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Sister of Oscar-Nominated Barkhad Abdi: It's an Amazing Journey

Updated: 03/03/2014 7:34 AM
Created: 03/02/2014 11:54 PM KSTP.com
By: Brandi Powell

He went from a casting call of 700 here in Minneapolis to the red carpet at the Oscars; Barkhad Abdi was nominated for his role in "Captain Phillips." Abdi was up against Jared Leto, Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill, and the Best Supporting Actor was the first award of the night.

Leto won the award for his role in Dallas Buyer's Club, but that didn't kill the mood at a Minnesota Oscar Party. Abdi's sister and siblings of other actors in "Captain Phillips" were there.

A lot of people in Minneapolis were extra excited about the Oscars on Sunday. The actors playing Somali pirates in the movie "Captain Phillips" live in Minneapolis.

But nobody was more thrilled than the actors' families.

The road to the Academy Awards was very real Sunday night for the sister of Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi. Even though he didn't win the big trophy, the party wasn't over.

"I'm still so proud," Afifa Abdi said. "I'm very proud of him. That's my baby!"

Abdi was one of four Minneapolis actors in the film. All of their siblings say the same thing: Don't be fooled by the men they portray on the big screen.

"Honestly, in real life they're the nicest, most awesome guys," Muna Ahmed said. She's Faysal Ahmed's sister. "So seeing them in those characters was just ridiculous to me. I'm very proud of them."

The group of four actually started out as a group of five. But one ended up on the cutting room floor.

"The five of us...became close friends," Darlington Nsengiyumva said. And they encouraged each other to really get deep into those roles. "Believe in yourself! Push it! Push it!" he said they'd shout to each other.

And while Nsengiyumva celebrated at the Minneapolis party, his friends celebrated in Los Angeles. There was plenty of pride to go around.

"It's incredible," Afifa Abdi said. "It's an amazing journey, and I'm very proud of him."

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was at the Oscar Party and spent some time with the actors' family members.

Barkhad Abdi arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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