Yahya Abdul-Mateen II played the role of Black Manta in Aquaman which earned him several new fans. However, in a recent interview, the actor doesn’t rate his participation very highly. Yahya compared working in superhero films like Aquaman to ‘clown work’. He said that it was nothing like working in other critically-acclaimed films like The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Before Aquaman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II worked in critical successes like The Trial of the Chicago 7 and The Handmaid’s Tale. He also appeared in commercial blockbusters like The Matrix Resurrections. Apart from Aquaman, he also played a superhero in the HBO series Watchmen. He is set to reprise his Aquaman role in the sequel Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom.
The actor plays the role of Black Manta in Aquaman
In an interview with Variety, the actor spoke about the difference in working in both kinds of storytelling. Yahya said, “Everything should be about getting to the truth. But sometimes you got to know which movie or genre you’re in. Something like Aquaman, that’s clown work. Aquaman is not The Trial of the Chicago 7. You have got to get over yourself”. The actor further added that in order to survive in Hollywood as an actor, one needs to do all kinds of roles.
He said, “In order to survive and to do it well, you have to play that game and then be crafty about when you want to surprise the audience, the director, or yourself with a little bit of ‘Wow, I didn’t expect to see a Chekhovian thing or August Wilson and Aquaman, but I did.”
In Aquaman (2018), Yahya played a pirate and mercenary who crossed paths with Jason Momoa’s superhero. The film served as the origin story for the popular DC villain Black Manta. The Lost Kingdom releases next year. Directed by James Wan, the film also stars Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman, and Temuera Morrison.