In 2013 Somali-American actor Barkhad Abdi exploded onto the movie scene with his incendiary performance in hijack drama Captain Phillips. As Somali pirate Muse, his jittery, visceral performance lent a palpable sense of danger to the movie and compelled A-lister Tom Hanks to up his game.
The result was an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a boatload of international acclaim. Last year he was a force for good in the engrossing drone warfare drama Eye in the Sky, holding his own against a formidable ensemble including Helen Mirren and the late Alan Rickman. This year, he's destined for an unknown future by appearing in the feverishly anticipated Blade Runner 2049.
Denis Villeneuve's sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 masterpiece has some serious credibility on its side, not least because original star Harrison Ford is back alongside man of the moment Ryan Gosling. Throw Abdi into the mix and we have one of the most exciting casts in years. But who is the latter playing?
"He's a scientist," The Hollywood Reporter notes him as saying, "and he’s totally deformed."
So what about living up to the legacy of the original?
"It’s not pressure, it’s a blessing," he says. "But for me, I do everything that I do to the full extent like it’s the last one. I feel an obligation to [surpass] Captain Phillips — that's my goal... So every time I have an opportunity, I like to do what I can, because I'm all about this [career]."
Consider us seriously intrigued. Given we've still got six months until Blade Runner 2049 arrives on 8th October, it might be a good time to check out that spellbinding trailer once again.