On the Today Show yesterday, Matt Lauer interviewed Barkhad Abdi, a former chauffeur working in the Minneapolis, Minn.,-area, who now is starring with Tom Hanks in the new film "Captain Phillips." Abdi plays the lead pirate in the film, and says that he was working as a chauffeur when he first answered a casting call that ran on a local TV channel.
Once cast, he did not get a chance to meet Hanks until the day their characters confronted one another on set, as per director Paul Greengrass' orders.
"I was a little scared," admitted Abdi. "(I) wanted to see Tom, but I understood the situation of the scene."
In the film, Hanks plays Captain Richard Phillips, whose cargo ship is taken over by Somali pirates while at sea. Abdi is the most conflicted of the pirates, and in his performance he shows Phillips and the audience that he's trapped into this way of life.
For the full story and video of the interview, go to www.today.com.