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New Tom Hanks movie features Minn. Somali actors

October 10, 2013 • Entertainment


This photo released by Sony – Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Mahat Ali, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed, in a scene from the film, “Captain Phillips,” releasing in the US on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The amateur actors of Somali descent from Minneapolis made their film debut acting as Somali pirates alongside the two-time Academy Award winner, Hanks. (AP Photo/Copyright Sony – Columbia Pictures, Jasin Boland)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When Barkhad Abdi and three other amateur Somali actors from Minnesota learned they had won major roles in a new Tom Hanks movie, they tore off their clothes and jumped into the Pacific Ocean.

“It was exciting,” Abdi recalls of that day on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif. “We had to make sure that wasn’t a dream.”

Abdi and his fellow actors from Minneapolis are now living that dream of red carpet premieres and Hollywood endings. The four portray Somali pirates who hijacked an American cargo ship off the Horn of Africa in 2009 and took its captain, played by Hanks, hostage in “Captain Phillips,” opening Friday. The ordeal ended when U.S. Navy sharpshooters picked off three of the pirates holding Capt. Richard Phillips captive in a lifeboat.

Abdi, 28, makes his acting debut in “Captain Phillips” as Login to read more

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