Hundreds of Minnesota's Somali-Americans responded to a casting call for a film starring Tom Hanks.
Casting consultants for an upcoming film starring held auditions Saturday in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Hanks has signed on to play Capt. Richard Phillips, who was taken hostage by Somali pirates who seized his ship in 2009. The movie is supposed to be shot next year in New Orleans.
Minneapolis has the nation's largest concentration of Somali-Americans.
Sixteen-year-old Dareon Anderson stood in line for three hours at the Brian Coyle Center in Minneapolis.
"It's a great opportunity to help my family financially. It's about Somali pirates but specifically I know Tom Hanks gets captured, some Navy Seals rescue him, a few of the captors die, they capture a Somali pirate," Anderson said. "It's kind of an action film. It's kind of what I'm into."
Anderson isn't worried about the film spreading misinformation or stereotypes about Somalis. He said it's just a movie.
The script centers on the "profound, mutual respect" between Phillips and the leader of the Somali pirates, said casting consultant Debbie DeLisi.
The last time DeLisi worked on ethnic casting in the Twin Cities was for the Clint Eastwood movie "Gran Torino." That film focused on the friendship between a white war veteran and his Hmong neighbor's teenage kids. More than 900 people auditioned in St. Paul. DeLisi said about 7 got lead roles.
Today's casting auditions included a specific call for boys 7 to 10 years old.
Sadis Daurd, 8, waited for his turn for hours. He passed the time reading books and eating snacks.
"I want to be in a movie. I want to have millions of millions of dollars," he said.