Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tom Hanks & Barkhad Abdi for The Hollywood Reporter October 2013

Tom Hanks and his 'Captain Phillips' co-star Barkhad Abdi cover The Hollywood Reporter's current issue. Captain Phillips is the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. The movie opens October 11, 2013.

On playing this role: "There's a lot of mental stress. [There's] the anger that goes along with it and the desperation and stuff like that. You've got to start at 60 miles an hour. It takes its toll."

Looking back, Hanks says the film led him to see the Somali pirates in a different light.

"[At first] you think, 'They're bad guys and they have machine guns and they're thugs,' " he says. "But Paul [Greengrass, director], as soon as we started talking about it, says, 'It's true, but the place has been fished out by the global fishing industry, and Somali fishermen with their little lines and little nets can't compete with these trawlers that have literally swept the place clean of marine life.' Well, that alters life in Somalia a little bit."

Hanks and Abdi deliberately were kept apart by Greengrass until well into the shoot, when the pirates take over the ship.

"I was so excited about meeting Tom," says Abdi, a movie buff who had seen many of Hanks' films and adored Forrest Gump. "Then when we got [to the set], Paul took us on the side and was like, 'OK, you guys are not going to see Tom until we do the first scene where you meet in the movie.' " He says he and the other Somalis (all friends of his from way before the shoot) were disappointed but recognized the authenticity this added.

"It was a very unique experience to be shooting that first take," notes Hanks. "It was loud and scary and intimidating. I mean, we all looked like fat, middle-aged, lazy white guys. And in came the skinniest, scariest-looking human beings on the planet."

Hanks on finding the theme of the movie appealing: "I was certainly intrigued by the concept of a guy with a very complicated but extremely unglamorous job. These guys, as even Phillips describes it, [are] 'the truckers of the sea.' They're essentially hauling stuff in big cargo containers, and it's a pain in the ass, and you've got to deal with a bunch of people, not the least of whom are your crew, who are a very fascinating hodgepodge. That's a tough gig."

Abdi on auditioning for the part:  "People around me would say, 'Oh, they're going to embarrass Somali people, don't go,' " he remembers. "I was like, 'It's Tom Hanks. I'm going to check it out.' So I went [to one casting call]. There's a lot of people there. I said, 'My name's Barkhad Abdi. I was born in Mogadishu, and I am the part.' "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Two born Actors! only one was late blooming.

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