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Barkhad Abdi Wins British Academy Award

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Barkhad Abdi, the Somali immigrant who was a Twin Cities limo driver before playing a pirate in “Captain Phillips,” won an award at the British Academy Awards over the weekend.

Abdi was named best supporting actor, edging nominees like Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave” and Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle.”

The win got a huge reaction from co-star Tom Hanks and the crowd.

After thanking Tom Hanks, the director, producers and his family and friends, Abdi also talked about how he felt about getting to this point in his life.

“Last but not least I want to thank the other pirates in the film,” he said. “My friends, and the people that we came from nothing and we got this. Thank you.”

After his speech, Abdi tweeted his thanks and gave a shout out to the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis.

Abdi is also nominated for an Oscar. That award will be handed out in just under two weeks from now. He faces Cooper and Fassbender, as well as Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Jared Leto, whose performance in “Dallas Buyers Club” many odds-makers favor for the win.

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