Yahya Abdul-Mateen II knew he had arrived when he could pay his mom’s rent

My obsession with Yahya Abdul-Mateen is well documented. The man is thoughtful and hella sexy. I will never forget when he thanked Black women as a whole for his success when he won an Emmy last year. I am anticipating his upcoming roles in the Candyman reboot, The Matrix 4 and Aquaman 2. I love that Yahya chooses his roles carefully and hopes to make change through his art. Yahya’s career is picking up steam and he owes much of that to his projects through Warner Brothers. Yahya is covering the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter. He discusses his love for The Office, filming the Matrix during the pandemic, and being able to pay his mother’s rent. Below are a few highlights:

He’s been watching the office in his time off
During his brief respite, he’s been whiling away the days watching reruns of The Office.

“Michael Scott just has a big heart,” he says, eager to dissect the Dunder-Mifflin dynamic. “As soon as he gets on your last nerve, he just redeems himself. I don’t know how, but he’s also excellent at his job. They have the highest-performing branch. He always comes through in the clutch. Dwight is just classic. I like Creed, too. You can’t sleep on Creed. Creed does not have one wasted moment.”

On working with Keanu in Matrix 4
Just as the coronavirus began cutting a deadly path throughout the U.S. in March 2020, Abdul-Mateen finished shooting Matrix 4 scenes in San Francisco and then traveled to Chicago for two days of reshoots on Candyman. The day before he was scheduled to fly to Berlin for the bulk of Matrix 4, he got a call that Warners was shutting down the production. He made it back to his home in New York before the entire country ground to a halt and wound up waiting in the city until June 2020, when Matrix 4 resumed.

On set, he found himself initially a bit starstruck. “I remember Keanu and his first line. I looked up, and there was Keanu, and I said, ‘Oh shit, I’m really in The Matrix,’ ” he says. “It was just Keanu in that voice. And the technology that Lana incorporated and the filmmaking, camera rigs that I’ve never seen before. It’s so ambitious. It was really interesting to be making The Matrix 4 at a time when the world was so warped and when reality was so distorted. It could creep in a little bit if you let it.”

When he knew he had arrived
Abdul-Mateen says he knew he had arrived a few years ago, when he told his mother that he was able to start paying her rent.

“I don’t want to make it sound like I’m balling out of control,” he says with a laugh. “I made a phone call to let her know that that was a tab that I was willing to pick up, that I was more than willing and able to pick up, so that wasn’t something that she had to think about.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

I think it is so sweet that Yahya wanted to pay for his mom’s rent after he started making more money from his roles. It would seem that Yahya got his healthy respect for women from his mom. I also love how he had a fanboy moment with Keanu Reeves. I would too Yahya. Keanu really is an amazing human being. I also thought it was cute that Yahya got sucked into The Office fandom during quarantine. The fact that Yahya brings his family along with him on his journey is a testament to how down to earth and grounded he is. Also, they called his family the Black Brady Bunch so there is definitely something kinda wholesome about him (Teyonah Parris called him a goof) despite the very intense roles he chooses to play. I appreciate how thoughtfully he approaches his career and am looking forward to Yahya producing some show. And while I wait for Candyman and The Matrix 4, I think I may revisit Watchmen and Aquaman to get my fix of Yahya.


Photos via Instagram

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16 Responses to “Yahya Abdul-Mateen II knew he had arrived when he could pay his mom’s rent”

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  1. ModeratelyWealthy says:

    His mom is beautiful too, so I bet the whole family is out of the world…

    Btw, I find that from all the actors nowadays, nobody beats Yahya and Mahershala Ali when it comes to dressing the hell out of clothes. I know is a shallow compliment, but glamour has been lacking from male leads and every time I see them both so poised and well-groomed, I mutter to myself ” star power, baby”

    • Sally says:

      Indeed, those green trousers with that shirt are just a dream on him! It’s such a pity though that only the black and/or gay actors seem to dare to bring this kind of style and colour to their looks. The straight white ones are somehow scared of it, for a bizarre reason. More colour, silk and naked skin on all the boystars I say!

    • Anna says:

      Oh yes, thank you for starting my day thinking about Mahershala Ali, too! Sweet lord! That man! From the inside out, personality, spirituality, energy, acting ability, style, everything.

    • Ang says:

      Leslie Odom, Jr. has great style as well

  2. girl_ninja says:

    Bless it. This man is HANDSOME.

  3. Roo says:

    He is handsome and thoughtful and clearly talented. My other imaginary boyfriends may have to start worrying! 😂

  4. Darla says:

    That is such a sweet story about his mom.

    I really got what he was saying about being in the matrix. That must have been mind-bending. Filming that movie during 2020. Honestly I wasn’t filming the matrix and I wondered so many times if this was all real.

  5. Barbie1 says:

    Someone should forward this to Tarantino.

  6. Lively says:

    This man is perfect, I love him 😍

  7. Hell Nah! says:

    Wow-ZA!! What rock have I been under that I have not heard or SEEN this finefine man before today??

    Holy hell! (make no mistake, I’m loving the intelligence as well as the face and everlasting body) DaYUM, Yahya is a full and complete snack.

    p.s. the love he has for his family shines bright – does it get any better than this?

  8. death by bacon says:

    Saw him in The Watchman. Gorgeous man. I didn’t recognize him with the beard. But I approve.

    • GRUEY says:

      He was very very good in Watchmen. A memorable and nuanced performance, and able to hold his own with Regina King. I had no idea there was even going to be a Matrix 4, but his is impressively smart casting and actually making me excited for a sequel I might otherwise side eye.

  9. Jess says:

    I follow him on Instagram and his account is awesome. He is so gorgeous and he has amazing style on top of that. I only watched the first matrix movie but it looks like I’m going to have to watch matrix 4 now.

  10. lucy2 says:

    I haven’t seen him in much yet, but became and instant fan after seeing him in Watchmen – he had incredible screen presence in that show. I’m thrilled to see him getting huge movies and stuff now too.
    His mom is lovely, and they sound like a great family.

  11. Green Desert says:

    He is gorgeous and so talented. Loved him in Watchmen. Looking forward to seeing him in more stuff.

  12. TQ says:

    A beautiful man inside and out!