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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (born July 15, 1986)[1] is an American architect and actor. He played Cadillac in the television series The Get Down. He also starred in the 2017 films Baywatch and The Greatest Showman, and portrayed the villain Black Manta in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film Aquaman.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Abdul-Mateen at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con International
Born (1986-07-15) July 15, 1986 (age 32)
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BArch)
Yale University (MFA)
Years active2012–present
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)


Early life and educationEdit

Abdul-Mateen was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to a Muslim father, Yahya Abdul-Mateen I and a Christian mother, Mary.[2][1] He spent his childhood in the Magnolia Projects of New Orleans, and then moved to Oakland, California,[3][4] where he attended McClymonds High School. In 2004, he went to college where he competed as a hurdler for the California Golden Bears.[1] He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in architecture and then worked as a city planner in San Francisco.[5] He had always wanted to be an actor, later receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama and working as a stage actor.[4][6]


In 2016, Abdul-Mateen began his career with Baz Luhrmann's musical drama series The Get Down, which premiered on Netflix. His character Clarence "Cadillac" Caldwell is a prince of the disco world.[6] He was praised for his role in the series.[3][7]

In 2017, Abdul-Mateen appeared in Shawn Christensen's drama film The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, in the role of Duane. It premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.[8]

Abdul-Mateen played a police officer, Garner Ellerbee, in the action comedy film Baywatch along with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, and directed by Seth Gordon. The film was released on May 25, 2017.[9] He also played WD Wheeler, a smart hand-to-hand acrobat partner, in the musical film The Greatest Showman (2017), which also starred Efron, as well as with Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya, about American showman P.T. Barnum.[10]

In 2018, he starred in the road trip drama film Boundaries, along with Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer, directed and written by Shana Feste;[11] and played DC Comics villain Black Manta in the film Aquaman, which started shooting in May 2017 in Australia.[12] In 2018, Abdul-Mateen was cast in the horror film Us, directed by Jordan Peele, which was released in March 2019.[13]

Abdul-Mateen will co-star in the HBO series Watchmen.[14] In February 2019, it was confirmed that Abdul-Mateen was in talks to star in Jordan Peele's Candyman remake as the title character.[15] In March 2019, it was announced that Abdul-Mateen was cast in the fifth season of Netflix's science-fiction anthology series, Black Mirror.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
2012 Crescendo Yahya Short film;
Also co-producer
2017 Baywatch Sgt. Garner Ellerbee
The Greatest Showman W. D. Wheeler
2018 The Vanishing of Sidney Hall Duane Jones
First Match Darrel
Boundaries Serge
Aquaman David Kane / Black Manta
2019 Us Russel Thomas / Weyland
All Day and a Night Post-production
Sweetness in the Belly Aziz Post-production
2020 Candyman TBA Upcoming


Year Title Role Notes
2016–17 The Get Down Clarence "Cadillac" Caldwell 11 episodes
2018 The Handmaid's Tale Omar Episode: "Baggage"
2019 Black Mirror Karl Episode: "Striking Vipers"
Watchmen Cal Abraham Post-production


  1. ^ a b c "Yahya Abdul-Mateen". California Golden Bears. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Five Things to Know About Buzzy New Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II". People. July 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Hammer, Mike (August 6, 2016). "Yahya Abdul-Mateen II shines in Netflix's 'The Get Down'". NY Daily News. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ortved, John (August 6, 2016). "Meet 'The Get Down' lead actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II". GulfNews. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Park, Andrea (August 19, 2016). "How "Get Down" star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II went from architecture to acting". CBS News. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (May 28, 2015). "Baz Luhrmann's 'The Get Down' Adds "Disco Prince" to Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Ali, Rasha (August 17, 2016). "'The Get Down' Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II on Disco, Hip Hop and Tilted Hats (Exclusive Video)". TheWrap. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  8. ^ Berkshire, Geoff (January 26, 2017). "Sundance Film Review: 'Sidney Hall'". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  9. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 2, 2016). "Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Dives Into 'Baywatch'; Jacob Latimore Joins 'Collateral Beauty'". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  10. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (October 17, 2016). "Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Joins 'The Greatest Showman On Earth'; Dan Amboyer Cast In 'Brawl In Cell Block 99'". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  11. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 5, 2016). "Ryan Kwanten Joins 'Supercon'; 'The Get Down's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Books Pair". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (January 31, 2017). "'Aquaman' Finds Its Black Manta Villain With 'Get Down' Actor (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  13. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 19, 2018). "Jordan Peele's 'Us' Adds Yahya Abdul-Mateen II And Anna Diop To Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  14. ^ Petski, Denise (June 29, 2018). "'Watchmen': Yahya Abdul-Mateen II & Sara Vickers Cast In Damon Lindelof's HBO Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 27, 2019). "Jordan Peele's 'Candyman' Finds Its Star (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (March 20, 2019). "'Black Mirror': Anthony Mackie & Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Cast In Season 5". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 21, 2019.

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