It just occurred to me that, Gabourey Sidibe and Barkhad Abdi – 2 actors who many believed likely wouldn’t find much work in Hollywood, after their big screen debut – are, thus far, defying all expectations, and are doing just the opposite.
Sidibe has worked rather consistently on both the big and small screens, since she won acclaim for her starring title role in Precious (she may actually be working even more regularly than a lot of her more so-called *bankable* black actress contemporaries); and Abdi, who picked up an Oscar nomination this year, for his supporting role in Captain Phillips, has already banked one starring role, playing famous South African marathon runner, Willie Mtolo, in an upcoming historical drama centered on his life, and has now joined the cast of another project – Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck.
Set up at Universal, plot details are being kept under wraps, with Tilda Swinton, Vanessa Bayer, John Cena, and Ezra Miller also in talks to join a cast that already includes Amy Schumer, Bill Hader and Brie Larson.
The former limo driver turned Oscar nominee, Abdi’s story, hasn’t quite been one of rags-to-riches, despite all the press and accolades he’s received for his performance in Captain Phillips.
As Sergio noted in a previous post on Abdi’s financial hardships, he was paid $65,000 two years ago for his role in Captain Phillips, which earned him a best supporting actor nomination this season. At the time, he didn’t have an agent to even negotiate his salary. He certainly does now though, after revealing his plans to move to Los Angeles and pursue his acting career.
Thus far, with 2 fresh new jobs on the horizon, he’s off to an auspicious start, as much of our attention has been on what Lupita Nyong’o (his fellow first time Oscar nominee – and winner – who also made her big screen debut last year), will do next.