I've seen of Abdi he's not the sharpest crayon in the box. He's like a deer caught in the headlights. I feel a little bad for him because, although he's been in the states for two decades now, he's, clearly, still a little naive about how things work here.

    And it sounds like, on some level, his lack of understanding about Hollywood and its system may have set him up for this reporter to take advantage of his lack of understanding about his value, in general, as an actor.

  • Hey Lisa R | March 5, 2014 10:54 AM

    LOTS O FOLK. Were you born making $100k+ a year? Never made any less? Lucky you that you make money, but too bad you're so ignorant.

  • Lisa R | March 4, 2014 6:39 AM

    Who could live off $65k a year?...glad I chose a better field than acting.

  • Spike | March 4, 2014 12:53 AM

    Thank you, Michael. And, these super judgemental people (who haven't read the original article), haven't factored in any of what you mentioned, nor his personal responsibilities, smh.

  • mahogohney | March 3, 2014 9:19 PM

    i am disappointed in the responses of too many of you. why should he or anyone of any race or color be treated like this? the way i heard some of you speak of him is cruel and unfair. i saw one interview with him and he doesn't seem to put on airs and he seems genuine. why are you calling someone displaying good qualities " not the sharpest crayon in the box" . is it wrong to behave well? i guess no matter what you behave like, if you are African and if you are darker then you are not human to those who mock and mistreat.

    i was sad when i heard someone comparing there experiences to his and saying he should be lucky. well, have you thought about the thick racism ? your lives are most likely without the chaos and painful experiences of those who are African. the cold icy stares and the angry looks are a day to day life. little warmth and if any, forced and pretend.

    yes there are some good ones and i thank them for still holding on to there souls and not adding to the misery of those who have been kicked down there whole lives and made to feel there monkeys and less then everyone else. but they are too few. i am just so disappointed in what is being said here. but i am glad to see your real feelings. i am glad to see them to know why my family have done everything they can to help me see people's behavior and not there color as importint. there is racism as thick as butter in Canada & the us and even other places. it's not just happening to my own family.

    and to know just how much it is effecting all of you. you who's integrity could have been great. i hope you reach that place of morels and integrity, then you will see why what you are saying is unfair, and maybe then you will begin to understand just what harm you have to to so many people of so many races...and your own race too. it's a pity.

  • Michael | March 3, 2014 5:05 PM

    It's $65k BEFORE taxes and agent/manager fees. When the film was a success, it also had to pay for a whole team of people to maintain/promote him. All told, that had to last a year and a half.

    It ain't that much.

  • serenity421 | March 3, 2014 4:03 PM

    I don't think this article says anything about Abdi's expectations - the author is simply setting people's notions to rest. Just because someone is Oscar nominated for their first film or has starred in a big movie doesn't mean that they are seeing the financial benefits of it. However a lot of people not involved in show business don't necessarily get that.

Follow Shadow and Act

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Now Taking Your Questions for S&A Column ...
  • "Many Documentary Films Have Been Shot ...
  • 2014 IFP Project Forum Slate Includes ...
  • Apparently The Fat Lady Hasn't Sung ...
  • Ahead of 'Finding Fela's' Release, Watch ...
  • Watch the First Full Trailer for Justin ...
  • Nick Cannon Is Teaming Up w/ Syfy to ...
  • Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, ...
  • Tessa ThompsonInterview: Tessa Thompson Talks Emotionally ...
  • Watch Spike Lee Unravel His Slave Ancestry ...