While Jonah Hill revealed that he worked for peanuts ($60,000) on Martin Scorsese‘s “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” the reality is that he can easily afford the pay cut. But for real people, sixty thousand dollars is real money, and for a fellow Oscar nominee, it may not be enough.
A recent New Yorker story on “Captain Phillips” star Barkhad Abdi — who plays Muse, the leader of the group of pirates who take on Tom Hanks in Paul Greengrass‘ film — reveals he was paid a total of $65,000 for his part in the movie, and is now struggling to make ends meet. Now, the low figure isn’t entirely surprising. This is the actor’s first role ever, so it’s not like a big pay day was ever on the table (and even Hanks and Greengrass didn’t take their usual rate to make the movie). Abdi was selected out of a casting call in a story the stuff that fairy tales (and Oscar campaigns) are made of — Abdi’s family are Somalian refugees who escaped the violence in the country by going to Yemen, and then making their way to U.S. where they settled near Minneapolis. And that’s where Abdi was working, at a mobile phone store, after filming on “Captain Phillips” wrapped, but once the movie hit theaters he moved to L.A. hoping to springboard off his new found fame.
But he’s apparently since been having financial struggles, with Sony providing a minimum of support. You might think with “Captain Phillips” earning over $210 million worldwide, they could kick a bonus over to their Oscar nominee. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Per 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 Miinneapolis, who shuttles him around for free.
Again, you would think Sony could at least give the actor a wardrobe and a few other things that would’ve made his first Oscar experience a little more memorable. Especially if he’s going out to stump for the movie for them.
At any rate, Abdi has more roles on the horizon, recently signing up to star in the marathon runner drama, “The Place That Hits The Sun.” But if anything, this story is an indication that the industry can be a very tough one to keep you head above water, even if you’re an Oscar nominee. [The Wrap]