Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ensures that the first words that the genius Jordan Peele let go of him when he auditioned for a project called Get Out were: “This is not a comedy, it is a film Horror. I love the genre ”. Until then, the actor he had sworn to himself never to get involved in a horror film; However, while there, he discovered that the director “had a very particular perspective and a powerful message behind his art”, so he put aside all his ‘ghosts’ and faced the test.
Although he failed to have a stake in the film About a man whose life changes after meeting his girlfriend’s family, Peele did confirm that he would soon be summoning him. “You are very good, so you are going to have a lot of options in the future. Just make sure you do what you love, ”he advised. A couple of years later, the filmmaker kept his promise and called him to be a part of that gem called Us (2019), considered one of the best horror films of 2019. It was then that a close relationship between mentor and disciple began that will reach its climactic point in early 2021 with the arrival of candy man to movie theaters, his first starring role in the large screen.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is surely remembered by Watchmen.
© Quil Lemons.
Inspire, the story of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II discovered the performance fortuitously, when he realized that the interpreters were as human as himself, as he revealed in a recent interview. Until that moment, his greatest influence was basketball players like Michael Jordan O Shaquille O’Neal; however, he hardly realized that the universe acting was within his grasp, he stopped being interested (although not entirely) in staves and began to focus on the big studios.
One might think that having an athletic body and perfect smile like his are the ultimate passports for settling in the Mecca of Cinema. But it’s not like that. The actor has worked hard to achieve all those wishes that were raised from the beginning, dreams that are finally being fulfilled.
In 2016, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II got his first break in a name series The Get Down, and then embarking on famous projects, but with small characters, such as the failed (and quite bad, by the way) film adaptation of Baywatch (2017), the musical The great showman (2017) and a couple of chapters in series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Black Mirror. It was with the arrival of Aquaman (2018), when he gave life to Manta, that his name began to attract glances and monopolize conversations; something that was consolidated with Us (2019). However, in 2019, it came Watchmen, one of the best Amazon Prime series, to shake up both your professional and personal life. “Observe people watching the serie and then having new, sophisticated talks about the importance of telling the story of the Tulsa massacre, calling it that, a massacre and not a racial riot, it was something that filled me with pride, “the actor recently said to GQ Middle East. “And with what happened to George Floyd, there is a ripple effect: now we have no excuse to ignore that part of the story,” he continues.
This is how Luisiano realized the impact that the who and the TV in society, permeating even in social movements that today continue to have an echo. This defined a type of philosophy of life and the way in which, from that moment on, he would choose the projects in which he was going to get involved: that they had something to say. “For me, it is very important to educate myself on our history so that when I have a microphone, I say the right things and be sharp when addressing certain topics. Because this race is still underway, we have not reached the end yet ”, he asserts.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II won an Emmy Award this year for his work on Watchmen.
© Quil Lemons.
From terror to science fiction
In front of us, the panorama for Yahya Abdul-Mateen II looks quite promising, a good streak that will start in 2021 with his first starring role: candy man, the long-awaited “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 feature film about a kind of urban legend about a murderous ghost who has a sharp hook for his hand. “In that audition I did for Get Out, Jordan Peele told me that he wanted to be the one to give me my first main role, something that ended up happening now, “he confesses Yahya quite excited.
Last March, the actor was ready to live a few months full of adrenaline and work. First, with the premiere of the horror film directed by Our DaCosta and whose script was in charge of the same Peele. At the end of that month, he would move to Europe to join the filming of The Matrix 4. But the epidemic came to this side of the world. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II He decided to rent an apartment in New York for a month and a half, thinking that after that time he would be able to resume his plans. When the deadline expired, he had no choice but to return to Los Angeles to confine himself as we have all done. “I feel like I’ve lived several lives since then,” he assured GQ Middle East, “But I stay positive.”
Just a few weeks ago we saw him in The Trial of the Chicago 7, giving life to Bobby Seale; in said feature film he was under the command of Aaron Sorkin and shares credits with Sacha Baron Cohen and a multi-star cast already sounding strong heading for the 2021 Oscar nominations. By 2022, it will return to the sequel to Aquaman and will be part of the universe created by the Wachowski sisters in The Matrix 4. “I can’t say much about the project,” he confesses to GQ Middle East, “But it is very relevant and touches on topics that people should be talking about in 2021 and 2022.”
‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ is the most recent work by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
© Quil Lemons.
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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II talks about Watchmen, Candyman and The Matrix 4