1. Barkhad Abdi Loved Working With Tom Hanks

Barkhad Abdi Loved Working With Tom Hanks

Barkhad was thrilled to act alongside Tom Hanks, aka, "that guy from 'Forrest Gump.'"


CONAN: First of all, I'm thrilled to meet you.
I loved the movie and you're so incredible in the film.
And then to realize this is where you're starting.
This is your first big break.
BARKHAD: Yeah, this is my first big break.
It's good to see you.
I watch you a lot on TV.
CONAN: I had no idea if you would know me.
You've seen me before on TV?
BARKHAD: A lot, a lot.
I don't understand how you move the hair.
CONAN: That's what you've taken away from all the shows.
No other question, just the hair.
BARKHAD: The hair.
CONAN: What were your questions?
Fire away.
BARKHAD: The movement.
CONAN: The movement.
You can't --
BARKHAD: Yeah, all right.
CONAN: Incredible.
I'm not talking to you about that.
It's done with wires and -- yeah.
Let's make this about you and then more about me.
In the film you play a Somali pirate.
You are from Somali originally.
But you moved to the United States when you were much younger.
Howl were you when you moved to the U.S.?
CONAN: Where did you grow up, Minneapolis?
BARKHAD: Minneapolis, yeah.
So what's interesting is they had a casting call.
Is there a large simoleon population?
So that's what they decided when they were making the film, let's have the casting in Minneapolis and find some --
BARKHAD: Some pirates.
CONAN: When you need Somali pirates, you go to Minneapolis apparently.
How many people showed up for the auditions?
BARKHAD: It was about 700.
CONAN: 700.
CONAN: And you get the role, which is absolutely amazing.
CONAN: And the other pirates who were chosen, there's four of you all together.
CONAN: They were your friends.
CONAN: You knew them already.
We lived in the same building.
We knew each other very well.
CONAN: That's incredible.
Because you're all amazing and you get to be in this movie with all of your friends.
Your co-star, Tom Hanks, the biggest star in the world --
BARKHAD: Right, right.
CONAN: You obviously knew who he was.
Who was your -- what's your favorite Tom Hanks moach?
BARKHAD: Forrest Gump.
CONAN: You like Forrest Gump.
When you met Tom Hanks, did you bring that up?
BARKHAD: I told him, because we didn't get to meet Tom until the first time we see the movie.
CONAN: Oh, the first day when you were shooting.
BARKHAD: Yeah, like with him.
That was the first time.
After the scene, I told him, I can't believe I'm making a scene with the Forrest Gump guy.
CONAN: The Forrest Gump guy.
He's here tomorrow.
I'm going to have to tell him.
How was he with that?
BARKHAD: He laughed.
CONAN: OK, good.
Were you interested in acting at all before this experience?
I loved acting.
I just happened to find a shortcut.
CONAN: I was going to say.
You're like, let's see.
I'm interested in acting.
I think I'll co-star with Tom Hanks in one the best films of the year.
What were you doing before?
What kind of jobs did you have?
BARKHAD: I was a chauffeur.
CONAN: You were a limo driver.
CONAN: How long were you a limo driver for?
BARKHAD: For about a year.
CONAN: How did you like it?
BARKHAD: It was good.
You get to meet new people.
CONAN: Yeah.
And I would think, what's interesting now is you're going to all these parties.
And now there's a limo driver driving you.
CONAN: Are you nice to the limo driver?
BARKHAD: Absolutely, yes.
CONAN: Good.
You say like, look, I've been there, man, I know what's going on.