Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (born July 15, 1986)[1] is an American architect and actor. He is best known for portraying David Kane / Black Manta in the DC Extended Universe superhero film Aquaman (2018) and Cal Abar in the HBO limited series Watchmen (2019). For the latter, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

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 34)
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BArch)
Yale University (MFA)
Years active2012–present
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)

After starring in the Netflix musical drama series The Get Down (2016–2017), Abdul-Mateen appeared in numerous films, including Baywatch (2017), The Greatest Showman (2017), and Us (2019).

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.

He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in architecture and then worked as a city planner in San Francisco.[5] While at Berkeley, he became a member of the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha[6] and competed as a hurdler for the California Golden Bears.[1] He stated that 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][7]


In 2016, Abdul-Mateen began his acting 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.[7] He was praised for his performance in the series.[3][8]

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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

In 2018, he starred in the road trip drama film Boundaries, along with Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer, directed and written by Shana Feste;[12] and played DC Comics villain Black Manta in the film Aquaman, which started shooting in May 2017 in Australia.[13] In 2018, Abdul-Mateen was cast in the horror film Us, directed by Jordan Peele, which was released in March 2019.[14] Abdul-Mateen co-stars in the HBO series Watchmen.[15]

In February 2019, it was confirmed that Abdul-Mateen was in talks to star in the Jordan Peele-produced Candyman reboot as the title character, with Nia DaCosta directing.[16] A trailer for the film was released on February 27, 2020, with the film due to theaters on September 25, 2020.[17]

In March 2019, it was announced that Abdul-Mateen was cast in the fifth season of Netflix's science-fiction anthology series, Black Mirror.[18]



Year Title Role Notes
2012 Crescendo Yahya Short film;
Also co-producer
2017 The Vanishing of Sidney Hall Duane Jones
Baywatch Sgt. Garner Ellerbee
The Greatest Showman W. D. Wheeler
2018 First Match Darrel
Boundaries Serge
Aquaman David Kane / Black Manta
2019 Us Russel Thomas / Weyland
Sweetness in the Belly Aziz
2020 All Day and a Night Big Stunna
Candyman Anthony McCoy / Candyman Post-production
The Trial of the Chicago 7 Bobby Seale Post-production
2022 The Matrix 4 Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2016–2017 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 Abar / Jon Osterman / Doctor Manhattan 8 episodes


  1. ^ a b c "Yahya Abdul-Mateen - Track & Field". Cal Athletics. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  2. ^ Rubenstein, Janine (July 21, 2016). "Five Things to Know About Buzzy New Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II". People.
  3. ^ a b Hammer, Mike (August 6, 2016). "Yahya Abdul-Mateen II shines in Netflix's 'The Get Down'". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ortved, John (August 6, 2016). "Meet 'The Get Down' lead actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II". Gulf News. 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. ^ "Alpha Epsilon Lineage". Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Epsilon Chapter.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Berkshire, Geoff (January 26, 2017). "Sundance Film Review: 'Sidney Hall'". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  10. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 2, 2016). "Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Dives Into 'Baywatch'; Jacob Latimore Joins 'Collateral Beauty'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  11. ^ 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 Hollywood. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 5, 2016). "Ryan Kwanten Joins 'Supercon'; 'The Get Down's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Books Pair". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (January 31, 2017). "'Aquaman' Finds Its Black Manta Villain With 'Get Down' Actor (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 27, 2019). "Jordan Peele's 'Candyman' Finds Its Star (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  17. ^ Kaufman, Gil (February 27, 2020). "Destiny's Child Has Never Sounded So Spooky: Hear 'Say My Name' in New 'Candyman' Trailer". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (March 20, 2019). "'Black Mirror': Anthony Mackie & Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Cast In Season 5". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 21, 2019.

External linksEdit