Somehow Yahya Abdul-Mateen II isn’t a household name yet, but, boy, that’s about to change. Despite portraying Black Manta in the blockbuster “Aquaman” along with roles in “The Greatest Showman” and “Us,” the New Orleans native was one of the more under the radar actors when Damon Lindelof’s “Watchmen” mini-series debuted last year. And that might have been his biggest asset as he transformed from the quiet Cal Abar to Dr. Manhattan in one of the biggest twists in television history. Oh, but just you wait.
At the moment, Abdul-Mateen II is in Berlin where he’s filming an undisclosed role in the highly-anticipated “The Matrix 4.” He takes the reins of the “Candyman” in Nia DaCosta’s upcoming sequel to the classic 1992 horror flick and will play Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale in Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which will debut on Netflix. Both films are currently scheduled to debut on Oct. 16.
During our podcast episode, Abdul-Mateen II reveals when he found out he was becoming the modern-day Dr. Manhattan (it was further on into filming then you’d expect), how the revelation affected his performance and the not-so-shocking relevance of “Watchmen” during the social justice protests over the past few months. He also gives a hint of his thought process for playing Seale, a legendary activist, in “Chicago 7.”
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