Tom Hanks on the 'Screaming,' 'Arguing' and 'Blood' Behind 'Captain Phillips' (Video)
Paul Greengrass' upcoming drama is based on the true story of Somali pirates hijacking the Maersk Alabama container ship in 2009.
"It was kind of ripped out of today's headlines and yet still open for all sorts of interpretations," Hanks says. "It's not very glamorous, but was old-school show business. That's how it worked for me."
Abdi, a Somali expatriate living in Minneapolis, says he landed the part of the leader of the pirates after attending a casting call with 700 people.
"I was at my friend's house, watching the local TV. They came to Minneapolis -- a casting call for a Tom Hanks movie," Abdi says.
Abdi reveals that while he didn't get to speak with the man he plays in the film (Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse), he did get to speak with his interpreter, who was "a friend of a friend."
Abdi says he and Hanks had a lot of laughs on set, which Hanks says included giving co-star Mahat M. Ali "a hard time."
"We ragged on Mahat because he honestly didn't have to do anything. He was always sitting in the pilot chair. He never went anywhere else, he never went anywhere else," Hanks says. "We'd be doing something where we're fighting and screaming and arguing and there's blood involved, and we'd say 'Mahat -- you steer the boat.' "
For more on Hanks, Abdi and the making of Captain Phillips, read their THR cover story here, or pick up the Oct. 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.