Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the talented actor known for his role as Black Manta in Aquaman, has made waves in Hollywood.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the versatile and acclaimed American actor, has emerged as a prominent figure in Hollywood, captivating audiences with his captivating performances across various film and television projects. Best known for his role as Black Manta in the superhero films Aquaman (2018) and its upcoming sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), Abdul-Mateen has built a diverse and impressive portfolio in the entertainment industry.
Who is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II?
Born on July 15, 1986, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to a Muslim father, Yahya Abdul-Mateen I, and a Christian mother, Mary, Abdul-Mateen is the youngest of six children. His upbringing included stints in New Orleans, Oakland, and Stockton, California, where he developed a passion for both sports, including competing against future NFL star Marshawn Lynch, and intellectual pursuits like chess. He also earned the title of prom king during his high school years.
Abdul-Mateen’s journey into acting began during his time at the University of California, Berkeley, where he initially pursued a degree in architecture. However, it was a theater class that helped him overcome his stutter and ignited his love for acting. He went on to graduate with a degree in architecture before taking a leap into the world of drama, securing a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale School of Drama.
Throughout his career, Abdul-Mateen has remained true to his identity, rejecting the notion of altering his Muslim name or adopting a stage name. His acting breakthrough came in 2016 with the Netflix musical drama series The Get Down, where he portrayed the disco prince Clarence Cadillac Caldwell.
Subsequent roles showcased his versatility, including appearances in films like Baywatch (2017), The Greatest Showman (2017), Us (2019), and Candyman (2021). However, it was his portrayal of Cal Abar / Doctor Manhattan in the HBO limited series Watchmen (2019) that earned him a Primetime Emmy Award.
Beyond his impressive filmography, Abdul-Mateen made his Broadway debut in the play Topdog/Underdog and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Play.
Notably, Abdul-Mateen is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the lead in the Disney+ series Wonder Man, expanding his presence in the world of superheroes.
As Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom approaches its release, fans eagerly anticipate his return as the formidable Black Manta, cementing his status as a rising star in Hollywood’s constellation of talent.