Continuing their run of talking to as many of the folks that matter this awards season (check out the directors, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers and actress roundtables), THR has unveiled yet another lengthy talk, this time with the breakthrough performers of the year.
And so, Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips“), Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color“), Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha“), Kathryn Hahn (“Afternoon Delight“), David Oyelowo (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler“) and Olivia Wilde (“Drinking Buddies“) spend an expansive 70-minutes talking about their time in the industry, their careers so far, and more. As always, it’s a pretty illuminating look at some intriguing talent that we’ll likely keep hearing about in the years to come. But perhaps no one’s story is as remarkable as Abdi’s.
“I was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and by the age of 6 years old the civil war started, so we were stuck in that city for about a year. And after that, my mom found a way to get us out of Somalia and we went to Yemen. I started a new life there and lived in Yemen for about seven years. And then we found the lottery visa to the U.S., and we came to Minneapolis,” he explained. “One day, the auditioning call came on the local TV channel, so I went there for the audition. It was a huge crowd of people. I met some friends there. We created a group of four and we practiced. We finally got called to L.A. and we got the part.”
And after the success of the Paul Greengrass film? “People recognize me on the street now,” the actor added. “And as far as people back home, everybody’s shocked by it and I’m just trying to take it slow. I have an agent now and I’m trying to pursue this and see where I can go.”
Watch the entire roundtable below.